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Contact: fighting alongside the Afghan Army and Police

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Uploaded on Mar 8, 2010

Filmed and edited by Major Paul Smyth

The patrol started off just like any other from Patrol Base Shaheed (2.5 Km North East of Showal) on Thursday 4 March 2010. The Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police were in the lead as they are for most of the patrols in the area. As usual they had with them a handful of British soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, there to offer support if needed.

Patrol Base Shaheed was set up following Operation Moshtarak which took place just over three weeks ago. It was the largest air assault in Helmand since the campaign started in 2001.

Patrolling in the green zone, the soldiers were out to dominate the ground taken during the operation which took place just three weeks ago.

An hour into the patrol the tranquility was shattered just after the Afghan Security Forces left a compound where they had been talking to village elders.

Insurgents opened up on the rear of patrol from a few hundred meters away using neighboring compounds for cover. The patrol took cover in an irrigation ditch observing the insurgents movements and returning fire.

Using the ANA and ANP to suppress the insurgents the British troops moved location to join up with the ANA and ANP commanders. While the Afghans kept the insurgents pinned down the British patrol commander Lieutenant Adam Libby called in surveillance aircraft to monitor the insurgents movements as well as a show of force.

Within minutes a US fast jet was flying in within a few hundred feet of the ground, dropping flares to send out a very clear message to the insurgents that the patrol on the ground had some very significant firepower to call on if needed.

The key to this firefight was to use just the right amount of force to suppress the insurgents and minimise damage to the area. All around us farmers and their families were tending to their crops and going about their day as usual.

With aircraft up in the sky monitoring the situation the patrol headed back to base knowing that the insurgents every move was being tracked.

Commenting on the way the soldiers reacted during the fight, Lieutenant Adam Libby from B Company, 1 Royal Welsh said, My lads reacted well and got on with what they had to do. The Afghans need a bit of direction but they are brave and willing to fight and there enthusiasm goes a long way. They did well today, pushing back the insurgents and sending them a pretty clear message that they are not welcome here in Shaheed.

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