Afghan forces receive HIMARS support during the counter-terrorism operations
By Khaama Press - Sun Dec 17 2017, 3:52 pm
The US military officials in Afghanistan are saying that the Afghan national defense and security forces receive High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) support from the US forces during the counter-terrorism operations.
U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Ryan Crider, the Task Force Southwest HIMARS launch chief has said “Our mission is to have all-weather, 24-hour artillery support capability. Since HIMARS is the only weapon system that can do this, it provides fire support for any ANDSF personnel who need it.”
Since their arrival, the Marines operating the HIMARS have executed more than ten missions in support of Afghan forces, helping them kill enemy fighters, destroy Taliban IED manufacturing and drug processing facilities, and enhance security for the Helmand populace, according to a report by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins in Resolute Support Headquarters.
The report further adds that since their arrival, the Marines operating the HIMARS have executed more than ten missions in support of Afghan forces, helping them kill enemy fighters, destroy Taliban IED manufacturing and drug processing facilities, and enhance security for the Helmand populace.
“HIMARS is capable of ranges of out to 300 kilometers. It’s a highly mobile system that is very adaptable to any condition, and it provides [commanders] with… surface-to-surface all-weather fires in order to support our partners on the ground,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Justin Noone, the officer-in-charge of the HIMARS detachment.
According to the report, Helmand-based ANDSF relied solely on coalition and Afghan air assets to deliver explosives onto enemy locations during their operations prior to HIMARS arriving. By using GPS technology, HIMARS delivers highly-explosive rounds across the battlespace with precision, while also giving an alternative to air-to-ground fires capabilities.
“It’s allowed Task Force Southwest to shape the battlefield,” said Noone. “The Taliban used to be able to predict the targeting cycle, and with this artillery weapon system being surface-to-surface and firing in a different manner, it still brings a very lethal package and prevents the enemy from knowing our routine.”
This come as operations are underway in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan with main focus being the elimination of the financial sources of the Taliban group.
The U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Lance Bunch said last week that the Taliban group will face a very long winter as operations involving air campaign is underway against the group mainly focusing on financial resources of the group.
“Since the beginning of this campaign, we have eliminated 25 narcotics processing labs from the Taliban inventory. This equates to almost $80 million of drug money eliminated from the kingpins’ pockets, while denying over $16 million of direct revenue to their Taliban partners,” he told reporters in Pentagon via teleconference from Kabul.