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THE RED SCORPIONS ASSIST THE ELECTIONS IN AFGHANISTAN


The 26th Infantry Battalion “Neagoe Basarab” was deployed to Afghanistan within a NATO-led force set up with a view to assisting the elections in Afghanistan. Alongside 1,600 troops from nine, countries, mostly NATO, the battalion watches over the election process to be carried out under normal conditions.

About 12.5 million Afghan citizens are expected to vote their representatives in the National Assembly and in the 34 provincial councils.

The task of the Romanian troops, the “Red Scorpions”, is to assist the Afghan armed forces and police in securing a favourable environment for the elections.

The “Red Scorpions”, who include an American company, the ”US Dragon”, conducted, alongside troops from the other contributing countries, training exercises meant to familiarize them with the entire area of operations, with the specific operational procedures and standards.

Their preparations for the mission also involved briefings on the general situation in the area of responsibility and on the main threats, training exercises for actions in case of finding explosive materials, solving the issues related to the cooperation with participating forces, to the medical evacuation procedures. They exercised practical drills in the firing range, joint-squad reconnaissance in the areas of responsibility, of main routes of access, of important assets, such as embassies, the President’s palace, ministries, institutions, vote centers.

Since they arrived in the theatre of operations, one month and a half ago, the Romanian military conducted more than 300 missions in both the battalion’s area of responsibility and the main traffic route in the area of Kabul. They mainly consisted of patrol missions, force protection, personnel and convoy escort, perimeter security. About 200 troops were engaged daily in fulfilling these missions and the battalion’s armoured vehicles ran distances that amounted to 25,500 kilometers.

Since they were deployed in the Afghan Capital, the Romanian military were visited by U.S. generals James L. JONES, Commander of SACEUR, B. B. Bell, Commander of Allied Land Forces, Europe, also by the Commander of ISAF VIII, Lieutenant General Mauro DEL VECCHIO, the Commander of the Multinational Brigade, Kabul, Brigade General Claudio GRAZIANO. General Graziano accompanied the Romanian military during a patrol and reconnaissance mission in their area of responsibility.

The generals who visited the Romanian battalion deployed in Kabul appreciated Romania’s efforts in the fight against terrorism and the fact that this country contributes with troops in all theatres of operations worldwide.

The 26th Infantry Battalion was set up on September 15, 1994, at Craiova, by the reorganization of the 26th Mechanised Regiment "Rovine”. It was assigned to various missions in Angola (1996), Albania (1997), Kosovo (2002), Afghanistan (2002) and Iraq (2004). The battalion’s military also took part in exercises at home and abroad (Greece, USA, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo). Most of the 400-strong battalion deployed now in Kabul also took part in missions in Afghanistan (July 2002 – January 2003) and in Iraq (January - July 2004).

Besides the 26th Infantry Battalion, the Romanian Armed Forces participates in Afghanistan with about 550 more troops, out of which 80 are included in the NATO-led ISAF and 470 in the US-led "Enduring Freedom" operation.

Romanian staff officers, military police, air traffic controllers, intelligence and military officers participate, within ISAF, to the projects aimed at the reconstruction of the provinces.

The Romanian military that take part in "Enduring Freedom" operation in the Kandahar area conduct surveillance and protection of forces or of operations areas, assist in humanitarian or reconstruction operations, participate in the Afghan Armed Forces’ training process.


MoND Press Office

 

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Actualizare: 16.08.2017