first published on December 19, 2017 by Josh
Army Gen. John W. Nicholson, commander of NATO’s Resolute Support mission and commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan has briefed the press on their actions over the last 90-days. Since new orders came down from higher echelons of command, members of Operation Resolute Support have been able to take the gloves off and really take the fight to the Taliban in Afghanistan. These new offensive operations have been followed with many releases of kinetic airstrikes conducted by F16s, F/A18s, and F22 Raptors. Also, drone footage of successful M142 HIMAR strikes have been released into the public domain, showing that the Taliban will be getting no more love taps from the forces they are dancing with in Helmand province.
On top of this, the ground commanders of the ANDSF have been ramping up their own operations under renewed air-support from Resolute Support. The re-invigorated Afghan National Defense and Security Force has been making bold moves into the Helmand Province. Their operations have been conducted to re-secure ground that was lost shortly after the United States stopped having a large foot print on the ground in the area.
In the same press briefing held by Gen. John W. Nicholson, he stated that the offensive operations in Afghanistan primarily continue to focus on Northern Helmand Province, and will continue to support ANDSF ground operations, while crippling the Taliban revenue streams from drug labs. Helmand Province has been known as the epicenter for Taliban activity for the past few years, and as NATO ground operations in the area dwindled, Taliban forces were able to recapture ground using specialized units like Red Group, and their conventional fighters that have been operating in the area for a long period of time.
These increased offensive operations are a continuing story, and will develop more and more as time passes. Going into 2018, Resolute Support plans to expand their support for the ground operations being conducted by the ANDSF to further cripple the Taliban, and help place the entire country of Afghanistan back under government control. As of this writing, it is estimated that 2/3 of the country of Afghanistan is fully under government control, while the remaining 1/3 is under Taliban control. Of that 1/3 in Taliban control, Gen. Nicholson estimates that roughly 25% of the area is being directly contested by Afghan ground operations, with that number growing exponentially daily as the government deploys troops throughout the war-torn nation. This expansion of ground operations by the ANDSF is a direct result of Resolute Support air support.
In the video below, we see one of Operation Resolute Support’s airstrike being conducted against a Taliban narcotics facility in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. It is believed that in the night this strike was conducted, over 4 million dollars of Taliban revenue was destroyed. This strike was conducted by carrier based U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets, and was just one of many included in the strike package that the pilots conducted on December, 7th, 2017.
Happy flying boys. No more love taps.