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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
Abdul Rahman Mangal, deputy governor of Paktya Province, and Gen. Destigeer, Afghan Uniformed Police commander for Paktya Province met with Zormat District Gov. Gulab Shah and more than 50 tribal elders from around Zormat.
Mangal discussed improvements that have been made in Zormat.
”Afghans have much to be proud of around the province,” said Mangal. “We (Afghans) need to work harder to make all of Afghanistan better.”
Mangal said security in the region is paramount in order to build a stronger and more responsive government to the citizens of Zormat. Zormat District is an area of concern for Afghan officials in Paktya Province since it is one of the most volatile districts in the province. Mangal discussed the need to increase the number of AUP checkpoints and also the need for increased vigilance of the citizens across the district.
The AUP commander talked to the elders about the need to work together in dealing with insurgents.
“Afghans need to help each other in ridding Afghanistan of those who wish to harm innocent citizens,” said Destigeer. “We must stand together as Afghans to form a united front for all Afghans to look forward, not back.”
During the meeting, tribal elders brought up issues such as rebuilding the school that recently burned to the ground in Zormat, the lack of wheat seed distribution for district farmers, and of local Afghans detained by coalition forces. Mangal said he would take all of their concerns and voice them to the government in Kabul.
The Zormat meeting was attended by the commanders of Team Paktya: U.S. Army Col. Robert Roshell of Lawton, Okla., 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team commander; U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marchal Magee of Issaquah, Wash., Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team commander; and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boesen, from Ankeny, Iowa, commander of 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, which falls under 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Rakkasan, during the deployment.
“The U.S. needs to transition from doing things for the Afghans and instead help the Afghans in governance of their country,” said Boesen. “The Afghan provincial officials were able to hear concerns from the Zormat tribal elders and hopefully will act upon those concerns to bring positive resolution.”
As more tribal elders become involved in the meetings, governance across the district will increase, Boesen said. Increased participation in the government will also break the cycle of insurgency, which strives to keep bonds from being made between Kabul, the provincial government, local officials and the citizens.
“It was good to see the provincial leadership getting out and visiting with the district subgovernors and tribal elders,” said Roshell. “These meetings are critical to the advancement of a more effective and respected government at the provincial level.”
The Paktya PRT’s common purpose is to empower local governments to govern more effectively. The deputy governor asked for names of tribal elders who would travel to Kabul to advocate for Zormat. More than 20 elders provided their names for the trip to Kabul.
“Every mission that Team Paktya conducts brings more positive results for the province,” said Magee. “The future of this country is in connecting the people with the government, leaving the insurgents behind.”
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