Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Osborne lets a child who was medically evacuated from the Salang district area avalanche in Parwan province, write with his pen at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 9.
KABUL, Afghanistan (Feb. 9, 2010) — Afghan National Security Forces displayed well-coordinated procedures in rapidly responding to several natural disasters over the last two days, including avalanches and flooding, as ISAF forces provided assistance.
In the case of the multiple avalanches in the area of the Salang Tunnel in Parwan province, the main artery that connects the Kabul area with eastern parts of the country, the Afghan National Army transported more than 200 people to safety. Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAAC) crews and ISAF mentors flew several missions to rescue trapped motorists. Assisted by Afghan soldiers and police on the ground, the ANAAC rescued more than 70 trapped civilians, some of whom were injured, and transported them to Bagram Air Field.
ANAAC helicopters also delivered blankets and other humanitarian aid to the tunnel area based on reports from the tunnel commander of approximately 150 vehicles stranded.
In close coordination with the Afghan officials leading the rescue operations, ISAF air assets helped rescue stranded people as they landed CH 47 helicopters on the main highway several times and ferried stranded motorists to Bagram Air Field. Almost 250 Afghans were brought to Bagram Air Field where they were treated for injuries, provided food, shelter and warm blankets.
In Kandahar province, members of the ANA and ANP deployed to the Zharay district to provide relief for 800 villagers affected by flood waters. Helicopters flown by ANAAC pilots searched the area, rescued several civilians from an isolated village, and transported them to a temporary facility established by local officials to house and feed
In western Afghanistan, the ANA and ANP have coordinated with several international aid organizations to provide tents, clothes and food for affected villagers while the local corps commander used air assets to transport local civilians in Farah province. ISAF helicopter crews transported equipment to be used by ANSF to assist villagers.
"This is another example of the improving capability of the Afghan forces in responding and protecting citizens," said Brig. Gen. Luigi Scollo, ISAF Joint Command director of operations. "The Afghans have clearly been in the lead from planning through conducting the missions. The life-saving accomplishments on the Afghan National Security Forces were particularly noteworthy."