A joint Afghan and British team recently launched a pre-dawn raid on a Taliban compound, seizing an anti-tank weapon which had been used to target a British base.

Soldiers from the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, known as the Welsh Cavalry, joined forces with their Afghan counterparts to mount the operation to strike at insurgents who had been firing at the headquarters of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (2 MERCIAN) in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

The operation resulted in the seizure of a stash of munitions and the 82mm recoilless rifle, designed to smash through tank armour.

Intelligence reports received since the raid suggest that Taliban chiefs are furious at the loss of the weapon.

Surveillance assets run by 2 MERCIAN tracked the insurgents using the gun to an abandoned compound, where they hid the weapon before fleeing.

Afghan soldiers and British troops from the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) – led by the Queen’s Dragoon Guards – then planned a lightning assault to seize the weapon.

Helicopters carrying Afghan and British soldiers landed at the site in the winter pre-dawn gloom and as the British team sealed the compound the Afghans led the break-in.

The compound was quickly cleared, with the insurgents having already abandoned the area. The teams then set about searching for the anti-tank weapon.

First though they discovered a hidden weapons cache which included rocket-propelled grenades, a detonation cord, pressure plates and other improvised explosive device components, and seven grenade rounds.

Already satisfied with a substantial weapons seizure, they then hit the jackpot when they discovered the 82mm recoilless rifle and ammunition.

Captain Mike Gledhill, from the Royal Engineers, said the entire operation took less than an hour, with subsequent intelligence suggesting the insurgents were shocked at the speed of the assault. He added:

“This was one of the fastest operations that we have ever done and we were in and out before they had time to react.

“Denying the Taliban the chance to target our boys in the base was hugely satisfying and to get it done with no shots fired was even better.

“Reports we have received since the operation suggest that local insurgent leaders are furious at the loss of this weapon – and increasingly worried about their powerlessness to resist these types of raids.”

The Brigade Reconnaissance Force is Task Force Helmand’s eyes and ears across the British AOR.
Source:  UK MoD News
Pictures:  Sergeant Wes Calder, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012


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2 Responses to Afghan and British forces seize Taliban anti-tank weapon

  1. Dom Hyde says:

    “The operation resulted in the seizure of a stash of munitions and the 82mm recoilless rifle, designed to smash through tank armour”

    …. armour on obsolete tanks produced in the 1950s! The 82mm HEAT round this Chinese Type 65 fires has pretty pathetic penetration and would struggle against the front of a T54, let alone anything ISAF has. Anti-truck weapon would be a more accurate description.

    Gotta love military PR spin!

    • Strikehold says:

      LOL. They did say “designed to”, not “capable of”…. ;-)

      But at rate, I’m sure it would some damage to an APC as well as a truck – and would certainly mess up any kind of structure as well.

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