Red Bulls patrol area around COP Najil

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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)

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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)

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PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Payne (left) from Aubrey, Texas, project manager for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, writes down information regarding a watershed project here during a site survey Oct. 30 with U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Lorn McKinzie from Depew, Okla., the senior noncommissioned officer for the ADT. They conducted a survey of the terrain at the proposed location to verify the feasibility of the project, which is intended to reduce water runoff in the spring. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P. Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)

 

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team conducted its first mission to the eastern part of Paktya Province Oct. 30 to meet with a sub-governor and look over a future watershed project.

The mission started early in the morning with preparations by the security force to get the vehicles and equipment ready for what would be the longest trip the ADT had taken during their time in Afghanistan so far. To signify the importance of the mission, U.S. Army National Guard Capt. Kale Rogers from Cordell, Okla., the ADT security force commander, led the mission as the convoy commander.

Because the mission was the longest and into unknown terrain for the ADT, teamwork was essential for all the Soldiers, said Rogers. The terrain in the eastern part of the province is a far contrast from what the ADT is accustomed to operating in and around Gardez, Afghanistan, which is generally a flat plateau with an elevation of around 8,000 feet. The eastern part of the province has mountain peaks that tower well over 14,000 feet.

Trees dotted the landscape once the ADT moved into the mountain terrain in what would be considered forests for Afghanistan since less than 5 percent of Afghanistan’s land is covered with trees.

“The terrain is comparable to the mountains of northern New Mexico where the agricultural section of the ADT trained during the past summer,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Payne, from Aubrey, Texas, the project manager for the ADT. The agricultural team trained in New Mexico for weeks before deployment to gain a better knowledge of high-mountain farming.

The meeting with the sub-governor took place at an Afghan National Army station, located next to the district center. The location was convenient for both sides since the ADT would continue after the meeting to the proposed watershed project.

U.S. Army National Guard Col. Robert Roshell, from Lawton, Okla., the commander of the ADT, stated that building personal relationships with Afghan leaders is one way the U.S. military will be able to strengthen the bond between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Afghan people. Without personal interaction between the U.S. and Afghans, the GIRoA will face hardship in their building of a better Afghanistan for all of its citizens.

“The discussion was about the needs of the district and what the U.S. could provide in the way of help,” said Roshell.

Following the meeting, Payne and U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Lorn McKinzie, from Depew, Okla., the senior noncommissioned officer for the ADT, conducted a site assessment of the watershed project the ADT is working to complete in the coming year.

“The watershed project will help with reducing water erosion and also aid in allowing the local Afghan farmers to capture some of the runoff for use in farming or personal needs,” said McKinzie.

The last stop, before heading back to base, was at a local Gardez demonstration farm so that McKinzie and Payne could look over project completions since the last visit.PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Lorn McKinzie (left) from Depew, Okla., the senior noncommissioned officer for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, verifies grid coordinates with a GPS receiver while U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Payne from Aubrey, Texas, project manager for the ADT, writes down information regarding the site survey to a watershed project here Oct. 30. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P. Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Jay Wick from Burkburnett, Texas, a security force team leader for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, provides security here Oct. 30 while the ADT commander conducts a meeting with local Afghan leaders. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P. Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)

 

Last Updated on Monday, 01 November 2010 21:25
 

    

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