News story

British and Afghan troops destroy insurgent explosives cache

British and Afghan soldiers have destroyed a significant insurgent bomb cache in Helmand province.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Soldiers from 4th Mechanized Brigade maintain overwatch during the operation [Picture: Corporal Mike O'Neill RLC, Crown copyright]
Soldiers from 4th Mechanized Brigade maintain overwatch

Soldiers from the Queen’s Royal Lancers and the Household Cavalry Regiment worked shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues from the Afghan National Army during the operation, which marked a successful start to Operation Herrick 18.

The British soldiers are part of 1st Mechanized Brigade which took over from 4th Mechanized Brigade as Task Force Helmand on 10 April.

The operation was conducted jointly as part of a handover with the outgoing Brigade Reconnaissance Force made up of the Queen’s Royal Lancers and 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Acting on intelligence, soldiers from the 1st Mechanized Brigade Reconnaissance Force were inserted by helicopter at first light into a compound in the Nad ‘Ali region of Helmand.

Searching alongside Afghan troops they discovered over 200 kilograms of home-made explosives as well as a large quantity of remote controls and pressure plates used for triggering deadly improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The teams also found a motorbike packed with explosives intended to be used as a suicide bomb.

The 1st Mechanized Brigade Reconnaissance Force arrived in Afghanistan just last week and had only recently completed their pre-deployment training. The Force is made up of soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment and 4th Battalion The Rifles (4 RIFLES) as well as specialists from other units such as the Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery and the Intelligence Corps.

Initiation devices for improvised explosive devices
Initiation devices for improvised explosive devices found during the operation by the 1st Mechanized Brigade Reconnaissance Force [Picture: Crown copyright]

Corporal Dominic Purcell-Lee, 4 RIFLES, said:

This operation was a great opportunity to put our training into practice out on the ground. We are very well prepared and felt confident moving from the pre-deployment training to actual operations with our Afghan partners.

Major Adam Foden, Officer Commanding the outgoing 4th Mechanized Brigade Reconnaissance Force, said:

We have remained at high readiness for 7 months and have deployed 40 times, seizing 1,700 kilograms of insurgent explosives in all.

This operation enabled my officers and soldiers to hand over responsibility for our task and to make sure the new team are as ready as they can be for their role. It went completely to plan; we were on target for 3 hours and have had an impact on IED construction in the Nad ‘Ali area.

Published 8 May 2013