Red Bulls patrol area around COP Najil

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Capt. Jason Merchant, the company commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, Task Force Ironman from Dysart, Iowa, hands out cards Dec. (click for more)

64th MPs: Brothers, sisters in arms

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Lauren Hyman of Texarkana, Texas, armored vehicle driver for the 64th Military Police Company based at Combat Oupost Fortress, says hello to an (click for more)

Iowa town showers small Afghan school with supplies

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Taylor Gingrich, an infantry officer from Cedar Falls, Iowa, with Task Force Ironman, draws a smile from an Afghan boy as Gingrich (click for more)

TF Knighthawk Soldier prepares for recording contract during deployment

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Brian Stowe, a human resources specialist from Elkmont, Ala., with Task Force Knighthawk, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, sings a ballad he wrote and (click for more)

Guard team partners with Afghan security forces

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)

French forces support Afghan troops in Kapisa

KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan and French military chiefs conduct a briefing before deployment during a security operation. Afghan National Security Forces and French Task Force Richelieu conducted Operation Montevideo (click for more)

Panjshir PRT engineers inspect Paryan road

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Phil Compton, Doty, Wash., Panjshir PRT engineer, and PRT local Afghan engineer Abid Wardak check the structural integrity of the retaining (click for more)

TF White Eagle saves lives of mother, infant

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan family looks at their new family member after she was delivered by the Polish Army medical team at Forward Operating Base Warrior Jan. 3. (click for more)

1st Bn., 187th Inf. Regt., patrols Sabari District

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, maneuver through Sabari District during patrols to disrupt insurgent activity in the (click for more)

Freedom Restoration Center helps troops get back to duty

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Shawn Fouste, Decatur, Ill., noncommissioned officer in charge of the Freedom Restoration Center with the 455th Expeditionary Wing, Task Force Med, plays with (click for more)

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RC-East

  • Constructing the cornerstones of the Jaji bridge

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    The Hescos bastion abutments for the future bridge are filled by a bucket loader with gravel in Jaji, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army Photo by Capt. Ashley Dellavalle)

     

    PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan –U.S. Army Engineers began construction of a bridge at Jaji, a small village in eastern Paktya Province near the Pakistani border Sept. 9.

    Soldiers with the 864th Engineer Battalion stationed out of Fort Lewis, Wash., were tasked to clear the land around the site and emplace the abutments for the future bridge.

    “Our mission is to construct the ramp entrance and abutments that will act as footers for the bridges,” said Army Staff Sgt. David Austin from Charlotte, N.C., the platoon sergeant overseeing the project.

    The abutments are constructed out of Hesco bastions.Soldiers of the 864th Engineer Battalion, from Fort Lewis, Wash., assist in directing the operator in the bucket loader to fill the Hescos with gravel. (U.S. Army Photo by Capt. Ashley Dellavalle)

    “I helped dig the hole with our Hyex. Then, we stretched out the Hescos. We are going to place gravel in the Hescos and level it out. The 70th [Engineer Battalion] will put in the Bailey Bridge,” said Spc. William Burr of Chesterfield, S.C.

    The site of the future bridge lies in a valley. Just on the other side of the river, Soldiers of the 864th Eng. Bn. are also building a small fire base for Coalition forces. Without the bridge, it is almost impossible to get vehicles to the base.

    The crossing is also a prevalent supply route for locals Afghans. Just a few miles away, through the passes of the mountains, lie the Pakistan border, where many of the locals conduct trade.

    “This route is impassable for the locals without this bridge. It is both the main road to Pakistan [from this area] and the primary means for access to the firebase,” said Austin.

    “We are doing this for the community,” added Burr.

    “The bridge will help the economy of the Afghan people by increasing their trade capability,” said Austin.

    The 40-foot military bridge will be constructed by the Engineer Soldiers of the Afghan National Army in conjunction with the 70th Engineer Battalion, of Fort Riley, Kan., in the next few weeks. The Afghan and U.S. Engineers trained together on bridge emplacement at Bagram Airfield.An Engineer from the Afghan National Army

    Currently, the same platoon that will emplace the bridge is assisting the 864th Engineers with security of the site.

    Just two weeks ago, the bridge site was the location of a tragic incident where three Soldiers of the 864th Eng. Bn. were killed by a suicide bomber.

    “We are saddened from our loss,” said Austin. “The Soldiers are raising their standards and awareness on the jobsite.”

    The Soldiers of this unit will build the bridge in the name of their fallen Soldiers and never forget these Soldiers helped build the cornerstones to the bridge.

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  • TF Fury patrols Pachir Wa Agam District

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    Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division, secures a school in Pachir Wa Agam District in southeast Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, Sept. 7.

     

    NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Paratroopers from 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division, are helping bring security to the Pachir Wa Agam District in southeast Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.

    The district is a flourishing oasis created by farmers using a small river to irrigate the surrounding land. Fields of corn, cotton, wheat and other crops extend as far as the water can flow.

    The farmers have endured heavy conflict for the last 30 years. The district was a stronghold for the mujahedeen during the Soviet War and was heavily bombed during the initial phases of Operation Enduring Freedom. The area was also one of the last strong holds in Afghanistan for al-Qaida and Taliban.

    1st Plt. patrols the district three to seven days at a time, said Spc. Chad Andrews, a 19-year-old mortar man from Colombia, S.C.

    Their time in the district is spent working closely with Afghan National Police and village elders.

    1st Plt. handles security while the Nangarhar Provincial Reconstruction Team and local leaders like Milik Khangul work with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to improve economic development in the area.

    Khangul visited 1st Plt. while they were camped for the night Sept. 7. They had just finished patrolling the roads for improvised explosive devices.

    Khangul, along with a few village elders, walked up to the Paratrooper’s perimeter to talk about construction, mines and Taliban extremists. Khangul is working to build four bridges in the district to help locals traverse a small river.

    Army Capt. Don Canterna, Bravo Co.’s commander, talked with Khangul and village elders until dusk.

    The village elder’s main concern is land mines from the Soviet War that continue to plague the area. Rival farmers are digging up old land mines to replant in rival fields in an attempt to kill off the competition.

    “Except they’re hurting more kids than farmers,” explained a village elder.

    Canterna told the group that Bravo Co. would remove and destroy any land mines in the area.

    “All you have to do is tell us where they are,” Canterna said.

    After agreeing to pass the word around the village the local elders and Khangul retired to their houses for the night.

    The next few days while 1st Plt. patrolled the roads, loud explosions could be heard, the result of an explosive ordnance disposal team using controlled detonations to destroy turned in explosives.

    Last Updated on Thursday, 13 September 2007 09:38
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Afghan forces, TF Bastogne continue operations in Sherzad District

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Bastogne, continued operations in the Sherzad District Jan. 8 clearing the village of Toto of insurgent fighters to reinforce a foundation of security in the area.

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TF Iron eliminates insurgent IED team

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers form Task Force Iron Rakkasan and members of the Afghan Uniformed police, using the Precision Threat Detection System blimp at Forward Operating Base Andar, identified a group of insurgents with weapons and explosives Jan. 3.

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TF Iron Rakkasan uses PTDS to prevent highway robbery

 

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Recently, Soldiers from Task Force Iron Rakkasan watched a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police conduct an illegal checkpoint on the route between Ghazni and Sharana. Using the camera system on the Persistent Threat Detection System, Soldiers observed a man standing in the road collecting money from vehicles. The practice is common by insurgents who fund their attacks by taking money from locals.

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Joint operation helps clear Sherzad of insurgent activity

 

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from Task Force Bastogne began operations in the Sherzad District Dec. 23.

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