PUTTING his life on the line for his country, South Yorkshire soldier Jamie Oldham prepares to enter a compound in Afghanistan looking for bomb factories and evidence of insurgent activity.
The 24-year-old corporal, of 3 Yorkshire Regiment, speaks on his radio as he prepares to enter the compound in the Yakhchal area of Helmand Province as part of Operation New Roz - New Day in Dari.
Cpl Oldham, of Rotherham, lost colleagues in an IED blast on their Warrior armoured vehicle two weeks ago. An explosion killed six soldiers.
He is among the UK troops helping the Afghan National Security Force clear Taliban fighters from an area traditionally regarded as a stronghold for the insurgency.
Afghan National Security Forces moved into the area on while coalition troops set up observation posts on high ground over the Yakchal valley.
A number of improvised explosive devices were discovered during the searches.
Second Lieutenant Chris Trezise, helping to oversee the operation, said: “The drive was the result of preparatory work to empower Afghan forces and give them the tools to do it for themselves.
“The objective is to carry out an ANSF clearance operation, with the Afghan National Army clearing north to south and the Afghan National Civil Order Police preventing insurgents fleeing southwards.
“The clearance is going well although it is not yet complete. Troops on the ground did not meet much small arms fire but the ANA have found a number of IEDs and suicide vests.
“The Afghan forces are doing very well. We’ve given them their tasks and they have gone about them very professionally.”
The coalition troops are preparing to withdraw in 2014.