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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Several members of the 734th Agribusiness Development Team repair the irrigation system at the Chowkay Demonstration Farm in Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan 2. The ADT members also prepared the farm's greenhouse for vegetable planting during their mission. (U.S. Army Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn/RELEASED)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team repaired a vital irrigation system at the Chowkay District demonstration farm in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province Jan 2. ADT members also helped prepare the farm’s greenhouse for winter vegetable planting.

Mashuqallah, the Chowkay District Agriculture Extension manager, explained the urgent nature of the repairs. He also praised the ADT for moving to address the problem quickly.

“We haven’t had rain for months now, and if the irrigation pipes are broken, we have no water and cannot grow anything,” Mashuqallah said. “It is very good that the ADT came right away when I told them about this.”

The ADT’s hydrologist is U.S. Army Master Sgt. Steve Holding of Janesville, Iowa. He pointed to the low quality of the original materials as the main reason for the irrigation line break.

“I’m not sure exactly where it came from, but the T-joint the pipe to the greenhouse fits into just failed structurally, so we made sure we had good materials when we came out to fix this,” Holding said. “It really wasn’t too difficult; we just had to get our hands dirty a little.”

Although Mashuqallah was pleased by the ADT’s swift response, he was still not satisfied with the status of the current irrigation system. He pointed out drip irrigation would be ideal for the greenhouse, which the ADT underwrote and a team led by Mashuqallah built in November. He also discussed exactly how he planned to utilize such a system.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bennett Groth of Moville, Iowa, a production agriculture specialist, assured Mashuqallah that drip irrigation for the greenhouse was next on the ADT’s agenda for the Chowkay demo farm. Groth also expressed admiration for Mashuqallah’s expertise.

“Drip irrigation for the greenhouse has always been part of the plan, and Mashuqallah’s got a good grasp on what it can do for his vegetable production here,” Groth said. “He’s a very smart guy.”
An Afghan girl looks on as members of the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team repair the irrigation system at the Chowkay Demonstration Farm in Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan. 2. Members of the ADT also prepared the farm's greenhouse for vegetable planting during their mission. (U.S. Army photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team/RELEASED)U.S. Army Master Sgt. Darcy Hommer of Stuart, Iowa, noncommissioned officer in charge of security forces for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team (at rear), an Afghan farmer, and U.S. Army Warrant Officer Marty Osmundson of Des Moines, Iowa, an ADT construction specialist (center), look on as U.S. Army Master Sgt. Steve Holding of Janesville, Iowa, the ADT's hydrologist, adjusts an irrigation pump at the Chowkay Demonstration Farm in Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan. 2. Holding, Osmundson and other member of the ADT repaired the demo farm's irrigation system and prepared the farm's greenhouse for vegetable planting during their mission. (U.S. Army Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn/RELEASED)U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bennett Groth of Moville, Iowa, production agriculture specialist for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team, poses for a photo as he shakes hands with Mashuqallah, agriculture extension manager for the Chowkay District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan. 2. Groth and other member of the ADT repaired the demo farm's irrigation system and prepared the farm's greenhouse for vegetable planting during their mission. (U.S. Army Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn/RELEASED)



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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.