KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Nearly 100 French soldiers from the French Task Force La Fayette supported an operation led by the Afghan National Security Forces, at the junction of the three valleys of Afghanya, Ghayn and Pacha Ghan in Kapisa Province, Sept. 3, 2012.
Operation Gyrfalcon 21 was intended to hold a shura (traditional assembly) in order to bring together the leaders of the Afghan Local Police of the three valleys and to distribute supplies to a local school in the village of Garay. The plan was for the French soldiers to recognize the route, to support ANSF and to secure the return at Nijrab Forward Operating Base.
This operation was planned and conducted by the 33rd Kandak of the Afghan National Army, advised by its French military advisory team. A unit from the Battle Group Steel, elements of the French Helicopter Battalion in Kabul and a sapper detachment intervened in support of the ANSF.
The sapper platoon cleared the road up to the crossroads of the three valleys. During a dismounted reconnaissance, an engineer identified a suspicious object. The sappers then employed robots to detect and neutralize an improvised explosive device. The soldiers of BG Steel were then placed along the route to secure the progress of the ANA to the crossroads.
Chaired by Afghan Col. Jilani, head of the 33rd Kandak, the shura brought together the ALP chiefs of the three valleys to focus on the security situation in their area. In conjunction with the shura, the 33rd Kandak distributed educational materials: tables, notebooks and pens provided by the French soldiers to the local school. These local actions contribute to the integration of the Afghan security forces in their environment and maintain good relations between them and the population.
Gyrfalcon 21 confirmed the ability of ANSF to assume the different stages of an operation (plan and conduct) independently. It has also shown good operational cooperation between the ANA and Afghan polices, essential for the security of the Afghan people in the area. French troops stay in support of the operations led by the ANA in Kapisa.