Thursday, April 29, 2010

Afstan: More on next roto, current operational approach

Further to this post,
CF's COIN reality at Kandahar/Next roto arriving
more details:
Canadian troops rotate in advance of summer offensive

SPERWAN GHAR, Afghanistan — Canada's new command group for the front-line combat base arrived in Afghanistan Wednesday, as troops from the Royal Canadian Regiment of Petawawa, Ont., take over from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry of Edmonton.

The new rotation of soldiers arrived in advance of NATO's upcoming summer Kandahar province offensive, planned to be the largest-ever in the war.

C Company from the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR), posted to the fortified hill base here, is expected to be charged with pushing the Taliban from west Panjwaii district, a key insurgent stronghold...

Now, Canadian combat troops are working almost exclusively in Panjwaii [emphasis added], attempting to secure population centres by keeping a solid presence in a more limited area.

[By the way, this is how CP spins US Army units working as part of the CF's Task Force Kandahar (current composition):
U.S. troops take a pounding in Kandahar territory vacated by Canadians

Since taking over for Canadian troops, both in this volatile district [Zhari] and in Arghandab to the east, the Americans have suffered serious casualties - 19 dead and 51 wounded since early December. Nine Canadian soldiers and one civilian have died during the same stretch...]
"In 2007, it was all kinetic operations, all disruption — we never held the ground, and we never stayed with the population. We didn't have enough manpower," said Good, originally from Coquitlam, B.C.

Outgoing Princess Patricia's troops engaged in frequent fighting in the first part of their seven-to-eight-month tour, then endured an escalating threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs)...

Canada's new approach of solidifying a "ring of stability" around Kandahar City made reconnaissance platoon Cpl. Jamie Ward's tour far different from his previous rotation in 2008.

Then, as in previous years, Canadian troops moved against areas where the Taliban were entrenched, killing insurgents and driving them out, then moving to the next hot spot without having secured control.

Under the new strategy, Canada's soldiers operate out of bases located very near village areas, and work closely with the Afghan army and police — as well as Canadian military- and civilian-development teams — to clear out Taliban, solidify control, and begin providing services to villagers [post here on how that's going]...

As members of the RCR arrive, the Princess Patricia's are introducing them to their new operations area, and will soon begin taking them out on patrols. The outgoing troops will leave the country in mid-May [emphasis added].


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