Afghan National Security Forces

IS2010-3021-4 by tormentor4555 on Flickr.

22 September 2010
Panjwa’i District, Afghanistan

Soldiers from Oscar Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group, take a moment to rest in their established leaguer in the Panjwa’i district of Kandahar province.

In close cooperation with Afghan National Security Force, 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group provides security by conducting counter-insurgency operations throughout Panjwa’i district located south-west of Kandahar City. The Battle Group conducts partnered operations with the 2nd Kandak of the 1st Brigade, 205 Corps of the Afghan National army, Afghan National Police and the Panjwa’i district Governor in order to advance governance, reconstruction and security in the area.

Operation ATHENA is Canada’s participation in the International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan. Focused on Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan since the fall of 2005, Op ATHENA has one over-arching objective: to leave Afghanistan to Afghans, in a country that is better governed, more peaceful and more secure.

Photo: Corporal Shilo Adamson, Canadian Forces Combat Camera
© 2010 DND-MDN Canada

Made with Flickr


Coalition force members maintain security during a presence patrol in Farah province, Afghanistan, Dec. 1, 2012. Afghan National Security Forces have been taking the lead in security operations, with coalition forces as mentors, to bring security and stability to the people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Pete Thibodeau/Released)

A U.S. Army Special Forces soldier assigned to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan provides security for commandos from the Afghan National Army Special Forces’ 3rd Company, 3rd Special Operations Kandak, during a clearing operation in Karezak village, Maiwand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, June 2, 2014.

The clearance was conducted in order to deny insurgent field of movement and degrade their lethal aid to southern Maiwand.


CAMP MOREHEAD, Afghanistan – Afghan commandos stand in formation during the graduation of the 7th Commando Kandak Jan. 21. The commandos were trained by Afghan instructors and mentored by U.S., French, Canadian, Jordanian and United Arab Emirates special operations Forces to provide a rapidly deployable light infantry unit to the Afghan National Security Force. (ISAF Joint Command photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Logan Tuttle)

How A British Sniper Killed 6 Taliban with One Bullet.

Helmand Province, Afghanistan: A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded.

The 20-year-old marksman, a lance corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 850 metres, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast, London’s Daily Telegraph has learnt.

The incident in Kakaran in southern Afghanistan happened in December but has only now been disclosed as Britain moves towards the withdrawal of all combat soldiers by the end of the year. Lieutenant Colonel Richard Slack, commanding officer of 9/12 Royal Lancers, said the unnamed sharpshooter prevented a major attack by the Taliban, as a second suicide vest packed with 20kg of explosives was found nearby.

The same sniper, with his first shot on the tour of duty, killed a Taliban machine-gunner from 1340m.

Several hundred British and Afghan soldiers were carrying out an operation in December when they were engaged in a gun battle with 15 to 20 insurgents.

“The guy was wearing a vest. He was identified by the sniper moving down a tree line and coming up over a ditch,” said Lieutenant Colonel Slack. “He had a shawl on. It rose up and the sniper saw he had a machine gun.

"They were in contact and he was moving to a firing position. The sniper engaged him and the guy exploded. There was a pause on the radio and the sniper said, ‘I think I’ve just shot a suicide bomber’. The rest of them were killed in the blast.”

It is understood the lance corporal was using an L115A3 gun, the Army’s most powerful sniper weapon.

The Armed Forces are gradually decreasing their presence in Helmand, handing over security of the country to the Afghan armed forces. Last month, three major bases were closed or handed over to Afghan control. At the height of the campaign, there were 137 bases across Helmand - now there is only one base outside Camp Bastion, Sterga 2, which is staffed by a company from 4 Scots and the 9/12 Royal Lancers.

The sniper incident was one of a dwindling number of gun battles between British forces and the insurgents. In total, 448 UK soldiers have died since 2001, but far fewer have been wounded in the most recent tour, with Afghan forces now leading 97 per cent of the security operations across the country.

On Monday at Sterga 2, soldiers said they were looking forward to returning home and hoped their work would help the Afghans achieve stability.

Sterga 2 stands on a plateau above the Helmand river, about 18 miles south-east (28 km) of Camp Bastion. Between Bastion and Sterga 2 is the “protected zone”, next to the river, where the local population is living under the protection of the Afghan armed forces.

The camp has only come under attack once, and that was when it was being built last August. “In my tour in 2007, I had seven guys injured while they were actually inside the base,” sad Lieutenant Colonel Slack. “We had rocket attacks every day. This base hasn’t been attacked since it was built. It feels like it is time to go.” Captain Ed Challis, who is in charge of Sterga 2, said he was hopeful about the future of Afghanistan.

The country has its first round of presidential elections this Saturday, with an increase in violence expected as voters go to the polls.

“I am an optimist,” said Captain Challis. “There are lots of things that have changed for the better. You would be a fool to think you can change a hundred years of culture fast, but have things improved? Yes. I believe they are able to take it forward.”

He added: “I’d imagine once I get back it’s something I’ll look back on and sort of realise the historical importance of it - but at the moment we’re just focusing on our primary role here.”

Highlander Paul Carr, 27, from Paisley, was on sentry duty in the watchtower above the river. He said he was enjoying the hot weather, after the camp was hit by snow in February. “When this base closes, we will go home,” he said. “I get a holiday feeling when I think about it.”

Highlander Carr was monitoring a small compound on the bank of the river. Camels and goats wandered around outside the farm, with small fields of onions growing in the sun. Poppies were also starting to flower, despite years of programmes to eradicate the poppy crops in Afghanistan.

Abandoned fortifications - Russian installations from the Eighties and older - dot the horizon.

Inside the camp, a company of servicemen and women were working to gather intelligence about the surrounding area.

The information is passed on to the Afghan security forces and intelligence from Sterga 2 aided the sniper attack in December.

Cameras mounted on balloons monitor the fields and compounds for several miles around, feeding into an operations room and providing protection for Bastion. The Taliban thought that the large balloon was a “white whale in the sky” when it was first launched Lt Col Slack lost one soldier, L/Cpl James Brynin, 22, of the Intelligence Corps, who was shot dead on patrol last October Lieutenant Colonel Slack said he had watched Afghanistan evolve dramatically over the years.

“The price has been heavy for the Army and in particular it has been heavy for the families of those nearly 450 [dead soldiers], and no one is under any illusion about that,” he said.

“I will finish my tour knowing one of our NCOs will not be coming home and that is a heavy price to pay.

"Has it been worth it? At my level when I look at security that is here and the way the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] have developed, I certainly think it’s been worth it.”


U.S. Army Spc. Jake Amato, Mk-48 gunner attached to Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team, patrols through a field looking for triggermen in Alisheng District, Laghman Province Sept. 12. The PRT partnered with the Security Forces Assistant Team and the Afghan National Police patrolled through a village to talk to the locals and teach the ANP proper procedures during patrols. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Staff Sgt. Ryan Crane, Laghman Provincial Reconstruction Team)

Afghan helicopters are prepped in a Kabul hanger prior to departing for combat operations in Helmand. The MD-530 Jengi (Warrior in Dari), is the newest in the Afghan Air Force’s arsenal to support convoy escort, aerial reconnaissance, armed over-watch, and close air support to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).

Photograph by Robert L. Cunningham - Photographer/Author for Afghanistan: On the Bounce.


Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers prepare to participate in a military exercise on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The Afghan National Security Forces depend exclusively on billions of dollars in funding from the United States and its allies, money that is now at risk. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)