04 March 2011


Operation Moshtarak proves successful during first anniversary assessments

February 21, 2011

Local girls gather for the ribbon cutting of the Laki Girls School, in Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, while coalition forces provide security, Feb. 15. According to Lt. Col. Matthew Reid, the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, improved security provided by coalition enforces enabled locals to defy the Taliban by establishing the girls school. Photo by Sgt. Jesse Stence

Helmand Province’s progression from a Taliban-controlled area to a civil functioning society was highlighted this week in multiple press conferences and ribbon cuttings.

February is the anniversary of Operation Moshtarak, the Afghan-led initiative to assert government authority in the center of Helmand province. In one year, much progress has been made.

“A year ago [Marjah] was the Taliban capital of Helmand province, a completely controlled Taliban area,” Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, commanding general of Regional Command Southwest, during a press conference in Helmand Feb. 14. “That has changed 180 degrees in the past year, and it’s now a small farm town that is vibrant with five bazaars with a great number of customers and business on every day of the week. It’s a great success story by the government of Afghanistan and what they have done to stand up a secure environment.”

Schools have reopened in Marjah, with several hundred children attending class...

Much more on this great B*N*S*N story here.

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