Building Bak one shura at a time

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Lt. Mark Fetterman, Khowst Provincial Reconstruction Team engineer from Plymouth, Mass., stands on a hilly outcropping in Bak district during a foot (click for more)

ANA enforces weapon registration law

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers from 1st Coy, 3rd Kandak play with village children during a patrol through Sar Mast Kheyl, Zormat District Jan. 16. (click for more)

Afghan forces, ISAF help improve security in Bak

KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – An MRAP remains idle as construction efforts surround Combat Outpost Bak and the nearby district center. ISAF, ANP and ANA members work together daily (click for more)

Task Force Leader Soldiers patrol Zambar

KHOWST PROVINCE – U.S. Army Spc. Kyle Oszczakiewicz, an infantryman with 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, from Trenton, N.J., scans for insurgents as 2nd Plt. receives (click for more)

US, Polish forces build relationships in Ghazni

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Polish Battle Group A and Texas Army National Guard Ghazni ADT-IV conduct a village assessment of Pir Shabaz, a small village near Ghazni City, (click for more)

New recruits join Afghan army

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army Operations Sgt. Maj. Akhtar Muhammad takes questions from new recruits during Basic Warrior Training at Forward Operating Base Thunder Jan. 22. (click for more)

ANA, Red Bulls find IED

NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Michael Scarsbrook, an infantryman with Task Force Ironman, from Iowa Falls, Iowa, looks down on a spot in Tupac Jan. 21, (click for more)

ANSF, TF Thunder aim to increase GIRoA influence in Pul-e Alam

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Tyrik L. Holmes, assigned to 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Thunder, (click for more)

Sayed Karam market walk, step in right direction

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class David Davis, from Moore, Okla., the platoon sergeant of the 2-45th ADT’s security force, leads the rear security element (click for more)

Iowa Soldiers discuss ‘average’ days in Afghanistan

NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Pfc. Corey Vanotegham, an infantry radio telephone operator from Victor, Iowa, with TF Ironman, smiles as he stands beside a Holstein cow (click for more)

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GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spec. Oscar T. Alvarez from Garland, Texas, a security force Soldier with the Texas Army National Guard Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV, pulls security during a village assessment in Pir Shabaz Jan. 18. Alvarez is currently serving in eastern Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Wade L. Aubin, Texas Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV) GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Members of Texas Army National Guard Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV joined Polish Battle Group A to conduct a unified mission in three villages outside Ghazni City Jan. 17-18.

The mission was to perform site assessments and build relationships with the local population in the villages of Qalati, Zargar and Pir Shabaz close to Forward Operating Base Ghazni.

In each village, local leaders were invited to discuss concerns and grievances with coalition forces, as well as share details and progress of ongoing repair projects previously addressed by Ghazni ADT-IV.
 
From prior discussions with the village leaders, Ghazni ADT-IV was aware of a consistent and well-known problem: a lack of water. Many areas in Afghanistan, including Ghazni Province, have faced years of drought conditions which have significantly reduced the water table. In May 2010 Mohammad Asif Rahimi, the Afghan Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, was quoted in USA Today saying, “In Afghanistan, 85 percent of the population relies on agriculture to earn a living.”

However, measures can be taken to offer immediate relief to current problems.

Director of Public Works Nezamuddin shared how a main drainage system and two culverts in the village of Qalati were crushed by coalition forces’ vehicles on a previous visit to the village in December.  

Commander’s Emergency Relief Program funds were used to repair the drainage system and culverts.

“Using bulk CERP funds in this way offers quick solutions to immediate problems, giving villagers increased confidence in their local leaders and coalition forces,” said U.S. Army Capt. Wade L. Aubin from Austin, Texas, CERP funds manager for Ghazni ADT-IV.

Because village leaders were attending a funeral during the site assessment, they were unable to meet with the CF. However, one of the village residents, Mohammad Wali, reported the village leaders had decided to place the completion of the project on hold until the weather warms in the spring. This repair will greatly improve water management in the village.

During the assessments conducted during the patrol at Qalati Village, Ghazni ADT-IV found the supplies had been purchased and work had begun. Village leaders have decided, however, to hold off on project completion until the weather warms in the spring.

On the second day of patrols, the combined units conducted a village assessment of Pir Shabaz, located on the banks of the Ghazni River on the east side of Ghazni City. Most villagers of Pir Shabaz are farmers who grow radishes, leeks, onions and potatoes which they sell at the local market or at the bazaar in Ghazni City. While the water levels are much lower than usual due to the ongoing regional drought, this village is able to access the water in the river to irrigate their crops and trees during the winter.

Despite the low water levels, village resident Jaleed, a farmer who sells his produce in the local market, said his crop output was good and business was steady.

“We demonstrated our willingness to listen to their problems, hear their concerns, and try to find solutions by facilitating their issues through their leaders and governmental officials,” said U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Grant Gillaspy of Fort Worth, Texas, Ghazni ADT-IV project manager.
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A damaged culvert sits in Qalati village Jan. 17. Polish Battle Group Alpha and Texas Army National Guard Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV performed a site assessment of repair to the culvert. During a prior mission in December the units discovered a main drainage system and two culverts had been damaged. (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Wade L. Aubin, Texas Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV)GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan- A Polish Soldier from Polish Battle Group A pulls security while Soldiers from Texas Army National Guard Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV conduct a site assessment in the village of Zargar Jan. 17. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Wade L. Aubin, Texas Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV)GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Polish Battle Group A and Texas Army National Guard Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV conduct a village assessment of Pir Shabaz, a small village near Ghazni City, during a foot patrol Jan. 18. The village sits on the banks of the Ghazni River, which provides much needed water for irrigation of crops and trees during the winter months. Pir Shabaz and Shams, two shrines located in the village, are treasured sites that honor the namesake of the village. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Wade L. Aubin, Texas Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV)

 

    

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Drug lab discovered in Nangarhar, material destroyed

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Soldiers assigned to Troop C, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, attached to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, conducted a search with Afghan National Security Forces in Loya Torma Village in Sherzad District Feb. 5.

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ANSF, TF Bastogne begin operations in Shawan Ghar Valley

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces partnered with the Soldiers assigned to 1st Brigade Combat Team, Task Force Bastogne, 101st Airborne Division, to begin operations in the Shawan Ghar Valley of the Lal Por District Feb. 3.

 

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Weapons cache found, destroyed in Laghman

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A weapons cache consisting of more than 100 anti-personnel mines was found by coalition forces on patrol near the village of Jugi, Mehtar Lam District, Laghman Province Jan. 27. An explosive ordnance disposal team was deployed to the scene and destroyed the cache in place.

The security and safety of Afghan civilians is an important part of every coalition operation. All weapons caches found during these operations are destroyed to ensure they do not harm civilians or military personnel.

“Mines are indiscriminate killers. They don’t distinguish between Soldiers or civilians, between men, women or children. We must all work together to eliminate the threat posed by these deadly weapons,” said U.S. Army Col. Ben Corell, commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls.

If you see any suspicious activity or know of a weapons cache in your area, please report it. Call the Operations Coordination Center Provincial Tip Line at 079-662-0193 or at 079-397-0975.
 

 
ANSF, TF Bastogne counters insurgency in Kunar

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Coalition troops and their Afghan National Security Forces partners joined together to conduct operations in the Khas Kunar District of Kunar Province Jan. 21-22.

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