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)
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – As the mountain infantrymen vigilantly patrolled the streets of Charkh’s bazaar Dec. 11, the sounds of the metal store gates slamming open and children laughing increased along with the positive outlook of the village’s security.
Task Force Storm Soldiers of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment along with Afghan National Security Forces are providing around-the-clock security to keep insurgent influence and forces out of the bazaar.
“The Taliban has told these people that if they open their shops while we are out here, they will be killed,” said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Cody S. McBroom, a platoon leader with Co B
After Taliban threatened shop owners, they closed their shops and vacated the streets.
“It’s been cold and uninviting until today,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Michael L. Zickefoose, a team leader assigned to Co. B and Warren, Ohio, native. “Today has been nice since the kids are out and the shops are open.”
Getting to this point with local Afghans has not been easy; patrols here have been attacked nearly every day.
“This is the first time we’ve come down here and not been hit,” said McBroom, a Spring, Texas, native. “It’s nice to see the locals around us and interacting with us.”
Along with being essential to the livelihoods of locals, the bazaar has another distinction.
“We consider the bazaar a … safe haven,” said Savannah, Ga., native U.S. Army Capt. David J. Simmons, the commander of Co. B. “The longer we are in the bazaar and show we aren’t leaving, the more comfortable people will be to come out and shop, but we have a long way to go.”
As the sun set on the remote Afghan village, the battle-hardened Soldiers of Charkh could feel a sense of accomplishment for exchanging the sound of gunfire for the laughter of children.
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|Afghan forces, TF Bastogne continue operations in Sherzad District|
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.
|TF Iron eliminates insurgent IED team|
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers form Task Force Iron Rakkasan and members of the Afghan Uniformed police, using the Precision Threat Detection System blimp at Forward Operating Base Andar, identified a group of insurgents with weapons and explosives Jan. 3.
|TF Iron Rakkasan uses PTDS to prevent highway robbery|
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Recently, Soldiers from Task Force Iron Rakkasan watched a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police conduct an illegal checkpoint on the route between Ghazni and Sharana. Using the camera system on the Persistent Threat Detection System, Soldiers observed a man standing in the road collecting money from vehicles. The practice is common by insurgents who fund their attacks by taking money from locals.
|Joint operation helps clear Sherzad of insurgent activity|
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and Soldiers from Task Force Bastogne began operations in the Sherzad District Dec. 23.