Patrolling and the bazaar
To gain the support of the locals, 3 RIFLES had to have a continuous visible presence on the ground. This meant leaving the relative safety of their Patrol Bases (PBs) to walk amongst the Afghan nationals. The majority of patrols were on foot; the nature of armoured patrol vehicles prevented soldiers from interacting on a personal basis.
The aim of the patrols was to secure the economic prosperity of the Sangin district, and this meant keeping the main trading space - the bazaar - free from Taliban influence. Working closely with the Afghan National Army and police, checkpoints were set-up on all roads leading to the bazaar; the aim being to force the Taliban out to outlying areas.
Patrols were the riskiest part of life for the Rifleman. The constant threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) forced patrols to keep on a path cleared by metal detector operators (Vallon men), and progress was often slow.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson
Lieutenant Colonel Kitson, the Commanding Officer of the 3 RIFLES Battle Group, explains his interpretation and application of the 'courageous restraint' principle.
Serjeant Gooding of 42 Field Squadron, 28 Field Regiment describes the basic equipment he carried on patrol with 3 RIFLES.
Captain Tim Illingworth
Captain Illingworth describes the skill involved in detecting IEDs.
Serjeant Kevin Foxton
Serjeant Foxton explains the importance of getting to know the locals and supporting farmers in growing crops that aren't poppies.
Rifleman Briggs recalls the highs and lows of vehicle patrols.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson #2
Lieutenant Colonel Kitson describes the importance of the bazaar in the 'battle for hearts and minds'.
Major Jonathan Haywood
Major Haywood describes the importance of Route 611 and the challenges faced in keeping it clear of IEDs.
Rifleman Johnston talks about the responsibility of being the 'Vallon Man' on patrol.
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