The force attacked the Taliban position, killing a commander and two fighters. “What we have to do out here is kill low-level commanders, that’s the key. But we are not some hunter-killer force, we are here to find the enemy, gather information and then it’s up to others what to do with it.”The Daily Telegraph joined the BRF for a mission into an area, whose location cannot be disclosed, that is known to harbour Taliban commanders and bomb-ferrying routes. Setting out in a fast-moving column of Jackal off-road vehicles that, while vulnerable to bombs, can drive across difficult terrain avoiding ambushes, we left in darkness using night vision goggles to navigate.Mounted with grenade launchers and .50 calibre heavy machine guns, the Jackals swept through to a compound where intelligence had suggested arms were hidden. Accompanied by Afghan commandos, the soldiers found an AK47 and Makarov pistol and the compound owner was detained. In another home, three pairs of handcuffs, a cosh and binoculars were found in a haystack.Along a narrow dirt road, BRF soldiers stopped vehicles driving close to the area targeted by Operation Moshtarak.
The 100-strong BRF, which is similar to the Parachute Regiment’s Pathfinders, was formed specifically for the six month tour and takes in men from 12 different regiments who have passed a selection course that has a 50 per cent failure rate. “We operate behind enemy lines where ground holding troops cannot go,” said Capt Robin BourneTaylor, a BRF troop commander. “Our job is to disrupt, screen and find the enemy.”