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)
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers from Task Force Currahee, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, in Paktika Province are the first in eastern Afghanistan to test the new smart phone, beta-version of a voice language translation program to be fielded in early January.
Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research and development office for the U.S. Department of Defense, the new program, called TRANSTAC, is an application that provides sentence and phrase translation on a easy-to-use, handheld smart phone.
The smart phone allows the Soldier to speak into the phone and have their words immediately translated into another language. The smart phones have the capability to translate from one language to another and give both speakers the ability to have their sentences translated back and forth, allowing two people speaking different languages to hold a conversation.
The language translation smart phones don’t have actual phone connectivity capabilities, but the program runs as an application on the operating system of the smart phone. The phones record every statement made by both speakers, log the conversation with audio and text playback options, take photos and record video.
“This is just the six-month beta testing phase,” said U.S. Army Capt. David McKim of Sierra Vista, Ariz., TF Currahee assistant brigade intelligence officer. “We will be distributing a handful of the devices to each of our battalions for testing on the job and out on missions with the local Afghan people.
“Our goal is to determine just how reliable and how easy to use these devices are in a field environment,” said McKim. “The idea is to give Soldiers the ability to communicate, even if it is just on a basic level, with the Afghan people when an interpreter isn’t available.”
After six months of testing, reports and updates from the units and Soldiers using the phones will reveal what did and didn’t work and any improvements that need to be made.
The program currently has a basic set of vocabulary for both Dari and Pashto, the languages spoken in Paktika Province.
“The intent is to place the devices in the most active and beneficiary units in order to gauge the devices capabilities and use on mission,” said McKim. “This is just another way for the U.S. Army to adapt and improve on current technology in order to better gather and disseminate information.”
Representative Soldiers from each battalion and company attended the one-day, train-the-trainer class on the maintenance of the device and use of the translation program Jan. 5-7. These Soldiers will then train their units on the device and its uses.
Fielding dates for the TRANSTAC smart phones are pending final assessment and unit allocation.
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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.