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)
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)
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)
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)
PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)
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)
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)
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An Afghan family looks at their new family member after she was delivered by the Polish Army medical team at Forward Operating Base Warrior Jan. 3. (click for more)
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)
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)
KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Members of Kapisa Provincial Reconstruction Team conducted a dismounted presence patrol through the Nijrab market Dec. 13 to mingle with members of the village and collect local assessments of recently completed projects in the area.
Within the last three months many projects the PRT and Kapisa provincial government worked together to complete multiple projects to including multiple roads, two schools and a district courthouse.
“A lot has been done in terms of development, but our measure of success is determined by whether or not the facilities and resources are truly assisting the people of Nijrab,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyler Youngs of East Leroy, Mich., Kapisa PRT civil affairs.
During the patrol, many market business owners expressed gratitude for resources that the PRT provided in conjunction with the government of Kapisa.
One particular shop owner explained that the newly paved market road, which was funded by the PRT, has had a profound effect on his business. “Before, it took four hours to drive to Kabul,” he said through an interpreter. “Now it only takes two.”
With the ability to travel from one location to another in a substantially shorter timeframe, business appears to have improved for Nijrab shop owners.
“Based off of what I saw today, I’d say the market is doing extremely well,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Eric Bowlin from Worcester, Mass., Kapisa PRT security forces platoon leader. “Today was the busiest I’ve ever seen the market. People were coming and going, a wide assortment of shops were open and there was even some construction going on, which is a positive sign of expansion.”
When asked which recently constructed project best assisted the people of Nijrab, schools held the majority of local votes.
“We’re very happy with all of the projects, but the schools have helped us the most,” said Allha Mohammad, a Nijrab store owner.
Before the schools were constructed, classes were held in private homes, supplies were very limited and children had to study on the ground, he explained.
One child, who attends the local school, eagerly showcased what he’s learned by introducing himself in perfect English.
In addition to collecting local feedback regarding recently completed development projects and their impact on the Nijrab population, PRT members also took note of local concerns and areas of opportunity for future projects within the region.
“During my conversation with local Nijrab citizens, water supply was identified as a primary concern,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Kenneth Ciesla of Sturbridge, Mass., Kapisa PRT security forces. “Right now, the people have to walk more than 20 minutes to retrieve water from a nearby stream.”
Youngs said it’s important for the PRT to conduct presence patrols like this to remain aware of local concerns and problems.
“By directly speaking with the local population and asking for their input, we’re able to ensure that we’re focusing our efforts on projects that the people need and want, rather than what we think should be done for them,” he said.
Prior to leaving, many PRT members supported local business by indulging in a little personal shopping of their own ¬¬? purchasing vibrantly colored headscarves, local fruits and vegetables.
“I believe today’s mission was very rewarding,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Betsy Johnson from Marinette, Wis., Kapisa PRT medic. ‘By interacting on a social and consumer level, we were able to strengthen relations with the local community. Overall it was a very positive experience for everyone.”
Kapisa PRT assists the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in providing a secure, stable environment for reconstruction efforts by increasing the capability and capacity of government officials. The PRT uses development projects like those in Nijrab to connect the Kapisa government with the people and improve quality of life in the province.
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NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Bastogne, continued operations in the Sherzad District Jan. 8 clearing the village of Toto of insurgent fighters to reinforce a foundation of security in the area.
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