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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.


Army Capt. Don Canterna, Bravo Company commander, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 82nd Airborne Division, talks with local elders in Pachir Wa Agam District in southeast Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, Sept. 7.

Contact Information – CJTF-82 Public Affairs Office Tel – 0093-799-063-013

DSN: 318-431-7852

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Last Updated on Thursday, 13 September 2007 09:38


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