How one man makes a difference in Afghanistan

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Ghouse Loynab, human terrain analyst with Human Terrain Team, TF Red Bulls, takes notes as he talks to a villager about governance and development issues Feb. (click for more)

Guardians of Peace produces results in Paktya

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Clint Koerperich of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, squad leader for 2nd Platoon, Company C., 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, patrols with ANA soldiers (click for more)

Working together to put Afghan heroes back together again

PAKTYA, Afghanistan – Gheiratullah, an Afghan medical soldier, practices self aid and buddy care at the Paktya Regional Medical Center Feb. 13. (click for more)

Bidder’s conference places Afghans in control

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Crystal Sims (right), from Duncan, Okla., a project manager for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, assists an Afghan with registering at the bidder’s (click for more)

Panjshir women strengthen communication skills

PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, TF Red Bulls, shows Rohubza Dousti, a trainer and supervisor at the United Nations Habitat and a Panjshir youth group (click for more)

Ghazni PRT assesses village, builds relationships

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Ghazni PRT members walk among the locals engaging in conversation during a village assessment in Touheed Abad in Ghazni Province Feb. 6. (click for more)

Iowa ADT inks deal for orchard training farm

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Haji Hazrat Ali Gull, a fruit producer, explains improvements he already made to a proposed orchard training farm site he owns to U.S. Army Master Sgt. (click for more)

Co. A makes successful return to Shebatkyl

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A team of Kiowa helicopters provide overhead security for U.S. Army Soldiers from Company A, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, and Afghan National Army Soldiers from (click for more)

Delegation conducts market outreach mission in Zormat

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Mohammad Masood, Paktya Agricultural Department advisor, and U.S. Army Col. Robert Roshell, 2-45 Agribusiness Development Team commander from Lawton, Okla., examine spices during a mission to (click for more)

Kunar PRT medics help healing at Asadabad Hospital

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Lynn Redman of San Antonio, Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team nurse practitioner, examines a female Afghan patient with Afghan Dr. Ismat Shinwary, Asadabad (click for more)

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PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Payne, from Aubrey, Texas, a project manager for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, checks on the prices of flour during a market walk in the village of Sayed Karam. Payne also asked about how and where the flour came from in the market. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers and Airmen of the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team and Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team conducted a joint assessment of a rural agricultural market in the Sayed Karam District to better understand of how most Afghans purchase food.



Ahga Ghol, the subgovernor of the Sayed Karam District in Paktya Province, invited the ADT to a market outside of the city of Gardez to see how Afghans conduct business. Most markets in rural Afghanistan are based upon a barter system; what the United States used at the turn of the 19th century. Afghans in the smaller villages are moving from the barter system to one based upon monetary exchange for commodities, according to Ghol.

“The market in Sayed Karam is blossoming with security improvements made throughout the district,” said Ghol. “Afghan forces have made vast strides in removing insurgents and Taliban from the district and province.”

He said security improvements have helped business in the district.

“The removal of insurgents and Taliban has allowed the Afghans to feel safer,” said Ghol. “With an increased sense of security, Afghans in Sayed Karam have seen markets grow in size and selection over the past year.”

The market walk provided a means for the ADT to directly gauge trends in the distribution of agricultural products in the district and across the province. The ADT gathered information, such as the price and availability of crops for sale. 

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Payne, from Aubrey, Texas, a project manager for the ADT, checked the price on flour, meats, honey, fruits and vegetables while interacting with Afghan shop owners. 

“The price, quality and quantity of goods available in the market are similar to what is available in Gardez,” said Payne. “Most of the goods came from Gardez, but some came from local farmers, which is a good sign that there is a surplus of agricultural crops available for sale in the district.”

The market walk also allowed the ADT to gauge from local Afghans how they felt about the security situation in Sayed Karem. When people feel safe enough to shop, that is a good indicator of security as a whole.

U.S. Army Capt. Kale Rogers, from Cordell, Okla., the security force commander of the 2-45th ADT, talked to one Afghan who said security has improved in Sayed Karam. The villager cited the “Guardians of Peace” program, which mirrors the “Sons of Iraq” program the U.S. used to unite communities in Iraq and improve security.

U.S. Army Col. Robert Roshell, from Lawton, Okla., commander of the ADT, talked to some of the shopkeepers, asking how they store food and if cool storage facilities would benefit the local Afghans. Cool storage facilities extend the shelf life of food products by months, without the need for electricity for refrigeration.

“The U.S. can only help if the government in Kabul can’t assist,” said Roshell. “The U.S. must allow the Afghans to address and solve issues that affect Afghans in the villages.”

Market walks allow for direct interaction between Afghans and the U.S. military. They also allow for U.S. personnel to purchase food and other goods, which help break down some barriers Afghans have against coalition forces. One complaint is that coalition forces never stop in the smaller villages, but pass them to go to the bigger towns. 

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Hekia, from Duncan, Okla., a squad leader for the 2-45th ADT, purchased bread in one of the local shops.

“The bread is some of the best part of eating in Afghanistan,” said Hekia. “The Afghans take pride in what they do, and us buying food or other items from the Afghans is just another way to show that we are more than just Soldiers, we are partners in securing a better future for all of Afghanistan.”PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Billy Payne, from Aubrey, Texas, a project manager for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, talks with an Afghan about the price of meat products in the Sayed Karam market. The prices were comparable to prices in Gardez. Payne also discussed where most of the products in the market came from or were produced. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marchal Magee, from Issaquah, Wash., commander of the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team, walks through the Sayed Karam market. Magee saw progress since his last visit to the market, almost a month ago. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Capt. Kale Rogers, from Cordell, Okla., the security force commander of the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, talks with an Afghan about security in the Sayed Karam District. The Afghan said security has improved in the region with programs which help Afghans communicate with Afghan security forces about known insurgents or Taliban in the area. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Fromm, from Enid, Okla., the information operations non-commissioned officer for the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team, hands out pens and pencils during a market walk in Sayed Karam. Interaction with the local population allows the ADT to gauge the level of support for U.S., coalition and Afghan forces by the local population. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class David Davis, from Moore, Okla., the platoon sergeant of the 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team’s security force, leads the rear security element from the Sayed Karam market at the conclusion of the market walk. The walk allowed the ADT to check on the progress made over the past month since the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team had visited. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 January 2011 00:18
 

    

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