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American Forces Press Service

Partners Battle Terrorism in Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Region

American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Feb. 12, 2007 – Afghan, Pakistani and NATO forces in the International Security Assistance Force are actively thwarting terrorism along the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan through communication, coordination and cooperation.

“When conducting combat operations, we use our technology, training and experience to minimize the risk to friendly forces. Unfortunately, we’re fighting an enemy that chooses to operate in the border areas between Pakistan and Afghanistan, therefore close coordination is required,” Army Brig. Gen. Joseph Votel, Regional Command East deputy commanding general for operations, said. “We are working continuously to improve information sharing, communication and coordination between all our forces.”

Similar coordination recently prevented a planned rocket attack against a forward operating base near the border, Votel said.

Senior Afghan, Pakistani and ISAF military leaders regularly meet to discuss security operations and concerns, said Army Maj. Isaac Battle, a planner with Regional Command East. These meetings, called Border Security Subcommittee Meetings, are a subset to the Tripartite Commission.

The Border Security Subcommittee Meetings initiative was established by Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to address border security issues, Battle said. Tactical commanders routinely meet to discuss specific details and coordination. Direct coordination and communication is essential to reducing risk to all forces in the area, Votel said.

When artillery fire or air strikes are used to interdict insurgents, careful, rapid coordination is necessary. Maximum use is made of technology to ensure precision and accuracy of fires, Votel said. If incidents do occur between friendly forces, joint investigations or reviews are conducted to find out what happened and make the right fixes. These reviews help us improve procedures and build confidence in each other, he said.

(From a NATO International Security Assistance Force news release.)

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