Marines halfway there in Afghan deployment

Members of Yankee Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, based at Patrol Base Shamal Storrai, on a routine patrol to deny the insurgents freedom of movement and reassure the local population.
Members of Yankee Company, 45 Commando Royal Marines, based at Patrol Base Shamal Storrai, on a routine patrol to deny the insurgents freedom of movement and reassure the local population.

MARINES from Arbroath based 45 Commando have now reached the halfway point in their six month deployment in Afghanistan.

The commando, which is based at RM Condor are on their fourth tour of duty in the war torn country and they have been continuing their work with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

And now at the three month point the unit’s commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Oliver Lee has been reflecting on the tour so far in Nad-e-Ali.

He said: “Nad-e-Ali South genuinely represents an area in Helmand of real hope and welcome progress. The Herculean efforts of our predecessors and their Afghan partners are bearing fruit and, although not yet there, the progress is becoming difficult for its enemies to reverse.

“In spite of malign and destructive influences that seek to ignore the people’s desires and induce instability, the area is calm and much is happening within that security. Now beyond the halfway point of our tour, which is proving to be the fulfilling and rewarding privilege we all expected, there is real cause for optimism. We seek to prevent or suppress (as opposed to counter, fight or participate in) this year’s fighting season.”

In their three months in Helmand Province, the commando have took part in many initiatives including Operation Tor Kanjak, which saw the area of Zaborabad come under control of legitimate Afghan institutions.

And along with important insurgency prevention work, 45 Commando have also been taking part in a number of out-reach programmes.

Lieutenant Colonel Lee added: “Whilst maintaining the pressure on the insurgency with notable success, we are also involved in a number of ‘non-kinetic’ initiatives including: religious, veterinary and health outreach, female engagement, sport, the mobilisation of civic pride and connecting the people of Nad-e-Ali with their government.

“Roads are being covered in tarmac and schools and wells are being built.

“The continued support from friends, families and the wider Corps is invaluable and a source of great reassurance to us.”