12 Mar 2010

Soldier blog: closing the gap on insurgents

Trooper Pete Sheppard, from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, writes from Afghanistan as his colleagues chase down a group of Taliban fighters.

Soldier blog: closing the gap on insurgents

Trooper Pete Sheppard is a radio operator with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF), which is part of Operation Moshtarak against insurgents in Helmand province.

Yesterday was a quiet day; the troops went out on patrol round the local area. They met the locals and looked for any possible insurgents.

Today was different. 2 Troop went out on patrol about 0830. They came under small arms fire shortly after leaving.

With good observation and communication between the ground troops being engaged and the guys back at the compound, we managed to get eyes on the insurgents with our air assets. We were able to track the small number of insurgents and the guys on the ground gave chase.

Running through fields that had been irrigated and jumping ditches, they finally closed the gap onto those fighters.

The insurgents were asking for a re-supply of ammo and for more fighters to come to help.

One of the officers who had eyes on the fighters lost sight of them, but then to his west he saw two men on a motorbike, the front person holding an AK47 and the second holding a machine gun and a radio.

The officer sent the sighting of them over the radio and let loose some rounds at the enemy.

Limbu was telling me how when he was running clearing through the compounds one of the insurgents was spraying rounds over a wall, just like the films. Only being able to see a hand and an AK horizontal to the floor moving franticly from left to right across the wall letting off rounds. Limbu and a couple of others, started to fire, then the insurgent stopped. Time to move on, running to the next area.

After a couple of hours, they managed to arrest one of the fighters and size a couple of weapons, a radio and some other kit. The other insurgents weren’t as lucky.

It was a hot day today forecasted for 28 degrees celsius, but I think it could have been a bit hotter.

The lads when they got back were knackered. Having all of their kit on through the heat of the day and running about.

Really looking forward to coming home now.