Red Bulls patrol area around COP Najil

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)

64th MPs: Brothers, sisters in arms

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)

Iowa town showers small Afghan school with supplies

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)

TF Knighthawk Soldier prepares for recording contract during deployment

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)

Guard team partners with Afghan security forces

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)

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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)

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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)

TF White Eagle saves lives of mother, infant

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1st Bn., 187th Inf. Regt., patrols Sabari District

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)

Freedom Restoration Center helps troops get back to duty

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)

PATKYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Lt. Col. Stephen Boesen II from Ankeny, Iowa, and U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Duane Hinman from Craig, Neb., uncase the colors for Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division (Task Force Red Bulls), to mark both the transfer of authority of Patyka Province and the official beginning of the unit’s nine-month deployment Nov. 22 at Forward Operating Base Gardez. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nicholas Rasmussen, Task Force Lethal)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – As Task Force Avalanche cased its colors, a new set of colors from Iowa were revealed at Forward Operating Base Gardez Nov. 22.

This event marked not only the passing of battlefield control from Avalanche to its successor, Task Force Lethal, but also a beginning to a new chapter for Paktya Province.

Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, is part of 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division (Task Force Red Bulls) of the Iowa National Guard, but falls under the command of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Task Force Rakkasan), 101st Airborne Division, while deployed.

TF Lethal assumed responsibility as the battle space owner for all of Patyka Province. Its mission is to assist their Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Afghan National Security Forces partners to create an environment that sets the conditions for progress across all lines of operation: security, governance and development.  

Deputy Governor Mangal, Deputy Provincial Police Chief Gen. Dastageer, Paktya National Defense Security Chief Gen. Safi and Chief of Police Brig. Gen. Safi, all from Paktya Province, attended the ceremony.

Mangal’s speech addressed his enthusiasm about working with TF Lethal to continue the headway made by TF Avalanche that provided stability and safety to Paktya and its people.

“TF Avalanche set the bar high by working effectively with the Afghan National Security Forces, (Afghan citizens) and public officials throughout Avalanche’s deployment,” said TF Rakkasan commander U.S. Army Col. Viet Luong of Fort Campbell, Ky., commander of Avalanche’s operational headquarters.

The Avalanche team dedicated significant time and effort toward successfully winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people; a theme TF Lethal plans to perpetuate throughout its campaign in Paktya Province, Luong said.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Robert Charlesworth of Jericho, Vt., TF Avalanche commander, said, after careful and scrutinous observation of TF Lethal, he had the utmost confidence in handing over control of the province. He said he knows the effort and work he and his team accomplished would not be wasted.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Stephen Boesen II of Ankeny, Iowa, TF Lethal commander, said the task force plans to continue the course of action that TF Avalanche sustained with the ambition to attain a greater synergy between coalition forces, ANSF, local nationals and public officials in Paktya.

Boesen said a major goal of TF Lethal is to work closely with the Afghan National Army, Afghan United Police, Afghan Border Police and all other ANSF forces to facilitate the safety, development and autonomy of the ANSF and local populace in Paktya.

After the remarks were complete, hands were shaken and embraces were made, TF Avalanche made its way from the transfer-of-authority ceremony to the flight line and TF Lethal officially assumed command of Paktya Province, picking up where its predecessors left off.



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