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 - A girl from the nomadic Kuchi tribe herds sheep to be de-wormed and vaccinated at a Veterinary Outreach Sustainment Program in the Noor Gal District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan. 8. An Afghan team, directed by the Kunar Provincial veterinarian, is conducting a series of six VOSPs Jan. 4-12 for the Kuchi tribes in Kunar. During the first two VOSPs for the Kuchis, Ghalib's team treated 3,550 animals, mostly sheep. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn/RELEASED)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Members of the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team witnessed a scene of controlled chaos when they visited a Veterinary Outreach Sustainment Program for the nomadic Kuchi tribesman camped in the Noor Gal District of Afghanistan’s Kunar Province Jan. 8.

Hundreds of sheep, a handful of working dogs, dozens of Kuchi tribesmen and more than 20 veterinary workers produced a cacophony of noise and a frenzy of activity.

The Noor Gal VOSP was one of six such events slated for the Kuchi tribes of Kunar Province Jan. 4-12.

U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams of New Liberty, Iowa, the ADT’s veterinary officer, explained the purpose of the VOSPs, which are underwritten by the ADT and implemented by the Kunar provincial veterinarian.

“The Kuchi are entirely dependent on the health of their sheep for their livelihood,” Adams said. “They keep the ewes for breeding and sell the rams at market, then take that income and buy the food and supplies they need to survive. De-worming and vaccinating their sheep helps the sheep gain weight, so that’s more to sell and more income.”

The Kunar provincial government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is administering the VOSPs for the Kuchis. Adams noted the idea for the Kuchi VOSPs originated with Afghan government officials.

“Kunar Province has a director of Kuchi affairs and the livelihood of the Kuchis is important to the government,” Adams said. “We met with the Kuchi affairs director in November and December and he asked if there wasn’t something we could do to improve the health of their animals, so the VOSPs were a natural fit.”

The Iowa ADT pays for the animal medicines and salaries of the Afghan veterinarians and laborers who actually conduct the VOSPs. Purchasing the medicines, hiring the veterinarians and laborers, selecting the sites and dates for the VOSPs is all handled by Dr. Mohammed Ghalib, the Kunar provincial veterinarian.

“The Kuchis are people with very few resources,” said Ghalib. ”They have no land of their own and so they are, perhaps, a little more dependent on their government and goodwill from others. These VOSPs are very good for the Kuchis and they are very happy with them.”

Salaam, a Kuchi elder, confirmed that he and his tribesman were very pleased with the VOPS. Salaam, however, wanted much more.

“My father and grandfather made a living herding sheep,” Salaam said. “We are an uneducated people. If the government would give us land, we would stay there. Then they could build us a school so our children could become educated.”

Ghalib pointed out that he, as the provincial veterinarian, was not in a position to address Salaam’s larger concerns and cited what the government had done for the Kuchi tribes.

“In the first two VOSPs we treated more than 3,500 animals,” Ghalib said. “We will probably treat 2,000 more here today, and at least another 5,000 over the next three VOSPs.”

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams of New Liberty, Iowa, Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team veterinary officer, encourages Dr. Roshan, a licensed veterinarian who is part of a team directed by the Kunar provincial veterinarian. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn/RELEASED)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Kuchi tribesman and Afghan veterinary workers herd sheep toward the chutes where the animals were de-wormed and vaccinated as part of a Veterinary Outreach Sustainment Program for the nomadic Kuchi tribesman camped in the Noor Gal District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan. 8. The VOSPs are underwritten by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team and implemented by the Kunar provincial veterinarian. During the first two VOSPs for the Kuchis, Ghalib's team treated 3,550 animals, mostly sheep. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn/RELEASED)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A Kuchi child looks on as veterinary workers de-worm and vaccinate a sheep belonging to nomadic Kuchi tribesman camped in the Noor Gal District of Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan. 8. The Kunar provincial veterinarian and a team of Afghan veterinary professionals are conducting a series of six Veterinary Outreach Sustainment Programs Jan. 4-12 for the Kuchi tribes in Kunar. During the first two VOSPs for the Kuchis, Ghalib's team treated 3,550 animals, mostly sheep. (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.