Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mar.29., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan (Mar. 29) – An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban leader in Shirin Tagab district, Faryab province, yesterday.

The leader is the head of the Taliban commission for the province and coordinates attacks against Afghan and coalition troops in the area.

During the operation, insurgents opened fire on the security force. The force responded, killing multiple insurgents. The force also destroyed multiple AK-47s, rocket-propelled grenades and other grenades.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban leader in Khanabad district, Kunduz province, yesterday. The leader directs roadside bomb attacks against Afghan civilians and troops throughout the district. During the operation, insurgents opened fire on the security force. The force responded, killing multiple insurgents and detaining two additional insurgents. Multiple AK-47s and two improvised explosive devices were also discovered and destroyed.


In Sherzad district, Nangarhar province, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Taliban leader today. The leader directs attacks on Afghan and coalition troops in Khogyani district. The security force detained two insurgents and seized multiple weapons, ammunition and more than 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of illegal narcotics.

Finally, an Afghan and coalition security force conducted an operation to capture a Haqqani leader in Khost district, Khost province, today. The leader supervises suicide bombings and other attacks against Afghan and coalition security forces throughout the district. The security force detained multiple suspected insurgents.

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R.I.P. - Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine

DOD Identifies Marine Casualty

            The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, 29, of Waldwick, N.J., died March 27 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.  He was assigned to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

            For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 2nd Marine Logistics Group public affairs office at 910-451-3538.


D'Augustine is survived by his parents, Anthony and Patricia, and sisters, Nicole, Jennifer and Michele and her husband, Len Kulesa of Mahwah. He also had two nephews and one niece.
As of 3:30 p.m. March 28, the Department of Defense had not released information surrounding D'Augustine's death.
Joseph D'Augustine left for boot camp the day after his graduation from Waldwick High School in 2001, his sisters said. This was his fourth tour...

"We loved him. He was a great brother, great uncle and great son," said Michele Kulesa. "My parents were really proud of him. His nephews looked up to him and couldn't wait for him to come home. He was a happy guy. God just took him too soon."
The family said they planned to leave in several hours for Delaware on March 28 to await the arrival of D'Augustine's remains.
D'Augustine was a member of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit and belonged to Waldwick VFW Post 1049 and American Legion Nightengale Post 57, according to VFW commander Michael Echevarria.
"Not only did he want to be a Marine, but he wanted to be wherever the action was," Echevarria said in an interview March 28. "That's true of him with everything. In high school he was a hell of a linebacker and he was a great wrestler."
Echevarria described D'Augustine as someone who "wasn't happy unless everyone around him was laughing."
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Digger (AUS) wounded in Afghan drug lab mission

The Australian Defence Force says an Australian soldier has been wounded during a drug operation in Afghanistan.

Defence says the special operations soldier was hit with small arms fire during a joint operation with Afghan security forces to disrupt insurgent networks in southern Afghanistan.

The soldier has been flown to the International Security Assistance Force air base where he is in a satisfactory condition.

His family has been contacted.

Defence says during the operation two drug labs were destroyed and a Taliban commander and local insurgent commander were captured.

No further details on the injured soldier have been released but Defence says the overall operation was a significant blow the insurgency.

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35 insurgents killed, 12 detained in Afghanistan within 24 hours

KABUL, March 29 (Xinhua) -- A total of 35 insurgents were killed and 12 others detained during military operations conducted by Afghan forces and NATO-led coalition troops within 24 hours, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Thursday morning.

"Afghan National Police (ANP) in collaboration with army and NATO-led coalition troops conducted 12 joint operations in nine provinces around the country over the past 24 hours killing 35 armed insurgents and detaining 12 others," the ministry said in a statement.

They also found and seized weapons and ammunition including 27 AK-47 guns and 14 anti-vehicle mines besides confiscating seven motorbikes and two vehicles used by insurgents, the statement said, without saying if there were any casualties on the security forces.

The ANP during separate operations also found and defused 10 anti-vehicle mines in southern Kandahar and eastern Nangarhar provinces over the same period of time, it added.

Afghan officials often use the word "insurgents" referring to the Taliban, however, the militant group has yet to make comments.

Afghan forces and some 130,000 NATO-led ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) troops have intensified cleanup operations throughout the post-Taliban country recently as spring and summer, known as "fighting season", are drawing near in the country.
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4 militants killed, 2 detained in Kandahar province

According to local authorities in southern Kandahar province at least 4 insurgents were killed and 2 others were detained following military operations by Afghan security forces in this province.

The officials further added the militants were killed and detained at Shahwalikot and panjwai districts of southern Kandahar province.

Provincial governor media office following a press release said, Afghan security forces killed at least 2 armed insurgents following a military operation at Panjwai district on Wednesday evening. The two insurgents were plotting and carrying out insurgency activities against the Afghan security forces in the area.

The source further added, Afghan security forces conducted another operation at Shahwalikot district on Wednesday night, where a mine planter was killed along with a Taliban fighter.

The operations were conducted at Parian and Yatiman areas late Wednesday night where Afghan security forces also detained 2 insurgents along with some weapons and explosives, provincial media office officials added.

Anti-government armed militant groups yet to comment regarding the operations.

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Militants ambush NATO supply convoy in Farah

According to local authorities in western Farah province a number of armed militants ambushed a NATO supply convoy in this province on Wednesday.

The officials further added the clashes continued for three hours between the armed militants and the private security guards escorting the NATO supply convoy.

At least 5 private security guards and 14 militants were killed during the three hours clashes, the officials added.

A spokesman for the Afghan national brigade in the western region Najeebullah Najeebi said, the incident took place in Bala Bolok district which is frequently used by the NATO suppliers.

Mr. Najeeb further added, Afghan security forces were also sent to the area to combat the militants.

In the meantime a spokesman for the Afghan national police forces in the western regions Rauf Ahmadi said, more than 30 militants were killed and 10 others were injured during the clashes.

An official of the private security firm “Arya Security” Syed Abdul Wahid which provide escort services to NATO supplies said their security guards were ambushed by militants equipped with heavy arms including Rocket Propelled Grenade Launchers, and their security guards could not fight properly since they were armed with AK-47′s only.

Mr. Wahid further added, at least 5 of their security guards were killed and 5 others were injured during the clashes.

No group including the Taliban militants have so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

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Rhode Island Guardsman died saving Afghan girl

Spc. Dennis Weichel, 29, of Providence, Rhode Island,
died saving the life of a little girl in Afghanistan.
(CNN) -- After the news of a U.S. soldier charged with murdering Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, the story of Spc. Dennis Weichel of the Rhode Island National Guard bears telling.

The official Pentagon news release says he died "from injuries suffered in a noncombat related incident." But there is much more to the story. Weichel, 29, of Providence, died saving the life of a little girl.
R.I.P. - Spc. Dennis P. Weichel Jr. 
Read more:
According to the Rhode Island National Guard and the U.S. Army, Weichel was in a convoy a week ago with his unit in Laghman Province, in northeast Afghanistan. Some children were in the road in front of the convoy, and Weichel and other troops got out to move them out of the way.

Most of the children moved, but one little girl went back to pick up some brass shell casings in the road. Afghan civilians often recycle the casings, and the girl appeared to aim to do that. But a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle was moving toward her, according to Lt. Col. Denis Riel of the Rhode Island National Guard.

MRAPs, as they are known, usually weigh more than 16 tons.

Weichel saw massive truck bearing down on the girl and grabbed her out of the way. But in the process, the armored truck ran him over, Riel said.

The little girl is fine. Weichel died a short time later of his injuries.

"He was a big kid at heart. He always had a smile on his face, and he made everyone laugh," 1st Sgt. Nicky Peppe, who served with Weichel in Iraq, is quoted as saying in an Army story. "But as much as Weichel was funny, he was also a professional. When it was time to go outside the wire for a combat patrol, he was all business."

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has ordered flags in the state lowered to half-staff until Weichel, who was posthumously promoted to sergeant, is laid to rest Monday.
Weichel is survived by his parents, his fiancee and three children. His family will receive Weichel's Bronze Star and other awards for his sacrifice.
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