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 - Just 45 days after officially claiming occupancy at Forward Operating Base Andar, Task Force Iron Rakkasans transformed their location from a sand pit with four walls, to a well-established home with all of the basic accommodations.
The Soldiers of the forward support company were instrumental in the construction and the improvements in the quality of life.
Although the engineer unit supporting 3rd Brigade were the primary builders for the key structures for the Iron Rakkasans to operate at FOB Andar, the handy work of FSC Soldiers did a great deal to improve the living conditions.
FSC Soldiers were responsible for improvements to the shower conditions, the dining facility and the power generation across FOB Andar.
The initial establishment of FOB Andar provided a basic shower tent that allowed Soldiers to dump bottled water over themselves to keep clean. Thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of Soldiers like U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas Yeatrakas, a missile repair technician from Goose Creek, S.C., Soldiers at FOB Andar now have showers with running water.
“The FOB was very open and scarce when we got here,” said Yeatrakas. “It allowed us [the FSC Soldiers] to use our creativity and come up with some great ideas for how to improve the place.”
The new shower facility provides running water, which may not always be hot, but has sufficient water pressure. The Soldiers are currently building water barns to ensure the water will not freeze at night during the low temperatures that are common in Ghazni Province during the winter.
The initial shower tent provided four stalls, while the newest shower tents allow 14 Soldiers to shower at any given time. The new facilities also provide separate showers for men and women as opposed to having scheduled shifts when each gender would have access to the showers.
Yeatrakas is currently working on a fixed structure to provide even more shower capabilities for the Soldiers.
Feeding the several hundred Soldiers that reside on FOB Andar is understandably a challenging task. The dining facilities have also undergone a dramatic improvement since initial occupation.
Primarily, Meals-Ready-to-Eat sustained Soldiers at FOB Andar when they first moved in. With time, a mobile mess tent was established for Soldiers to receive prepared meals. Soldiers ate wherever they could find a spot to sit down around the FOB until tents were established to provide an enclosed area to eat.
Recently, FSC Soldiers helped to build a full dining facility that let the cooks provide better meals with more variety as well as a large dining area for the Soldiers to sit and enjoy their meal. Over the past week, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jorge Vera, a fires noncommissioned officer for 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, from Los Angeles, praised the improvement in meals.
“We had real bacon cheeseburgers for lunch a few days ago, and last night they served real steak. It was still pink in the middle, it was perfect,” Vera said.
Although MREs would sustain Soldiers as long as necessary, there is no doubt the Soldiers prefer the quality of food currently available, thanks to the hard work of the FSC Soldiers.
U.S. Army Spc. Steven Carter, a generator repair technician from Ottumwa, Iowa, and U.S. Army Pfc. Tyler McClain, a missile repair technician from Corinth, Texas, complete the critical task of building and maintaining the power generators on FOB Andar.
The original establishment of the FOB provided small generators for each primary building. Carter and McClain restructured the power grid to provide stable power to all of the primary buildings as well as to the secondary buildings, such as living tents. Additionally, the reorganized power system allows the FOB to operate using generators.
Soldiers of the FSC are responsible for a multitude of other small projects on the FOB, each improving the lives of the other Soldiers. FSC is also required to conduct the maintenance of the battalion’s vehicles. With the operational tempo, vehicle maintenance is a full time job by itself. The Soldiers also conduct force protection by guarding towers and the entry gates, as well as building barriers and concrete walls to protect the FOB from rockets and gunfire.
“FSC is responsible for so many things,” said FSC’s first sergeant, U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Cornelius Patterson from Miami. “They are responsible for providing the logistical support for Task Force Iron, their Afghan National Security Forces and our government partners. The efforts of FSC allow the combat forces to accomplish their mission and conduct successful operations.”
|< Prev||Next >|
|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.