SOUNDBITE: (English) Brigadier Rodger Lane, head of 3 commando:
5. "When I arrived I said I would declare any initial operating capability in mid April. Today I can confirm that we have achieved that initial operational capability, indeed today there are a significant number of 3 commando brigade operating in the mountains of Afghanistan with coalition partners, when we arrived it was clear that the war against Afghanistan was not yet over. The hunt for al-Qaida, Taliban goes on. We said we would be in for the long-haul, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States and our other coalition allies in the global war on terrorism, and that is exactly what we are doing."
6. Cutaway journalists
Bagram - 15 April 2002
7. Wide shot troops marching towards runway ready to join mission
Hundreds of British, American and Afghan soldiers are on a new mission, in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, to wipe out the remaining al-Qaida and Taliban forces, still believed to be hiding there.
Coalition officials announced on Tuesday that the troops had moved into an area that was formerly a base for al-Qaida and Taliban forces.
Soldiers will destroy any al-Qaida or Taliban in the region and ensure coalition control of the area, according to military officials.
The mission, which began several days ago, marked the official start of combat operations for the main British fighting force, 3 Commando and 45 Commando of the Royal Marines.
Brigadier Rodger Lane, head of 3 Commando, said that the operation illustrated Britain's continued commitment to the global war on terrorism.
British troops have been operating in smaller groups since late last year, but the bulk of their 1,700 combat troops have only arrived in Afghanistan in recent weeks.
US military officials wouldn't say how many American soldiers were involved in the mission, but acknowledged that it was the first large-scale combat operation for troops since Operation Anaconda, in early March.