In april en begin mei is een van de ‘vergeten’ districten van Uruzgan, Gizab (Ghizab), grotendeels op de Taliban veroverd. De berichtgeving daarover kwam tot nu toe vooral van het Australische ministerie van Defensie. Australische Special Forces en Afghaanse veiligheidstroepen waren bij de operatie ingezet. Zie bijvoorbeeld de berichten Taliban leaders targeted in Afghan led operation, Gizab builds a future, en Gizab’s Taliban commander captured.
Nu blijkt dat een Amerikaanse eenheid ook een belangrijke rol in deze operatie heeft gespeeld. Het gaat om ‘Task Force No Mercy’ van 101 Combat Aviation Brigade die op de Multinational Base Tarin Kowt is gelegerd. Transporthelikopters van de Task Force hebben de Australische en Afghaanse eenheden naar Gizab ingevlogen; gevechtshelikopters van de Task Force leverden luchtsteun. Onderstaand een bericht over de operatie door 101 Combat Aviation Brigade.
TF No Mercy Assists Villagers and Coalition
101st Combat Aviation Brigade
Story by Spc. Tracy Weeden
FORWARD OPERATING BASE TARIN KOWT, Afghanistan – Task Force No Mercy provided air support to Australian coalition partners in the detainment of four suspected insurgents, including one high-level insurgent leader, in Gizab, May 1.
The coalition also recovered weapons and a large amount, 100,000 Pakistan rupees ($5,000), along with the detainment of the suspected insurgent leader, said Capt. Tammy Price, TF No Mercy security officer.
The villagers in Gizab captured the insurgents and then called on the coalition forces for assistance, said Price. They did not want the repercussions of detaining the insurgents and requested help from the coalition.
The villagers in this area are very cooperative in capturing and driving out insurgents.
“The local nationals had taken it upon themselves to rid the insurgents from the area,” said Price.
The mission to transport the Australians up to Gizab came when an informant in the village called their Australian contact to notify them they had four insurgents they wanted to turn over to us, said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Neil Rogers, TF No Mercy Blackhawk pilot and tactical operations officer.
“Our crew was on standby,” said Rogers. “We were ready to go when the call came in.”
TF No Mercy aircraft and flight crews were fully prepared for this mission.
TF No Mercy has a very low rate of maintenance issues.
They were never delayed due to maintenance, said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Russell Juart, TF No Mercy Apache pilot. Ninety-nine percent of the time, there are no issues with maintenance.
The Task Force along with their Australian coalition partners arrived in Gizab shortly after the call arrived.
They had four Blackhawks and two Apaches delivering the first set of troops, said Rogers.
Each Blackhawk carried approximately nine Australian soldiers and two Blackhawk crew chiefs.
“The Apaches were aerial escorts for resupply and transportation security,” said Juart.
Once TF No Mercy left the landing zone in Gizab dropping off the first set of Australian troops, the troops on ground received an attack by small arms fire, said Rogers.
The Apaches escorting the air assault mission provided suppressive fire and security for the troops on the ground.
Once the fire had stopped, and they received the ‘all clear,’ they landed four more Blackhawks with additional ground troops for reinforcement, said Rogers.
During this week-long mission, TF No Mercy also supplied air support to the local nationals by transporting their village elders participating in the local “Shura,” meaning gathering or council, to discuss their wants and needs in supporting counterinsurgency, said Price.
Throughout the week, TF No Mercy was supplying the villagers and ground troops with food and water during resupply missions to Gizab, said Rogers.
Although the mission was interrupted by hostile fire, TF No Mercy continued to support their coalition partners and ally villagers.
It was not until May 1, that the hostile fire was under control and the area was secure, said Rogers. TF No Mercy was then able to transport the detainees.
The Soldiers and pilots of TF No Mercy were dedicated to the mission at hand.
“During the mission, we rotated several different crews, running ten-hour mission blocks,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Adam Marik, TF No Mercy Apache pilot. “However, the first crew was on longer because of ground contact.”
The week long mission aimed to secure suspected insurgents, provide security and support to our coalition partners was a success because of the dedication of our allies and expertise of pilots, crew chiefs and mechanics of TF No Mercy.
(Bron: DVIDS, 28 mei 2010)