50 graduate Fatima Girls High School

Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)

Polish and US Forces bond through weapons

Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)

TF Duke Soldiers volley for peace

U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)

Nurgaram District leaders electrify Nangaresh schools

Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)

10th CAB Soldiers bring communications to Bagram’s east side

U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)

ANA, Red Bulls search Parwai during Operation Brass Monkey

An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)

Female engagement teams trained to aid communication with Afghan women

U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)

ANA, TF Storm break trail, make difference in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)

Ky. ADT II begins Panjshir sheep parasite project

Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)

Engineer Soldiers deliver aid to Afghans

An Afghan carrying a child approaches U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Peter Moeller of Atkins, Iowa, a medic with Task Force Red Bulls, for humanitarian aid at Qale-Mussa Pain Middle School (click for more)

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PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Commander of Troop A, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, U.S. Army Capt. Jason Knueven, of Inwood, Iowa, grasps the dog-tags of a fallen hero as U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Travis Bentz, A Troop’s acting first sergeant of West Des Moines, Iowa, pays his respects during a memorial ceremony at Joint Combat Outpost Pul-e Sayad, Afghanistan, April 25. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James A. Justice, a squad leader for 1st Platoon, Troop A, of Grimes, Iowa, was killed in action in Kapisa Province during a recovery mission of a downed aircraft April 23. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers of 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, mourned the loss of a friend and fellow Soldier during a memorial ceremony held at Joint Combat Outpost Pul-e Sayad, Afghanistan, April 25.

Soldiers awaiting for the ceremony to begin watched as two OH-58 Kiowa helicopters flew overhead, circling the small JCOP. Pilots of TF Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, held out American flags showing their respect to the men and women of TF Redhorse as thanks for support received only days prior.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James A. Justice, an infantryman from Grimes, Iowa, was killed in action while he and his platoon responded to a downed aircraft April 23 in Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Terry L. Varnadore II, of Arden, N.C., one of the pilots of the downed aircraft was killed, and the other pilot injured. Two other TF Redhorse Soldiers were injured during the recovery mission that day.

With quiet reverence, the Soldiers began the ceremony. The fallen hero’s boots, rifle, helmet and dog-tags, placed atop a small platform, faced an open area on the JCOP. Grieving Soldiers of Troop A, 1st Sqdn., 113th Cav. Regt., fell into formation and guests lined the area to give a final farewell to a man who will be remembered for being a world-class non-commissioned officer.

Justice, a squad leader of 1st Platoon, Troop A, 1st Sqd., 113th Cav, was originally slated to deploy with the 2nd Bde. in August 2010, but due to medical issues he was held back from deploying. It wasn’t until the unit called back to the Iowa National Guard for replacements when Justice went on what would be his fourth deployment. He was in Afghanistan just under a month before his death.

Justice, who enlisted in the Iowa National Guard in 1998, made many friends. Soldiers close to him shared their memories.  Many knew him from previous deployments, particularly those from the security force mission in Iraq in 2005.

A long-time friend, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Doug Stanger of Urbandale, Iowa, and Company Intelligence Support Team NCO for Troop A, 1st Sqd., 113th Cav., served with Justice in Iraq. They were squad leaders together in the same platoon.

“You talk to anybody and they will give you the usual, ‘Oh, he was a good guy,’ but James really was a good guy,” Stanger said. “I was excited ([to hear he was coming as a replacement). I went around and basically told everybody that I could find how lucky we were. I saw him on Bagram Airfield, and I said, ‘We would be lucky to have you.’ Low and behold he came to Alpha Troop and I just thought how incredibly lucky we were because he is a performer and extremely cool under pressure, especially with all the stuff he went through in Iraq.

“In any situation he was just always calm, never got excited. He didn’t sweat the small details,” he continued. “And a leader … Everybody wanted to follow him. In Iraq he could get his guys to do anything he wanted them to do because they just loved him that much and respected him.”

“He was probably the best NCO I’ve ever worked with,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ben Doyle of Menlo, Iowa, and Troop A supply sergeant who deployed with Justice three times. “NCO means a lot of things, but he genuinely, genuinely had care and concern for Soldiers. He cared about Soldiers he was in charge of and their welfare, and that’s him in a nutshell. He was a very compassionate guy with a great sense of humor.”

“I remember when he first walked into my office, here,” Doyle said. “I had heard that he was on Bagram Airfield. He came and found me and walked into my office and I just smiled, and I knew, his smirk, his trademark smirk … I heard that we were trying to get him at Alpha Troop, and I knew he would have a positive impact on this organization. No question what-so-ever.”

Not only did Justice have an impact on the lives of long-time friends, but in the short time he was with Troop A, impacted the lives of the Soldiers with whom he served.

“I learned that he was a determined Soldier the first time we shook hands,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Peter Choi, Troops A’s 1st Platoon leader from Ames, Iowa. “He was determined to make a difference in Afghanistan and to serve his country the best possible way a citizen of the United States can. He made a difference in the platoon in subtle but noticeable ways.”

“First Platoon’s actions that day changed the dynamics on the battlefield and prevented a situation that could have turned much worse,” Choi said during the memorial. “If it wasn’t for Staff Sgt. Justice’s courage, we would not have been able to make the same impact that we did.”

As the ceremony came to a close, every Soldier attending the memorial went up to Justice’s display and paid respects, to include members from the French Operational Mentoring Liaison Team and Afghan National Army soldiers based at the JCOP.

Those who knew Justice well held Amanda, his wife, and Caydence, his daughter close in their thoughts.

“I’m thinking about Caydence growing up without the ability to know her father,” said Stanger with tears forming in his eyes. “It’s going to be tough. My wife and I are definitely thinking about Amanda.”

“We are always there for them, no matter what,” added Doyle.

Justice’s awards include: Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Award), Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device (3rd Award), Multinational Force and Observers Medal, Combat Action Badge, Air Assault Badge.PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers of 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, hold a salute while the National Anthem is played during a memorial service for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James A. Justice, a squad leader for 1st Platoon, Troop A, 1st Sqdn., of Grimes, Iowa, at Joint Combat Outpost Pul-e Sayad, Afghanistan, April 25. Justice was killed in action in Kapisa Province during a recovery mission of a downed aircraft April 23. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Pilots from Task Force Phoenix, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Falcon, fly their OH-58 Kiowa helicopter over Joint Combat Outpost Pul-e Sayad, Afghanistan, April 25 streaming the American flag in respect for the Soldiers of Troop A, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment. The gesture was their final salute to fallen hero U.S. Army Staff Sgt. James A. Justice of Grimes, Iowa, and a squad leader for Troop A’s 1st Platoon, 1st Sqdn. Justice was killed in action in Kapisa Province during a recovery mission of a downed aircraft April 23. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, Task Force Red Bulls public affairs)


تاريخ آخر تحديث: الأربعاء, 27 نيسان/أبريل 2011 21:45


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Coalition forces engage insurgents in Kapisa
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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.

Coalition forces and aircraft responded to an insurgent attack. Four insurgents were killed by air strike and three were killed by direct fire from coalition forces.

All rounds were reported safe and on target. There were no reports of injuries or damages to civilians in the area.

ANSF, ISAF begin major operation in Laghman valley
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LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Security Forces, partnered with U.S. Task Forces Red Bulls and Phoenix and French Task Force La Fayette, began operations in Galuch Valley, Laghman Province, March 25.

Soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps, Afghan National Police’s 202nd Shamshod and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, supported by the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Phoenix, conducted an air assault into the valley to remove enemy forces. Battle Group Richelieu, TF La Fayette, provided artillery support from Kapisa Province.

While conducting operations, the forces found multiple weapons caches including assorted rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, Russian rockets, materials to make homemade explosives, various other ordnances and communication equipment.  

While moving through the valley, unit leadership met with village elders to discuss the security situation and to allow them to give up insurgents still in the area.

The operation will assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in establishing the valley as a new district giving the Afghan people in the area freedom from the insurgency.   

President Hamid Karzai approved the creation of the additional district and hopes the new district will help improve the security of the area and support the reconstruction effort.

Mohammad Iqbal Azizi, Laghman Province governor, held a press conference March 7 announcing the establishment of a new district located in the valley.

ANSF, TF Bastogne continue operations in Kunar
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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and coalition troops from Task Force Bastogne continued operations in the Shigal District March 18 after clearing the village of Lawsin and the surrounding area.

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Afghan leaders, coalition forces look forward
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PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Leaders from across eastern Afghanistan attended a security conference March 9 at Forward Operating Base Thunder, the home of the Afghan Army’s 203rd Thunder Corps.

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