Tulsa-Based National Guard Unit Making Headway In Afghanistan

Friday, November 11th 2011, 11:30 am
By: News On 6

A number of Oklahoma National Guard soldiers are at forefront of a major clearing operation in Zormat district in the Paktya province of Afghanistan.

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry are a part of a larger operation to deny insurgent freedom of movement throughout the province.

Almost 200 soldiers from the Afghan National Army, Afghan Uniformed Police and Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry cleared historic weapons caches and targeted known locations of insurgent leaders.

The Afghan National Security Forces led the operation from the planning to the execution. Soldiers of the 279th played a supporting role in the successful operation.

"Our partnership with the ANSF has been very beneficial over the past few months," said 1st Lt. Joshua Starks of Tulsa, commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 279th Infantry.

"If they continue to develop and progress at this rate, I'm [confident] they'll have no trouble maintaining security in the district."

On the first day of the operation, Gardez City, the capital of Paktya, was rocked by a Vehicle Born Improvised Explosive Device and a coordinated attack by three insurgents. Afghan Police reacted quickly, killing all three would-be suicide bombers.