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)
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan –Soldiers of 1st Brigade Combat Team spoke with 15 high school students Oct. 7, including eight from Jalalabad, during an online conference where students had the opportunity to ask them any question.
“What is the best way to keep security in our country?” one student asked U.S. Army Spc. Jeremy A. Pouliot of Saint Michael, Minn., Psychological Operations Detachment 1320, on Forward Operating Base Fenty in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar Province.
“I told them they needed to get involved,” said Pouliot.
He continued to say they could support their family members by joining the Afghan National Army or the Afghan National Police, and they also need to vote to support the Government Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The students each asked the Soldiers one question and a follow-up question.
One student mentioned to the Bastogne Soldiers that he hopes to one day learn to fly a plane or a helicopter. The student hoped the ANA would provide the same kind of training American Soldiers received.
“ ... It’s going to take all of us ... to bring security and peace in our area,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class William D. Goodwin of Newport News, Va., assistant operations noncommissioned officer, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Bastogne, when asked about bringing peace and stability to Afghanistan. “We couldn’t do it by ourselves. It’s going to take the Afghan people as a whole, not allowing insurgents into their towns and giving them safe haven. If they are doing wrong, they need to be pointed out so we can get them out of that area, so that they can live in peace,” he said.
The Soldiers admitted they were shocked about how well the students knew the English language, providing easy communication between both parties.
“Some of the questions they asked were open-ended questions ... and they had no problem asking follow-on questions,” said Goodwin. “It was different for me. I was impressed ... I would definitely do it again.”
The students laughed as U.S. Army Lt. Nathaniel L. Moir from Fergus Falls, Minn., PSYOP Det. 1320 commander, attempted to say a few words in Pashto, and were pleased when he congratulated them on their community service activities such as taking initiative to fixing a water pump at their school and fundraising for vaccinations for polio in Afghanistan.
The Jalalabad students and Task Force Bastogne Soldiers agreed to have another conversation in the future.
"The [online] call we did yesterday was really nice,” wrote Haroon who hosted the event. “We all enjoyed it a lot, really. It takes a kind of courage for the students to talk online, and they were really very happy. The officers were good, too.”
He went on to write on the program’s website, “They behaved very friendly. I liked them very much, especially the idea of playing football together."
The conference is part of the State Department’s Global Connection and Exchange program, and one of its uses is to connect Soldiers with Afghan students.
“I didn’t participate in this ... call, but as I heard from the students who were involved, they were all so happy and pleased to participate ... and talk with the Soldiers online,” one student wrote. “They are all really thankful of the Soldiers who made this happen, and we hope that, through GCE, we will have more such events, which motivate the students.”
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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.