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)
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)
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)
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)
PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – One of Task Force Iron Rakkasan’s missions is to find and destroy insurgent improvised explosive device materials before the enemy is able to use them to damage vehicles or injure coalition or Afghan forces or civilians. TF Iron Rakkasan Soldiers found two caches during the last month, keeping IEDs out of the hands of enemies.
In mid-October, Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Task Force Rakkasan), 101st Airborne Division, worked with special forces to find and destroy 3,000 pounds of homemade explosives in western Andar District of Ghazni Province. That quantity of explosives is enough to make about 100 IEDs, according to explosives experts in the battalion, said U.S. Marine Capt. Stuart Scheller from Cincinnati, Task Force Iron Rakkasan counter-IED officer.
Soldiers of 2nd Platoon, Company C, 3 Bn. 187th Inf., conducted a patrol Nov. 22 in Do Shakhah Village near the first cache location and found two insurgents involved with indirect fire attacks. Although no one was at the qalat when the combined patrol of American troops and Afghan Uniform Police arrived, the effort was not in vain.
Soldiers found 120 two-gallon paint cans filled with HME materials in an abandoned house. The AUP stored the material to prevent its use by insurgents until security forces could destroy it.
Three days later, 2nd Platoon, Co. B, 3 Bn. 187th Inf., escorted an explosive ordinance disposal team to the house to destroy the cache.
“This amount of substance, once completed, would supply 1,200 pounds of explosive materials, or 30 IEDs’ worth,” Scheller said. “The Iron Rakkasans have become very good at finding the insurgents’ hidden caches. This makes it much more difficult for the insurgents to store materials and continue the fight through the grueling winter season.”
The EOD team on site was able to safely burn the material. The result was a very large fireball seen for miles.
“This was a successful operation by everyone involved,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Matthew Ward from Herndon, Va., platoon of 2nd Platoon leader, Co. B, 3 Bn., 187th Inf. “The combined actions of multiple Task Force Iron assets prevented many future IEDs and helped to ensure our freedom of movement in the upcoming months.”
“We expect that this accomplishment will have more long-term effects on the enemy than short,” said U.S. Army Capt. Robert Kellum from Nashville, Tenn., intelligence officer for 3 Bn., 187 Inf. “We’ll see the reduction in IEDs come late in the winter and early next spring as the insurgents will struggle to resupply themselves.”
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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.
|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.
|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.
|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.