Afghan National Security Force and Australian Special Forces help cut insurgent funding

21 December 2012 | Media Release

Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) have destroyed significant quantities of narcotics and weapons and removed insurgent commanders from the battlefield in operations over the past three months.

Afghan special police from the National Interdiction Unit (NIU) and the Provincial Response Company – Uruzgan (PRC-U) uncovered drug processing laboratories housing approximately 21,000kg of drugs.

The partnered missions were carried out in the Daykundi, Helmand, Kandahar and Uruzgan provinces of Afghanistan from September through to December.

SOTG Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel I, said removing insurgent commanders and destroying drugs and weapons caches will significantly disrupt insurgent networks across Uruzgan and south-western Afghanistan.

“Destroying the narcotics causes profound disruptions to the insurgency’s ability to fight in Uruzgan and throughout south-western Afghanistan,” Lieutenant Colonel I said.

“The insurgency uses the narcotics to fund its operations and without that funding stream they will struggle to motivate fighters to join their cause, especially over winter and into the next fighting season.

“Disrupting the insurgency gives the Afghan National Security Force the breathing space to continue to improve, to grow in confidence and to take the fight to the insurgency.”

Lieutenant Colonel I said while the Afghan Government had the lead for counter narcotics and law enforcement efforts, SOTG and the US Drug Enforcement Administration personnel mentor and enable the Afghan National Interdiction Unit on counter-narcotics missions.

SOTG soldiers also mentor Afghan National Security Force personnel from the Provincial Response Company – Uruzgan, who respond to critical incidents, and a quick-response force from the National Directorate of Security – Uruzgan.

Lieutenant Colonel I said that during 2012, SOTG and their Afghan special police partners combined to remove a large number of insurgent commanders from the battlefield.

“These commanders were responsible for providing weapons and equipment, including Improvised Explosive Devices, to the insurgency, and organising and directly participating in attacks on Afghan and Coalition forces,” he said.

“Our missions are designed to apply unrelenting pressure to the insurgency to degrade its leadership, lower insurgent morale and their willingness to fight,” Lieutenant Colonel I said.

“As we accomplish this we are seeing a significant improvement in the capability of our Afghan National Security Force, particularly when it comes to developing intelligence and using that information to target the insurgency.”

The SOTG and its Afghan partners also uncovered and destroyed significant quantities of weapons, including dozens of rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, landmines, munitions and homemade explosive used in improvised explosive devices.

Media contact:

Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999

Issued by Ministerial and Executive Coordination and Communication,
Department of Defence,
Canberra, ACT
Phone: 02 6127 1999 Fax: 02 6265 6946

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