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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry visited Gardez Nov. 29 to see the progress in areas such as public schooling, educational facilities and security conditions within Paktya Province.
“The United States’ job is to help the Afghans help themselves with solving issues in areas they need assistance with,” said Eikenberry.
A joint effort by Team Paktya, which included elements from Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, 615th Military Police Company, 2-45th Oklahoma Agribusiness Development Team and Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team ensured Eikenberry travelled safely to the various events throughout his visit in Paktya Province.
At his first stop in Gardez, Eikenberry spoke at a ceremony for the Peiran School. The construction and completion of this school was a project Paktya PRT recently helped facilitate.
Paktya PRT worked with the Hameed Kochai Construction Company, a firm composed of 80 percent Afghan employees, half of whom live within a short distance of the project.
Alongside Paktya Deputy Gov. Mangal, Eikenberry handed out school supplies to one male and one female student at the end of the ceremony.
Eikenberry then spent a working lunch discussing the current security status of Paktya with leaders from provincial security forces. The ambassador dedicated most of the meeting to learning what the Afghan National Security Forces and Paktya’s Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan officials need to better serve the province’s people.
A tour of Paktya University to exhibit projects Paktya’s Oklahoma ADT is developing was the last stop for the ambassador during his visit in Gardez.
“Future projects at the university include self-sustained generator power, Internet access throughout the buildings, incorporating female students, and a faculty exchange program with Oklahoma State University,” said U.S. Army Spc. Mandy Kennedy, from Ellsworth, Wis., education specialist for the Oklahoma ADT.
Eikenberry toured the university grounds, hearing from officials about current and future infrastructure projects including bringing reliable power and internet to the school.
Culminating his time at the university, Eikenberry conducted a shura with local elders about governance, development and security issues. Topics ranged from the construction of the road between Khost and Gardez, the necessity and effectiveness of night time raids by coalition forces and general security conditions in the province.
In a press conference held outside the university’s main building after the shura, Eikenberry highlighted the benefits of constructing the K-G Road.
“With that road comes better security,” Eikenberry said. “With that road comes better education and healthcare. With that road comes better economy and commerce. With that road comes hope for the future. That’s why the enemy doesn’t want that road, because they fear hope.”
Leaders from Team Paktya said the ambassador’s visit was a success.
“This mission is crucial to showing the good the U.S. has been able to accomplish over the past few years,” said U.S. Army Col. Robert Roshell, from Lawton, Okla., commander of the ADT.
“Ambassador Eikenberry’s visit brings an increased visibility to exactly what can be accomplished, and help in revitalizing the Afghan agriculture in the province,” Roshell said.
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