50 graduate Fatima Girls High School

Tabasum Sharqi (left) opens a book she received for graduating at the top of her Fatima Girls High School class at a ceremony held at the Kunar Department of Women’s (click for more)

Polish and US Forces bond through weapons

Soldiers from the Polish Army and the Texas National Guard Agribusiness Development Team-IV check their shot grouping during qualification on the Polish AK-74 5.56 mm Mini-Beryl short assault rifle Feb. (click for more)

TF Duke Soldiers volley for peace

U.S. Army Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Task Force Duke, play an impromptu game of volleyball against a team (click for more)

Nurgaram District leaders electrify Nangaresh schools

Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor, addresses an audience of teachers, government officials and citizens during a ceremony to celebrate a completed solar panel electricity project Feb. 21 in (click for more)

10th CAB Soldiers bring communications to Bagram’s east side

U.S. Army Spc. Raheem Stewart, an automations specialist with TF Phoenix, steps along the rafters of the building his team helped wire for communications. Stewart, from Dallas, was one of (click for more)

ANA, Red Bulls search Parwai during Operation Brass Monkey

An Afghan National Army soldier from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment, searches a pile of rocks in the courtyard of a high-value target home outside the village of (click for more)

Female engagement teams trained to aid communication with Afghan women

U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battlewatch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin, helps an Afghan child with her writing skills during female engagement team training (click for more)

ANA, TF Storm break trail, make difference in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers move through Kharwar District to prevent the Taliban’s freedom of movement Feb. 12. U.S. and Afghan soldiers braved more than 3 feet (click for more)

Ky. ADT II begins Panjshir sheep parasite project

Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team II members, U.S. Army Spc. Justin Allen (left), a London, Ky., native, and U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas Combs, a Corbin, Ky., native, get to know a (click for more)

Engineer Soldiers deliver aid to Afghans

An Afghan carrying a child approaches U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Peter Moeller of Atkins, Iowa, a medic with Task Force Red Bulls, for humanitarian aid at Qale-Mussa Pain Middle School (click for more)

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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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Coalition forces engage insurgents in Kapisa

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.

Coalition forces and aircraft responded to an insurgent attack. Four insurgents were killed by air strike and three were killed by direct fire from coalition forces.

All rounds were reported safe and on target. There were no reports of injuries or damages to civilians in the area.

ANSF, ISAF begin major operation in Laghman valley

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Security Forces, partnered with U.S. Task Forces Red Bulls and Phoenix and French Task Force La Fayette, began operations in Galuch Valley, Laghman Province, March 25.

Soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 201st Corps, Afghan National Police’s 202nd Shamshod and the U.S. Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, TF Red Bulls, supported by the 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Phoenix, conducted an air assault into the valley to remove enemy forces. Battle Group Richelieu, TF La Fayette, provided artillery support from Kapisa Province.

While conducting operations, the forces found multiple weapons caches including assorted rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, Russian rockets, materials to make homemade explosives, various other ordnances and communication equipment.  

While moving through the valley, unit leadership met with village elders to discuss the security situation and to allow them to give up insurgents still in the area.

The operation will assist the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in establishing the valley as a new district giving the Afghan people in the area freedom from the insurgency.   

President Hamid Karzai approved the creation of the additional district and hopes the new district will help improve the security of the area and support the reconstruction effort.

Mohammad Iqbal Azizi, Laghman Province governor, held a press conference March 7 announcing the establishment of a new district located in the valley.

ANSF, TF Bastogne continue operations in Kunar


KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and coalition troops from Task Force Bastogne continued operations in the Shigal District March 18 after clearing the village of Lawsin and the surrounding area.

Afghan leaders, coalition forces look forward

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Leaders from across eastern Afghanistan attended a security conference March 9 at Forward Operating Base Thunder, the home of the Afghan Army’s 203rd Thunder Corps.