Wed, Mar 26, 2003
Don't Lose Sight of Ongoing Action
Coalition forces conducted another air assault in the Sami Ghar
Mountains of Afghanistan Tuesday, Combined Joint Task Force-180
Officials would not give the size of the assault. They did say
fewer than 1,000 forces are assigned to Operation Valiant
The assault troops used U.S. Chinook and Black Hawk helicopters.
They immediately found a large weapons cache that included
rocket-propelled grenades, anti-tank mines, mortar rounds and other
Since the operation began on March 20, there has been no enemy
contact, said Army Capt. Alayne Cramer, a CJTF-180 spokeswoman.
Troops have detained four Afghans and uncovered several large
Officials said it is hard to put precise numbers on the number
of active Taliban in the area. The most common number they cite is
between 50 and 100.
The majority of the troops involved in the operation come from
the 82nd Airborne Division. However, there is support from a
Romanian mortar platoon and special operations forces.
said the operation is proceeding smoothly, and coalition forces are
searching villages and cave complexes. U.S. service members
patrolling near Shkin encountered enemy personnel. A firefight
ensued, and the enemy broke contact.
At Bagram Air Base, U.S. personnel held a short memorial service
for the six airmen killed in the crash of a Pave Hawk helicopter on
March 23. After the short service, Bagram Air Base shut down for "a
minute" as service members lined the route to the runway and paid
their final respects to their comrades, Cramer said.
[Thanks to Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service --ed.]
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