Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Our Allies in Afghanistan and Iraq

Royal Engineers Build Bases for Afghan Troops

Royal Engineers from 26 Engineer Regiment have been making the town of Sangin in northern Helmand, Afghanistan, more secure by constructing three company-sized patrol bases for the Afghan National Security Forces.

Sitting in the centre of the Helmand Valley the town of Sangin had come to symbolise the challenges facing the British Army in the Province. The small garrison of troops stationed in the mud brick town were too strong to be defeated by the Taliban, but not strong enough to launch a major operation to drive the enemy out.

Two weeks ago that all changed when Royal Marine Commandos, supported by Afghan, US, Canadian, Dutch and Estonian forces, finally launched a massive operation to clear the valley of Taliban influence. Taliban forces caught at the centre of a pincer operation were either destroyed or forced to flee into the surrounding countryside.

Angel of Kandahar

So, assisted by fellow RAF Waddington Senior Aircraftsman Chris Dyke, he saw an opportunity in his 'spare time' in Afghanistan to put his skills to more artistic endeavours and create the 'Angel of Kandahar':

"Nearly everyone knows what the 'Angel of the North' looks like and have probably passed it going up or down the A1, so it seemed an ideal and recognisable subject," Corporal Leighton said.

"We spent our off duty time in the evening cleaning and welding the parts together; it finally took shape and a base was also manufactured from scrap to prevent the work from blowing over in inclement weather of which we've had a bit recently."

Rifleman Donnachie confirmed KIA

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Rifleman Paul Donnachie of 2nd Battalion the Rifles in Iraq on Sunday 29 April 2007.[snip]

It was while Rifleman Donnachie was dismounted and checking part of the patrol's route that he was shot by an opportunist gunman. Rifleman Donnachie was immediately evacuated to Basra Palace, but sadly he subsequently died from his injuries.

Honor their fallen

I think we like our allies, who have been with us for over 100 years in war and peace, because we have a distinct affinity for their hats.

Australian Army rebuilding Tarin Kot hospital

The feature of the RTFs reconstruction effort is the work being conducted at the Tarin Kowt Hospital. By refurbishing this building, essential health services will again be available to the people of Uruzgan.

Australia has deployed an ADF Reconstruction Task Force (RTF), consisting of a combined arms team, to the Uruzgan Province in Southern Afghanistan as part of Operation Slipper. The RTF is in partnership with the Netherlands Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) and forms part of the NATO- led International Security Assistance Force.

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