Red Bulls patrol area around COP Najil

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)

64th MPs: Brothers, sisters in arms

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)

Iowa town showers small Afghan school with supplies

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)

TF Knighthawk Soldier prepares for recording contract during deployment

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)

Guard team partners with Afghan security forces

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Servicemembers defend the wall after an improvised explosive device detonates on Forward Operating Base Lightning Dec. 5. (click for more)

French forces support Afghan troops in Kapisa

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 PRT engineers inspect Paryan road

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)

TF White Eagle saves lives of mother, infant

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)

1st Bn., 187th Inf. Regt., patrols Sabari District

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)

Freedom Restoration Center helps troops get back to duty

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)


KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Pugh of Winterset, Iowa, forestry manager for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team, discusses fruit and nut trees Jan. 13 with private nursery owners of Afghanistan's Kunar Province at the conclusion of nursery training, underwritten by the ADT. A total of 45 nursery owners from Kunar Province completed the six-day training program. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bennett Groth, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Nearly four dozen private nursery owners gathered Jan 8. at the Mandakol Nursery Center in the provincial capital of Asadabad to kick off six days of specialized training supporting the still-developing fruit and nut production industry here.

The Kunar Provincial Forestry Director conducted the training, and the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team funded the effort.

The nursery training had the full support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Kunar Governor Haji Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi stressed the training’s significance in opening remarks to attendees.

“This is advanced technical training, and the only way Afghanistan can move forward is by utilizing advanced techniques,” Wahidi said. “Trees produce the highest-value crops we have in Kunar, and that means if you are successful, it will benefit the entire provincial economy.”

Wahidi also pointed out that Kunar merchants currently import fruits and nuts from Pakistan and other Afghan provinces. He urged the nursery owners to “take every moment of this training” to change that situation.

“There is no reason we should be importing fruits and nuts,” Wahidi said. “We have a superior growing climate for these crops, and Inshallah (God willing), you will produce enough for Kunar to become the exporter we should be.”

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Pugh of Winterset, Iowa, the Iowa ADT’s forestry specialist, helped organize the event and arranged to have it funded.

“What was exciting to me is that we didn’t have to develop the training materials or provide nursery expertise, because there was already plenty of expertise within the provincial government,” Pugh said. “All we had to do was help them get the training session organized, and they did the rest.”

Pugh also emphasized that private-sector nursery owners received the training. He called that “a very important aspect” of what the ADT was trying to accomplish.

“All the people who came to this training are members of the Kunar Nursery Association, and they aren’t just getting hands-on nursery training, they also are getting business training – how to run their business,” Pugh said. “That’s why we’re the Agribusiness Development Team and not the agriculture development team.”

The nursery training concluded Jan. 13 with a brief ceremony and the presentation of completion certificates. Jamaluddin Rohani, an agronomist and the Iowa ADT’s cultural advisor, facilitated a feedback session with the 45 nursery owners who attended the training.

“The nursery owners all thought this training was excellent, and they want more of it,” Rohani said. “The nursery owners also think the ADT should provide training for farmers who come to the nurseries for trees.”KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Jamaluddin Rohani, cultural advisor for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Pugh of Winterset, Iowa, the ADTs forestry manager, present a certificate of completion to a private nursery owner in Afghanistan's Kunar Province Jan. 13 at the conclusion of six days of training for 45 Kunar nursery owners. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bennett Groth, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Kunar Province Governor Haji Sayed Fazlullah Wahidi makes remarks Jan. 8 to dozens of private provincial nursery owners at the beginning of nursery training in Asadabad, underwritten by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team. Kunar Director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Haji Mohasal Khan (right) also gave introductory remarks. Listening to Wahidi through an interpreter are (from left) U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Neil Stockfleth of Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, officer in charge of the ADT's agriculture section, and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Eric Pugh of Winterset, Iowa, the ADT's forestry manager. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bennett Groth, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)


Last Updated on Saturday, 15 January 2011 03:50


Related Links

Bagram Airfield

The Flood





Fallen Heroes

Language Selection

Press Releases

TF Iron Rakkasan radio connects GIRoA to people in Miri

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan government and 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, are expanding their reach with a second Radio in a Box station at the Miri District Center in Andar Province.

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.