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 - 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


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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.