The politicians have sent them to
a war Norway officially does not fight. To fight an enemy that tries
to kill the Norwegian soldiers. This is the second time
in three days we go out with – – the soldiers from
Telemark Battalion in Afghanistan. And the second time we
witness them getting in combat. Fire on probabilities, Kevin!
RPG’s are fired on the Norwegian vehicles.
The attack is immediately answered. Get me a case of ammunition!
Enemy spots us from left side. Received machinegun, small arms
and RPG fire against the column. Was there risk for personal injury today? There is always risk when we are involved
in combat so you can safely say that. Do you know if your side hit anybody? It is hard to tell, we weren’t in the area
we fired on but we saw hits inside enemy positions – – so I assume that, yes. What the soldiers from Telemark Battalion
have done now is that they – – have grouped on ridges and hilltops in the
area to try and find out where the enemy ran. Requesting to attack north.
We are most probably going to attack
a ridge that is located over there. We have had observation on
enemy activity in the area below. Want you to push past that ridge, –
– where they had observation contact
in order to gain control west and south.
Another attack is directed against the
Norwegian soldiers, this time with lighter weapons. Be ready to disembark! The soldiers enemies quickly get out of the area. A search is initiated and air support
requested without anybody being found. On most missions of this kind
we get some kind of combat contact. We are on the way north in Faryab province
with soldiers from Telemark Battalion. The soldiers mission is to assist the Afghans
with security in connection with – – several border police stations being dismantled.
Somewhere here passes the Turkmenistan border. It is this terrain the border police
are supposed to monitor. A hopeless task. There are several miles
from this station to the next. They are being closed down so that focus can be
moved to better control over villages by the border. The stations are destroyed so that they
won’t be to any use for the enemy. Friendly units in Khwaja Gawhar are
under attack from multiple directions.
We will immediately push towards
Khwaja Gawhar for attack.
On the way back to camp the soldiers we were with
got redirected to another area – – to assist Afghan forces and their Norwegian
advisors who was under fire from enemy forces. 3, this is 1. Fighting right.
Friendly units engaged in combat and
received fire further down south by small arms, – – and in addition the front part
of the column went into an ambush. 1-8. 1-1. We have
friendly planes on the way to bomb.
On the anniversary for the historical
moment the night of April 9th, – – ended Norwegian soldiers up in battle. At the same time we had Afghan National Army and
American forces that was under fire from a ridge, – – which we fired on with indirect/direct fire. They don’t know if they killed or
injured enemy soldiers during the battles. For the soldiers it is first and foremost about
taking out a threat and coming back home alive. You stop up often and wonder if you have been hit,
because you can’t understand – – how they haven’t hit you yet,
because they hit everything else but you. Emil was team leader for one of the teams
that came in battle on Afghan New Year’s Eve. It was dramatic when the
Norwegian soldiers came under fire. Bullets pelted around the cars, the sound of
bullets whizzed by our top covers ears, – – they start hitting our cars. We also notice
when we disembark to coordinate they – – move their fire to
personnel on the ground. Here storm Emils men into a building
to stop the enemy. You know you must go inside
the buildings to get to them. It is dangerous to be Norwegian
soldier in Afghanistan. They are now in battle almost daily. Monday was 22 year old
Claes Joachim Olsson killed. We see and have reports that there is
increased numbers of insurgents – – in the Pashtun belt now and it looks
like they are better organized than before. Norwegian soldiers are more often than
before sent out on offensive missions. The soldiers that have been several
times before in Afghanistan are clear – – that it has become
much more dangerous to be here. 9-Sierra 3-Papa. I have been to Afghanistan several times
and what I have experienced on the ground – – the last two months, nothing comes
close in intensity and scope – – that we are now in several times a week. Reinforcements are on the way
to the Norwegians in Faryab. The province is about to get an increase
of 1000 American and 1500 Afghan soldiers. Things are going it looks like
in the wrong direction, – – with that said the force increase in 2010 may
make a difference and turn it to the better again. Inside the vehicle I can
only hear a … very loud bang. Then we see the dust cloud. I see right away that it is the CV90
belonging to Jokke, Stian and Andreas. It takes half a second before my
top cover shouts contact IED. IED is the abbreviation for the bomb that
killed 22 year old Claes Joachim Olsson. Espen is second lieutenant and was
Olssons team leader and closest superior. For the first time he now
talks about the dramatic attack. We can’t hear the vehicle on the net.
I don’t hear Stian on coms. So I realize right away they are either
unconscious or their coms are down. But then the team leader drives by and links
up with Stian who is the vehicle commander. And goes on the coms and reports that gunner
and commander is ok, but Jokke is likely dead. Rune Wenneberg is the commander for
Telemark Battalion that is serving in Afghanistan. He was also there when Olsson was killed and
strongly feels his responsibility for the soldiers. Sometime later, one hour, when i call back
to explain the circumstances – – I start feeling this is not good. I feel this is something very difficult,
the worst thing you can experience as commander. The Norwegian soldiers in northern Afghanistan
are increasingly often exposed to attacks. They are prepared that it can get worse
and that they may lose more men. In the long term I’m confident
we will get control on this, – – but in short term I think it will get
considerably worse before it gets better. We had as goal to get everyone home but we knew
that was going to be though down here. But it is of course damn fucking sad.