Gunners in dawn raid on Taliban bomb makers

Headline : II Squadron Osprey Insert - Op Backfoot''''Picture By : Corporal Andy Benson (RAF)''''Sunrise, members of II Squadron RAF Regiment and the US Marine Corps board US Osprey Aircraft at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. The Coalition troops deploy on Operation Backfoot, a combined operation to disrupt insurgent activity in Helmand province.''06 February 2012.''''RAF REGIMENT SQUADRON SPEARHEADS ISAF OPERATION AGAINST TALIBAN BOMBMAKERS  ''''A Joint UK/US/Afghan operation south of Bastion Airfield involving 2 Squadron, RAF Regiment, has found and destroyed a large cache of Taliban IED-making equipment which was ready to be used in attacks against Afghan and ISAF forces.''''Operation Dishata Pasha (Pashtu for Backfoot) was launched at dawn on Monday (Feb 6), with RAF Regiment troops under command of Sqn Ldr Jules Weekes (33), Officer Commanding 2 Sqn, RAF Regiment.  The force also included warriors from Afghan Army's 3rd Brigade and US Marines from 2 Marine Expeditionary Force.''''The force deployed by US Ospr
Headline : II Squadron Osprey Insert - Op Backfoot''''Picture By : Corporal Andy Benson (RAF)''''Sunrise, members of II Squadron RAF Regiment and the US Marine Corps board US Osprey Aircraft at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. The Coalition troops deploy on Operation Backfoot, a combined operation to disrupt insurgent activity in Helmand province.''06 February 2012.''''RAF REGIMENT SQUADRON SPEARHEADS ISAF OPERATION AGAINST TALIBAN BOMBMAKERS ''''A Joint UK/US/Afghan operation south of Bastion Airfield involving 2 Squadron, RAF Regiment, has found and destroyed a large cache of Taliban IED-making equipment which was ready to be used in attacks against Afghan and ISAF forces.''''Operation Dishata Pasha (Pashtu for Backfoot) was launched at dawn on Monday (Feb 6), with RAF Regiment troops under command of Sqn Ldr Jules Weekes (33), Officer Commanding 2 Sqn, RAF Regiment. The force also included warriors from Afghan Army's 3rd Brigade and US Marines from 2 Marine Expeditionary Force.''''The force deployed by US Ospr
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PICTURES were released this week of a dawn raid in which RAF Honington gunners helped to capture Taliban bombs.

Members of 2 Squadron RAF Regiment, with Afghan forces and US Marines, were airlifted in two of the Marines’ unique tilt-engine Osprey aircraft which combine the abilities of helicopters and fixed-wing aeroplanes.

Wing Commander Jason Sutton, commander of 3 RAF Force Protection Wing, said: “The open approaches to this area mean it is hard to gain the element of surprise. However, by using Ospreys to approach rapidly from an unexpected direction, the operation managed to achieve it.

“The RAF Regiment’s role is to defend airbases and those who operate from them, but the old adage of attack being the best form of defence remains as true today as ever. It disrupts the insurgents’ attempts to attack Bastion,”

The Taliban fought back but allied ground forces were supported by Wattisham-based Apache and US Marine Cobra helicopters plus ‘a show of force from an F18 jet’.

Sqn Ldr Jules Weekes, officer commanding 2 Squadron, said: “There is a certain dynamic to Taliban activities in this area.They operate in small teams of five or six, travelling by motorbike.”

As well as gaining vital intelligence the operation found a substantial IED cache, including bomb-making equipment, mines and several complete IEDs.