2 YORKS: Living and working with Afghan soldiers
A Military Operations news article
11 Feb 10
British troops are working closely with Afghan soldiers out on the ground in Afghanistan in often unforgiving conditions to build up the capability of the Afghan National Army. Report by Tristan Kelly.
In Helmand province, where the majority of UK forces are based, Afghan National Army (ANA) troops are conducting operations alongside British troops largely in the form of Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs), and particularly those of the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (2 YORKS) OMLT Battle Group.
See Related News to read more about the mentoring role.
Working and living with ANA troops in the various checkpoints, Patrol Bases (PBs) and Forward Operating Bases, 2 YORKS soldiers offer advice and training wherever it may be needed to increase the effectiveness of the indigenous army.
For 2 YORKS this is the second tour of duty in Helmand and many of them are veterans of Operation HERRICK 7 which started in October 2007. Being the first regiment to have carried out the OMLT role for the second time in Helmand they are uniquely placed to comment on the progress achieved by the ANA on the ground.
For Corporal Philip Hodgson, based within a 2 YORKS OMLT in Nad 'Ali, there have been many signs of improvement since his last deployment:
"There have been big changes in the ANA since my last tour," he said.
"On the ground you had to mentor them in a fire fight and tell them what to do but on this tour when you are in a fire fight they seem to know for themselves what to do. They can gather the principle of fire and manoeuvring and having one foot on the ground while one team moves, and they can do it themselves.
"They are quite good. On this tour I more just give them little pointers on the ground but they are happy with themselves fighting, and they are aggressive and have been doing it for years so they're all right."
Look for this on the msm front pages - or NOT! But you can find this B*N*S*N story here..