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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PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Jill Brogan from Sioux City, Iowa, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, sorts through boxes in a supply delivery made by Company A, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Archer, to Combat Outpost Pushtaysark Jan 4. Both TF Redhorse and TF Archer are a part of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. James Wilton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers stand amidst the morning haze, their banter highlighted by smoke and fog, flowing from their mouths.

Slowly, the scattered groups converge into one mass. Chaplain (Capt.) Martha Kester, a Des Moines, Iowa, resident and the chaplain for the 334th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Archer, part of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, recites a small prayer for protection and safe travel.

Company A, 334th BSB, begins every supply logistical package, known as a LOGPAC, this way. On Jan. 4, they went to Combat Outpost Pushtayshark, nicknamed COP Red Hill by a coalition interpreter when asked to translate Pushtayshark. These LOGPACs are just another day for the Soldiers of Co. A, but an important part of a COP’s lifeline and a morale booster for the Soldiers stationed there.  

“It’s their sustainment of life,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Mike Helton of Van Meter, Iowa, Co. A. “We bring them their food, fuel and other supplies, like ammo. To me, it’s just a job, one with good job security and a way we get to help out, where we can.”

Building materials and other items used for work or other daily tasks also come out on the LOGPACs.
       
“I remember our first couple missions out to Red Hill,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Josh Pointsett of Bettendorf, Iowa, Co. A. “We brought out their containers to store water and the wood they used to build their chow hall. The thankfulness they had in their faces ... made me realize the importance of our job. Without us doing what we’re doing, they have nothing.”
 
“LOGPACs, are our lifeline,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Gerry Holloway of Des Moines, Iowa, platoon leader for Troop C, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, also a part of the TF Red Bulls, and the unit in charge of Red Hill. “The LOGPACs supply us with the items, ‘beans and bullets,’ we need in order to complete our mission. They provide a lifeline between the Soldiers and their families bringing the mail out to us. Without that, morale would be considerably less and make accomplishing our mission, a lot more difficult."  

Mail, which keeps Soldiers connected with the outside world and brightens the spirits after a long week of missions, is always a favorite item.

“When they get their mail, it’s a real morale booster for them,” said Pickett.
 
“When we bring out mail it is one of the best things for their morale,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andy Johnson, a member of Co. A, from Victor, Iowa.

The LOGPACs run every few days and return to Co. A’s home base, Bagram Airfield. The airfield is also the main hub for transportation, which makes the LOGPACs a perfect conduit for Soldiers trying to get a ride before they catch a plane to go on leave.

Co. A goes out into dangerous territory on a daily basis to make sure their fellow Soldiers have the supplies they need to conduct missions. They risk contact with enemy forces all for the good of the team, knowing that the important part is keeping that lifeline flowing strong.

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Curtis Archer from Sioux City, Iowa, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, unloads a supply delivery made by Company A, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Archer, to Combat Outpost Pushtaysark Jan 4. Both TF Redhorse and TF Archer are a part of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. James Wilton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Curtis Archer from Sioux City, Iowa, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, unloads a supply delivery made by Company A, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Archer, to Combat Outpost Pushtaysark Jan 4. Both TF Redhorse and TF Archer are a part of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. James Wilton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Sgt. Derrick McLaughlin from Davenport, Iowa, Company A, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Archer, a part of 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, guides a forklift during a supply delivery to Combat Outpost Pushtaysark Jan 4. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. James Wilton, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)

 

    

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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.

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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.

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