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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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Capt. Pat Birgy of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., left, contracting officer for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team, and U.S. Army 1st Lt. Scott Rottinghaus of Waterloo, Iowa, production agriculture specialist for the ADT, right, visit through an interpreter with local farmer Mohammed Wali Abrahim and his family near Asadabad in Afghanistan's Kunar Province Nov. 30. The ADT conducted a foot patrol in the Asadabad area to assess winter crop conditions and build relationships with farmers in the area. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan  – On a recent crisp, cloudless morning in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province, more than 20 members of the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team walked out of Forward Operating Base Wright and into the farm fields around the installation with an eye toward assessing winter wheat planting progress and visiting with local farmers. The ADT found broad agricultural diversity and farmers with varying opinions of their government’s agricultural services.

One of the farmers the ADT members spoke with was Mohammed Wali Abrahim, who works about an acre of land across the street from FOB Wright. He wanted the provincial Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to do more to help him succeed.

“The government is not doing enough to help the farmers,” Abrahim said. “We need certified seed and more fertilizers.”

However, not all farmers shared Abrahim’s view. Abudl Aziz, who also farms about an acre of land not far from FOB Wright, told ADT members he was satisfied with the provincial government’s efforts to improve agriculture.

“They gave me some shovels and other tools when I needed them,” Aziz said. “I think they (government officials) are doing a good job overall.”

In addition to visiting with farmers, members of the ADT also surveyed the crops currently under cultivation. Alongside relatively large fields of winter wheat, the ADT discovered smaller plots of parsley, spinach, clover, rice and even okra. U.S. Army Maj. Dwayne Eden of Wesley, Iowa, production agriculture specialist for the ADT, led the mission and expressed surprise at the wide range of crops right outside the base.

“We came expecting to find mostly winter wheat, and we did see plenty of that in different stages of development,” Eden said. “But the farmers here are obviously not tied to any one crop and appear to try to be making the most out of the climate here, especially in their smaller plots.”

The ADT foot patrol continued north alongside a canal leading toward Asadabad, the provincial capital. About halfway to Asadabad, the ADT found a small village, complete with three tiny shops and a water wheel the village elder used to generate electricity for the village’s few modest mud-brick homes.

U.S. Army Capt. Pat Birgy of Mt. Pleasant, Mich., contracting officer for the ADT, applauded the ingenuity of the nameless village’s elder. He also pointed out the value of spending time getting to know the Afghan people near FOB Wright.

“We probably would never have known about this place if we hadn’t patrolled out to it, and they’ve got some things here we could really help them improve,” Birgy said. “That’s what I love about the Guard,” he added. “We’re always part of the community, even when the community is in Afghanistan.”


KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Troy Kleppe of Eagle Grove, Iowa, security forces team member for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team, shakes hands with an Afghan girl near Asadabad in Afghanistan's Kunar Province Nov. 30. The ADT conducted a foot patrol in the Asadabad area to assess winter crop conditions and build relationships with farmers in the area. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan girl looks up from cutting parsley from a small plot during a foot patrol near Forward Operating Base Wright in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province by the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team. The ADT conducted the foot patrol in the Asadabad area to assess winter crop conditions and build relationships with farmers in the area on Nov. 30. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)

Last Updated on Saturday, 04 December 2010 07:16


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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.