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British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
A major secret British operation to boost the economy in Afghanistan's Helmand province has been completed after a force of 5,000 troops fought for a week to drive a huge dam turbine through Taliban lines.
 
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent Last Updated: 4:46PM BST 02 Sep 2008
 Article Link

British commanders estimate that more than 200 Taliban were killed as they tried to prevent the convoy of 100 vehicles from getting the machinery to Kajaki hydroelectric dam where it will provide a significant increase in energy for up to two million Afghans.

The operation has been described as the biggest of its kind since the Second World War.

For the last five days the force has fought through the heart of Taliban territory to push through the 220 tonne turbine and other equipment that included a 90 tonne crane to lift it into place.

With a third turbine fixed at Kajaki it will mean that the extra electricity could double the irrigation output allowing farmers to plant two crops of wheat a year. With a dramatic rise in world wheat prices this could crucially mean that it becomes more profitable than producing opium which would deprive the Taliban of a major source of revenue.

Escorted by attack helicopters, armoured vehicles and men of the Parachute Regiment, the trucks trundled into Kajaki.

For the first 50 miles of its journey from the southern city of Kandahar the convoy was protected by American and Canadian troops. But for the second 50 mile leg through Taliban strongholds more than 3,000 British troops were needed to fight off the insurgents.

Lt Col Dave Wilson, of 23 Engineer Regiment, said the operation was the most significant "route clearance" operation since the Second World War with the sappers freeing the route of mines and improvised bombs.

"It was a huge achievement," said Lt Col Wilson. "It was carried out through some of the most heavily mined areas of Afghanistan."

While medics had prepared for casualties, commanders said there was only one wounded among the British, American, Canadian and Australian troops who took part in the operation - a British soldier was crushed when a trailer collapsed on him.

"As a template for the rest of this country, it's shown that when we want to, at a time and a place of our choosing, we can overmatch the Taliban, no question," said Lt Col James Learmont of 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery.

In order to win over villagers in some areas, British forces held meetings with locals to negotiate the convoy's passage, and paid $25,000 in compensation to one community for disruption.

The Taliban had agreed to maintain a ceasefire in some areas but violated the deal, British commanders said.

The Chinese-made turbine will be installed as part of a project funded by the American development agency USAID to increase the output of the Kajaki power plant.

Chinese engineers already on the ground will install the equipment, which will boost the capacity of the plant, built in 1975, to three turbines with an output of 51 MegaWatts. Around 1.8 million Afghans are expected to benefit from the project.

"The opposition said it would never happen but it did," said Lt Col Rufus MacNeil. "If you want a mark in the sand for Afghan reconstruction, then this is it."

The scale and complexity of the operation has given those serving under the 75,000-strong, NATO-led force in Afghanistan an opportunity to boast about cooperation at a time when critics say the coalition lacks strength and coherence.

The turbine, split into seven sections each weighing between 22 and 30 tonnes, was flown on Russian transport aircraft into Kandahar, once a Taliban stronghold in the south and now the headquarters for Canadian operations.

It was then put on giant trucks and began its voyage last Wednesday, travelling at barely 3 km an hour.
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Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2008, 12:29:13 »
This is exactly what was needed. This shows that when NATO gets their heads together the taliban are no match for professional armies who work together.

 A salute to all those involved! :salute:
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Offline Shadowolf

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2008, 12:31:39 »
This is the sort of news story I like to read.  Both afghan development and taliban whacking.  This is exactly what NATO is there for.    :salute:

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2008, 12:44:43 »
And here's NATO's version.....

Afghan and ISAF forces deliver a new turbine to Kajaki Dam
NATO news release #2008-455, 2 Sept 08
News release link



Photo credit:  UK MoD


In the early morning hours of September 2, Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) successfully delivered a new turbine to Kajaki Dam in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

The result of the operation will be a much needed increase in capacity to generate electrical power, which will create a better quality of life for Afghan people in southern Afghanistan.

The multinational convoy travelled 180km over road and desert tracks to reach its destination.  4,000 ANSF and ISAF troops were involved in the operation, including United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Denmark and Australia, providing security to the convoy and dominating the ground around it.

The project, supported by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA), is one part of the international community’s effort towards redevelopment in the southern region, and has been funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“Even though it was just one step in a much wider and more long-term reconstruction project, this operation clearly demonstrated ANSF and ISAF commitment to the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan,” says Major General Lessard, Commander of ISAF Regional Command South. “ANSF and ISAF believe that the population of Afghanistan are entitled to live in honour and dignity and will stay the course to help them to have a normal life,” he added.

“Despite the disruptive effort from the insurgents, we achieved our goal and delivered the new turbine to Kajaki Dam,” Major General Lessard stated “the insurgents’ efforts have not been successful. They will not win and are not winning in the southern region.”

This project demonstrates the long term commitment of GIRoA and ISAF to support development and growth in southern Afghanistan.


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Offline Nerf herder

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2008, 12:53:01 »
I never laughed so freaking hard in my life....Timmy thought they could stop them?

 :rofl:

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2008, 17:45:16 »
Here's to adding to the lives of ordinary Afghans. BZ!  Shame the MSM here would not like this story as it is good news for our side.  And too bad that only 200 were sent to their final reward (sfa), the more the merrier.

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2008, 17:58:19 »
Hello fellow content members,

Interesting article, thanks for posting.

WRT the media, yes, I doubt if this story would get much coverage, that is unless a stray bomb killed a child. Seems all the MSM wants these days in stories of blood and guts from collateral damage, or stray munitions, with the blame on Coalition Forces of course.

Hence my usual disgust for the media, who always go for the bad news, again sweying a story for their own twisted means and one sided agenda which is obvious.

Frankly I think a new dam which encourages more irrigation for future crops and a future for local farmers, plus all the machinery etc escorted thru the 'badlands', resulting in the En not stopping this development is a worthwhile story indeed.

Thanks Poms for doing your bit.


Happy days,

OWDU
« Last Edit: September 02, 2008, 18:09:54 by Overwatch Downunder »
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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2008, 18:03:12 »
Yup, won't see this one on CBC. The readership there has been making me feel ill lately...

BZ to all the troops involved. Sounds like a hell of an operation.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline pfl

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2008, 18:26:33 »
I cant understand why this story would not be in rotation on CTV Newsnet, or the National. This is a MAJOR victory in Afghanistan. Stupid bastards

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2008, 19:16:19 »
Yup, won't see this one on CBC.

I cant understand why this story would not be in rotation on CTV Newsnet, or the National.

If it does make it on the air, it'll never come close to the lead story because Canadians don't appear to have been involved.  To be fair, media are supposed to be interested in their neighbours and folks from their back yard.  For example, note the significant coverage in the Brit media, just over the past six hours or so:

"Taliban routed in dam victory"

Coalition troops brave minefields and Taliban attack to bring electricity to 1.8m Afghans

Mission impossible? Not for the Paras

Operation Eagle's Summit: the inside story of a daring foray into Taliban territory

Triumph for British forces in Boy's Own-style Kajaki mission

"Line in the Sand:  British derring-do in Afghanistan could change millions of lives"

Now, are there MSM reporters out there asking the question, "so, did Canadians help in any way?"  Are any PAffO's being allowed to do the reporters' homework and lay out how Canadians may have helped?  Good questions, if I do say so myself...
« Last Edit: September 02, 2008, 19:22:54 by milnews.ca »
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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2008, 11:37:34 »
<sarcasm>
I hope I made it easy enough to see where other reporters managed to start localizing the story for Canadian reporters.
</sarcasm>

Road to dam and salvation
Jeremy Page, The Australian, 4 Sept 08
Article link

Quote
IT was 2.30am when the convoy finally reached Camp Zeebrugge at Kajaki, crawling through the moonless night like a herd of prehistoric beasts, headlights peering into the dust ahead, brakes screeching at the stars above.

As attack helicopters circled overhead, and mortar rounds thumped in the distance, the first of the juggernauts came into sight: a 36-wheel, 34-tonne tank transporter carrying a shipping container plastered in Koranic verses. Then came another. And another. And more and more until the road through the camp was blocked by a procession of trucks, mine-clearers, bulldozers and armoured personnel carriers that stretched at times for more than 4km.


This was the moment when coalition troops from Britain, the US, Australia, Denmark, Canada and the Afghan national security force completed one of their most complex and daring operations since World War II: outfoxing the Taliban to deliver a giant new turbine to the Kajaki dam in the southern Afghanistan province of Helmand. In doing so they marked a turning point that NATO commanders hope will prove decisive in the battle for Afghan hearts and minds ....

More on link

Big turbine delivered to Afghan aid project
JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press via Townhall.com, 3 Sept 08
Article link

Quote
....British, U.S. and Canadian troops escorted the hulking machine as it traveled 110 miles from Kandahar city to the site of the Kajaki dam project _ the largest American aid project in Afghanistan _ in neighboring Helmand province. The province is the most violent region in the country.....

Edited to add first Canadian MSM reference with the Canadian angle in the lead (031138EDT Sept 08):
"Canadian troops help escort dam turbine through Taliban territory" (Note their information is from the Associated Press)
« Last Edit: September 03, 2008, 12:11:12 by milnews.ca »
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Offline retiredgrunt45

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2008, 12:36:57 »
Seen it on the CBC national last night, Mansbridge did a fair job about giving it some decent air time.

CTV aired it for about 20 seconds and gave it no more thought than a footnote. ::) Wankers!
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Canadian troops help escort dam turbine through Taliban territory
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2008, 12:51:14 »
Canadian troops help escort dam turbine through Taliban territory
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 | 11:38 AM ET
The Associated Press
The Canadian Forces helped successfully escort a new turbine through some of Afghanistan's most dangerous territory to an American-built dam that would increase electrical production to the country's south, NATO said Wednesday.

Some 4,000 Canadian, U.S. and British troops guarded the turbine as it travelled almost 180 kilometres from the city of Kandahar to the site of the Kajaki dam project — the largest U.S. aid project in Afghanistan — in the neighbouring province of Helmand.

"The result of the operation will be a much-needed increase in capacity to generate electrical power, which will create a better quality of life for Afghan people in southern Afghanistan," NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

Troops from Denmark, Australia and Afghanistan also took part. The turbine arrived in Kajaki on Tuesday.

Maj.-Gen. J.G.M. Lessard, the Canadian commander of NATO troops in southern Afghanistan, said the security mission to protect the turbine "clearly demonstrated" NATO's and the Afghan government's commitment to reconstruction.

"Despite the disruptive effort from the insurgents, we achieved our goal and delivered the new turbine," Lessard said.

"The insurgents' efforts have not been successful. They will not win and are not winning in the southern region."

The southwestern province of Helmand, where the dam is situated, is firmly in Taliban control and grows more opium poppies than any other place in the world. (Although in May 2001, when the Taliban was still in power before the U.S.-led invasion later that year, the U.S. government gave it $43 million US in aid for having banned opium growing.)

Reports said a convoy of 100 vehicles and dozens of attack helicopters and fighter jets escorted the turbine.

Western officials have long fretted they would not be able to deliver the turbine safely through the Taliban-held land.

More infrastructure required
The Kajaki hydroelectric dam has the potential to provide Afghanistan with six per cent of its power.

The dam was originally built in the 1950s to help Afghan farmers irrigate their fields. U.S. crews returned to Kajaki in the 1970s and installed two turbines.

In recent months, one turbine has been working but a second has been offline for repairs. A hole sat in between those two turbines where the third is to be installed.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. government's aid arm, has said the cost for refurbishing the two existing turbines and for the purchase of the third is $51 million US.

The region also needs new transmission lines to carry the increased power to Kandahar and Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand. That will cost more than $77 million.

At full capacity, the three turbines together can provide southern Afghanistan with 51 megawatts of power, said John Shepard, an engineer from Tucson, Ariz., who has been working on the Kajaki project since 2004.

Afghanistan's current electricity-generating capacity is about 770 megawatts, mostly from small, individual power grids that service local communities.

By comparison, Canada has about 120,000 megawatts of generating capacity.

© The Canadian Press, 2008
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Offline pfl

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Re: British soldiers kill 200 Taliban in Afghan dam operation
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2008, 12:59:49 »
Seen it on the CBC national last night, Mansbridge did a fair job about giving it some decent air time.

CTV aired it for about 20 seconds and gave it no more thought than a footnote. ::) Wankers!
Damn I was watching the National last night and must have missed the 30 sec bit they did on this story. Sat through all the school report card blah blah blah oh well. Lets see if its on the website. War Canada

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Re: Canadian troops help escort dam turbine through Taliban territory
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2008, 19:08:42 »
Glad to see the Canucks were in the fray.

Happy to see this turbine make its way in one piece.
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Canadian troops help escort dam turbine through Taliban territory
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2008, 21:13:35 »
Great Yon article about this joint op and there are a number of pic's. :)
I wont paste the article because its best viewed at the link.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/

Can’t score unless you shoot: Canadian Forces at Kandahar Air Field.

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Latest from Yon on Kajaki: Not great news
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 11:57:28 »
Resurrecting necropost with relevant new information...

Hate to be the messenger, but if blogger Michael Yon is to be believed, it doesn't seem to be going well at Kajaki these days:
Quote
The British are protecting Kajaki Dam but otherwise it’s just a big fight and no progress is being made. The turbine delivery to the dam, which I wrote about last year, was a tremendous success. Efforts to get the turbine online have been an equally tremendous failure. Bottom line: the project to restore the electrical capacity from Kajaki Dam is failing and likely will require multi-national intervention to bring it online and to push back the enemy .... The Taliban is in complete and uncontested control of the nearby power station. We don’t even have enough soldiers to take and hold the power station, and so the enemy controls the on/off switch, and they charge locals for power. While we generate electricity up at Kajaki, the Taliban makes money off it. It’s no wonder why the Taliban laugh at the idea of negotiating...

And there's still folks out there saying, "oh, the West should be doing reconstruction and development work WITHOUT military protection"?  Here's why you need BOTH shovels and bayonets....
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Offline wildman0101

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pommie
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2009, 21:08:27 »
Meaning #1: (Australian and New Zealand) a disparaging/deragatory term for English immigrants to Australia or New Zealand

http://dictionary.babylon.com/Pommy
pommy
n. (offensive term used in Australia or New Zealand) British person (especially new British immigrant)

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/805040
pommy - Someone from the British Isles. There are a number of explanations but the most common are: Pomegrante for the ruddy cheeks of British immigrants; the acronym P.O.M.E. stamped on early convicts' clothing, which stood for Prisoner of Mother England. Also, a pommy ******* is someone from Pommyland or Pomgolia - Great Britain.

http://www.amazingaustralia.com.au/language.htm

Pommie ******* - an English person

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pommie

http://www.theanswerbank.co.uk/Phrases-and-Sayings/Question51423.htmlThe phrase is spelt 'POME' It is a derisive term used by our Antipidean friends to describe an Englishman. It derives from the old days of deportation in irons to Australia. Prisoners were forced to wear clothing with the letters 'POME' on it. This stands for 'Prisoner Of Mother England'Since most of the prisoners who didn't die quickly became fathers of Aussie children this terms should best be levelled at Aussies and not Englishmen!!
 

lambsbell   (04:32 02-Aug-2004)
actually it ain't an english man but it is actually slang for an australian personThe phrase is spelt 'POME' It is a derisive term used by our Antipidean friends to describe an Englishman. It derives from the old days of deportation in irons to Australia. Prisoners were forced to wear clothing with the letters 'POME' on it. This stands for 'Prisoner Of Mother England'Since most of the prisoners who didn't die quickly became fathers of Aussie children this terms should best be levelled at Aussies and not Englishmen!!
 

lambsbell   (04:32 02-Aug-2004)
actually it ain't an english man but it is actually slang for an australian person
 
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The latest: Work on Kajaki Dam on hold
« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 13:58:02 »
This from The Guardian:
Quote
.... Now the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the wing of the United States government which has so far pumped $47m (£29m) into the project, intended to electrify much of southern Afghanistan, says it is packing the turbine parts away and looking for other energy projects to invest in across Afghanistan.

"Our message is that until we have a secure road we cannot continue with the installation of turbine two," said John Smith-Sreen, head of energy and water projects for USAID in Kabul.

"When the turbine was moved in by British and American forces it was a huge effort and it was done in a point of time. But we can't move in the large quantity of cement and aggregate that we need in a point of time, we need a sustained effort," he said.

The road would need to be secured for about half a year.

While the cement required could probably be transported in around half that time, civilian contractors would need to see the road had been secured for about three months to attract them to the project, Smith-Sreen said.

He added that CMIC, a Chinese company contracted to install the turbine, "left due to security concerns overnight" when it was clear that the road would not be secured. The agency has not been able to find another subcontractor prepared to do the work ....

Sigh....
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Re: Canadian troops help escort dam turbine through Taliban territory
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2010, 12:26:45 »
According to the Telegraph (UK), route's still not secure enough....
Quote
The materials needed to complete the project to bring power to southern Afghanistan cannot be delivered because British troops have been unable to secure the roads through the Taliban stranglehold on the Sangin Valley and the convoys fear attack.

The machinery is packed in containers at the Kajaki dam. Power lines and a substation have also yet to be refurbished to carry the electricity, the British commander of international forces in southern Afghanistan told The Daily Telegraph.
 
(....)

Four thousand Nato troops, including 3,000 British, escorted the two-and-a-half mile, 100-vehicle convoy, in Britain's largest route clearance operation since the Second World War.

Two hundred militant fighters were killed during the operation and Gordon Brown said the mission was a reminder of Nato's "fundamental purpose" in Afghanistan.

Since then not one construction convoy has been able to travel the route according to the American aid official in charge of the dam project.

Major General Nick Carter said costly and inefficient farms of diesel generators would now be needed to power the critical southern city of Kandahar until the road from Durai in Helmand province, through Sangin to the dam, was made safe ....
Messy AND expensive.... sigh
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