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)
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – A formation of U.S. Soldiers stood alongside a formation of Afghan soldiers during a ceremony transferring authority of two academies from U.S. to Afghan forces Oct. 9 at Kabul International Airport.
The two academies, the Crew Chief Academy and the Air Assault Academy, were part of four academies created by the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon, designed to train, coach and advise Afghan National Security Forces.
“It is good for the U.S. to give authority of the classes to the Afghans,” said Afghan Sgt. Noor Rahman, a crew chief with the Afghan Air Force, from Kundouz, Afghanistan. “We can teach other Afghan soldiers in our own language, and that way the people will learn faster, be smarter and we can complete our [missions] successfully in Afghanistan.”
The ceremony included speeches from U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Warren Phipps, deputy commanding general (support) for the 101st Airborne Division, Afghan Brig. Gen. Mohammed Barat, Kabul Wing commander of the Afghan Air Force, and U.S. Army Col. Don Galli, TF Falcon commander, from Haverton, Pa.
“Today’s transfer of authority for the Air Assault and Crew Chief Academies does not mean the end to our relationship,” said Galli. “It is too strong for that. I believe our friendship will endure because it is absolutely essential we continue to work as brothers to defeat the enemies of Afghanistan.”
Both academies had four classes each, with a combined total of 173 graduates. The Crew Chief Academy had students from both the Afghan Air Force and the first Afghan flight medics, whereas the Air Assault Academy had students from both the Afghan Air Force and the Afghan commandos.
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Christopher Hinkle, from Pittsburgh, headed the program as the TF Falcon Combined Action Program manager and also served as the senior instructor of the Air Assault Academy. U.S. Army 1st. Sgt. Christopher Wood, from Lancaster, Pa., served as the senior instructor for the Crew Chief Academy, however the lead instructor of the Crew Chief Academy rotated for each class.
“It’s a great feeling to watch us transfer authority from U.S. leadership to Afghan leadership,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Matthew West, crew chief with Company A, TF Knighthawk, 3rd CAB, TF Falcon, from Vicksburg, Miss., who also served as an instructor during one of the Crew Chief Academy classes. “That was the whole point of the training; that we would be able to train them to the point where their proficiency matched ours, and the Afghans could begin instructing their own, allowing us to leave a much smaller footprint here. It’s all about equipping the Afghan forces. This ceremony is just one step in the process.”
During the last two classes of both academies, former students returned to serve as instructors, and the academies served a dual purpose of training students and training the trainer.
The end goal of the Combined Action Program is to also transfer the authority of the remaining two academies, the Flight Medic Academy to the Kabul Wing Afghan Air Force, and the Close Combat Attack Academy to the National Afghan Army Corps, however dates have not been set. Hinkle said any additional goals will be dependent on the Afghans.
"It is up to them to continue to run the academies," said Hinkle. "We hope they will continue steady classes for each academy to continue to increase and enhance their capabilities to secure and protect their country.”
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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|
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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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NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from Task Force Bastogne began operations in the Sherzad District Dec. 23.