In the dwindling hours of Thursday evening men of 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment (known as the Vikings) made a considerable discovery of insurgent narcotics and supplies in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
The men of A (Norfolk) Company have been working closely with Afghan security forces since their arrival in Helmand in late March. The purpose of this operation was to stop insurgents threatening the protected communities in Nad-e Ali.
The sun was slowly rising as the men ran from the back of the Chinook helicopters early on Thursday morning. After a long march the men of 1 Platoon approached the group of compounds which intelligence had indentified as an area of interest. Sergeant Terry Johnson asked Corporal Jamie Seymour to secure the area as he spoke with a local elder.
Sergeant Johnson said. “I was content after liaising with the local elder that the area was quiet; as I made preparations to depart Private Liam Downes said he had made a find.
“We get tip-offs from the locals regularly. On this occasion we had no reason to expect this find was going to be anything special. I wanted to be happy that we weren’t missing anything else so I ordered the compound near the find to be searched.”
'Knock to the enemy'
The Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) had received a tip-off from locals on the location of a potential enemy hoard. The find that Private Downes had located emerged to be a fifty kilogram bag of explosives.
Inside the compound ISAF and NDS personnel located a 90 kilogram bag of opium, as well as equipment used for filtration of the drug.
Sergeant Johnson said. “The is a massive knock to the enemy. The opium has an estimated value of $60,000.”
Major Matt Woodeson, The Officer Commanding A (Norfolk) Company, said: “The boys did well, relying on their training and each other. With the cooperation of the local nationals and our Afghan partners we have dealt another blow to the insurgent cause.”