Saturday, August 11, 2012

R.I.P. - Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith

The Ministry of Defence has named a serviceman, killed in Afghanistan on Friday, 10th August.

Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith
served with the Corps of Royal Engineers. He was 26 years old, and had four children, aged between one and seven years old.

Lance Corporal Smith was part of a troop building a new checkpoint in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand when he was hit by small arms fire.

Matthew Smith was born on 12th March 1986 in Hong Kong, and grew up in Aldershot. He enlisted in January 2003, joining the Corps of Royal Engineers in September that year.

He was deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012 with 30 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 26 Engineer Regiment. He was based in the Nad-e-Ali district, where he supported 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment as a section second-in-command.

He leaves behind a fiancée, Laura, parents, brother and four children – Lainie, Ella, Tilli and Jai.

Lance Corporal Smith’s mother, Caroline Smith, said:

“A loving father to four beautiful children, who will be dearly missed by his fiancée, mother, father, family and friends. Our Hero R.I.P.”

Lieutenant Colonel John Ridge RE, Commanding Officer, 26 Engineer Regiment, said:

“Lance Corporal Smith embodied everything that is great about the Corps of Royal Engineers. He was incredibly hard working, completely selfless and utterly professional. Killed whilst building a vital checkpoint on the Nahr-e-Bughra Canal, he died at the centre of the task, leading, as always, from the front.

“I last saw Lance Corporal Smith a few weeks ago. He briefed me on what his team were up to, and on the tasks that they had still to do before the end of the tour. He was clearly loving the job, and the experience of leading on operations. After four months of hard physical work, I expected to find his soldiers tired and looking forward to getting home. Instead, they were in high spirits and focussed on what jobs were coming up next. There could be no better proof of his outstanding leadership.

“Lance Corporal Smith joined the Corps of Royal Engineers in 2003, and he was posted to 26 Engineer Regiment in January 2010. Tremendously proud to be a sapper, he reportedly woke his tent mates to a recording or rendition of “Hurrah for the CRE”, the Corps song, most mornings. He loved teaching junior soldiers and, as one of our flyers, we were preparing him for a posting to a Training Regiment, where I am certain he would have been in his element.

“We have all been terribly shocked by his death, particularly his mates from 6 Troop. They are a tight knit team, and he was a key player, whether making the early morning brews, or raising a smile when the endless building of patrol base walls finally started eating into morale.

“After Lance Corporal Smith had been shot, and his section had evacuated him to medical assistance, they went straight back to site and finished the job that he had started. After being informed of his death, they prepared to build the next checkpoint. Not through a lack of feeling, but because this is exactly what he would have wanted them to do. This is how we in the Engineer Group will honour his memory.

“Our loss as friends and colleagues is nothing compared to that felt by his family, particularly his fiancée Laura and their four children. He was devoted to all of them, and they will be in our thoughts and prayers during this dreadful period.”

read more on BFBS website:
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Afghan police officer kill 11 comrades in western Afghanistan

According to local authorities in western Nimroz province of Afghanistan, at least 11 Afghan national police officers were killed by a suspected militant who had disguised himself among the Afghan security police forces.

Provincial governor Karim Barahawi confirming the report said the incident took place around 1:30 pm local time in a security check post at Delaram district.

Mr. Barahawi further added the assailant Afghan police officer was recognized as Eisa Mohammad and was one of the loyal members of the Taliban group.

However Taliban militants group has not commented regarding the incident so far.

This comes as a number of Afghan and coalition security forces have been killed or injured following infiltration of the Taliban militants among the Afghan security forces.

In the meantime provincial governor for Nimroz province said the assailant police officer was killed in cross-fire.

By Sajad - Sat Aug 11, 9:10 pm

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R.I.P. - Lieutenant Andrew Chesterman

Lieutenant Andrew Chesterman killed in Afghanistan

A Military Operations news article

11 Aug 12
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce the death of Lieutenant Andrew Robert Chesterman of the 3rd Battalion The Rifles, who died as a result of wounds sustained by enemy action in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province on 9 August 2012.

Lieutenant Chesterman was commanding a vehicle patrol when the lead vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. As he moved forward to take control of the situation the patrol was engaged by insurgent small arms fire and Lieutenant Chesterman was shot.

Despite the best efforts of his fellow Riflemen at the scene, the medical emergency response team and the staff at the Bastion hospital, Lieutenant Chesterman could not be saved.

Lieutenant Andrew Robert Chesterman
Lieutenant Chesterman deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 7 April 2012. As a Platoon Commander in C Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, he initially worked in the Nad-e Ali district as part of 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment Battle Group. In June 2012, as part of an increased focus on mentoring the Afghan National Police, Lieutenant Chesterman was given a new task of forming a Police Advisory Team, working for 1st Battalion Welsh Guards Battle Group.
Born on 14 January 1986 in Guildford, he studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton before attending the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth and then the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He commissioned into The Rifles in December 2010 and after completing the Platoon Commanders' Battle Course, joined the 3rd Battalion.

Lieutenant Chesterman was quite simply an exceptional Rifles officer. He was popular, utterly professional, dependable and naturally gifted. Through his inspiring leadership he had earned the respect of his fellow Riflemen on operations under the toughest of circumstances. He had a very bright future ahead of him. His authoritative leadership and determined approach would have carried him far. The swiftest and boldest of Riflemen, he will never be forgotten.

He leaves behind his father Paul and sisters Anna and Olivia.

read more on the MOD website:
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24 rebels eliminated in Khost airstrike

Khost City/KABUL (PAN): Twenty-four Taliban fighters were killed as a result of an airstrike by NATO-led troops in southeastern Khost province, officials said on Saturday.

Three Afghan and several Pakistani militants from the North Waziristan tribal region were killed in the overnight raid in the Gabar area of Musakhel district, the deputy police chief said.

Col. Mohammad Yaqub told Pajhwok Afghan News heavy and light weapons and ammunition were recovered from the insurgents.

A statement from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), meanwhile, said that 16 fighters were killed in the air attack.

Separately, five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers were killed and 16 others wounded in separate security incidents over the past 24 hours in Kunar, Maidan Wardak, Paktia, Logar and Herat provinces.

The Ministry of Defence said the injured were in stable condition. Dozens of landmines were defused and weapons recovered during operations by the soldiers.

from Pajhwok
by Hidayatullah Khosti & Javed Hamim Kakar on Aug 11, 2012 - 14:39

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Three more U.S. soldiers killed by Afghans in grim day for NATO

Lejay is located in the Baghran valley, in Hel...
Garmsir (bottom-right) in Helmand Province. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
(Reuters) - Three U.S. Marines have been shot dead by an Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan, in a deadly 24 hours for NATO-led forces during which six American soldiers were killed in rogue attacks.

The shooting took place on Friday night in the Garmsir district of Helmand province, where three U.S. special forces soldiers were killed by an Afghan policeman and comrades earlier in the day.

"Let me clearly say that those two incidents clearly do not reflect the overall situation here in Afghanistan," the chief NATO force spokesman, Brigadier-General Gunter Katz, told reporters on Saturday.

The three Marines were shot by a base employee who turned a gun on them, in the third rogue attack in four days. Foreign military sources said the man had not been wearing a uniform and it was unclear how he got hold of the weapon.

The gunman had been detained and a joint Afghan-NATO investigation team was reviewing security and looking into the reason for the attack.

In the earlier attack, an Afghan police commander and several of his men killed three U.S. Marines in darkness early on Friday after inviting them to a Ramadan breakfast to discuss security.

The three men were all Marine Corps special operations forces and appeared to have been killed in a planned attack by rogue Afghan forces. NATO calls such incidents green on blue attacks.

The NATO force says there have been 26 such attacks on foreign troops since January in which 34 people have been killed. Last year, there were 21 attacks in which 35 people were killed.

But a coalition spokesman said the killings by the Afghan worker would not be included in that tally as it did not involve a member of the Afghan security forces.

Green on blue shootings, in which Afghan police or soldiers turn their guns on their Western colleagues, have seriously eroded trust between the allies as NATO combat soldiers prepare to hand over to Afghan forces by 2014, after which most foreign forces will leave the country.


But Katz said the incidents were relatively isolated and were not hurting cooperation between foreign forces and the 350,000-strong Afghan Security Forces.

"We have almost 500,000 police and soldiers working together, side by side, enhancing their trust and enhancing their cooperation in order together to fight for a better future for this country," he said.

NATO has directed its forces to increase measures against rogue attacks, including placing armed "guardian angel" soldiers on duty in areas where troops gather, such as gyms and meal halls. Soldiers are also required to travel in pairs in Afghan base areas and carry weapons at all times.

The majority of rogue shootings, Katz said, were due to personal disagreements between Afghan forces and their Western mentors, or were due to combat stress, rather than successful infiltration of the security forces by insurgents.

The Afghan military has also placed intelligence agents within Afghan units to watch for signs of rogue attacks, with dozens of Afghan police or soldiers moved to other bases following disagreements with foreign soldiers.

"Together with our Afghan partners we look into procedures, how to mitigate these incidents," Katz said.

Last month, an Afghan policeman opened fire on British soldiers in Helmand province, killing three in an attack claimed by the Taliban, and a gunman in uniform killed foreign trainers working for NATO in western Herat province, killing three.

A Taliban statement posted on Twitter said the attacks were "clearly summing up mood of Afghan nation towards foreign occupation".

Violence in Afghanistan is at its fiercest since U.S.-led Afghan troops overthrew the Taliban government in 2001. Insurgents have extended their reach from traditional strongholds in southern and eastern areas to parts of the country once considered safe.

At least six civilians were killed on Friday in Helmand when a roadside bomb blew up their vehicle.

(Additional reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Robert Birsel)from REUTERS
by Rob Taylor
KABUL | Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:47pm BST

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Aug. 11., 2012. - ISAF Joint Command Morning Operational Update

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan and coalition security force discovered an insurgent bomb-making facility and seized more than 180 kilograms (400 pounds) of explosives during a security operation in Muqer district, Ghazni province, today.

During the search of the bomb-making facility, the security force also seized improvised explosive device components.

One suspected insurgent was detained by the security force during the operation.

The explosives were safely destroyed by the security force.

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:


An Afghan and coalition security force arrested the leader of a Taliban cell in Chimtal district, Balkh province, Friday. The Taliban leader and the group of insurgents under his control conducted attacks against Afghan security forces throughout the region. He was also responsible for attacks against civilian contractors and reconstruction projects in the province.

An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in Now Zad district, Helmand province, Thursday. The leader controlled a group of insurgents that specialized in the building and emplacement of improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks.

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Aug. 11., 2012. - RC-East operational update

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - Afghan and coalition forces killed 17 insurgents, detained six and cleared six improvised explosive devices during operations in eastern Afghanistan throughout the past 24 hours, Aug. 10.

Ghazni province
A coalition airstrike killed an insurgent in Andar district who was emplacing an improvised explosive device.

Khowst province
Afghan Uniformed Police and coalition forces detained an insurgent who was emplacing an improvised explosive device in Sabari district. The improvised explosive device was cleared and the detained suspect was transferred to a base for questioning.

A coalition airstrike killed 16 insurgents in Musa Khel district in response to Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces receiving an imminent threat.

Logar province
Afghan National Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an improvised explosive device in Muhammad Aghah district.

Paktika province
Afghan Local Police and coalition forces found and safely cleared an improvised explosive device in Zarghun Shahr district.

Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces detained five insurgents during an engagement in Mota Khan district. The detained suspects were transferred to a base for questioning.

Wardak province
Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces found and safely cleared two improvised explosive devices in Sayyidabad district.

Operations in RC-East are still ongoing.

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Al-Qaida suspects attack army checkpoint in southeast Yemen, 3 killed

map by Evan Centanni (
ADEN, Yemen, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- Suspected al-Qaida militants attacked an army checkpoint in Yemen's southeastern province of Hadramout on Friday evening, leaving at least three soldiers killed, a security official told Xinhua.

A group of masked gunmen with assault rifles attacked a checkpoint along the main road linking Hadramout and Shabwa province, killing at least three soldiers before they fled the area, the local security official said on condition of anonymity.

"The armed attack took place around sunset in the area of Roweek... and a short shootout broke out later between the al- Qaida suspects and army troops," the security official said.

"It was an apparent attempt by al-Qaida militants to seize the key checkpoint, but they did not succeed," he added.

On Thursday night, Brigadier Omar Salim Ba-Rashid, director of the military academy, was killed after a blast ripped through his car in Mukalla, the provincial capital of Hadramout.

Over the past few months, several army bases and police centers have been hit by gun and bomb attacks attributed to the Yemen- based al-Qaida wing, locally known as the Partisans of Sharia ( Islamic Law).

The al-Qaida militants have claimed responsibility for assassinating several army commanders and intelligence officers of southern regions weeks after they were driven out of their bastions in Abyan and Shabwa provinces in a U.S.-backed offensive.

2012-08-11 03:41:47

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