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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NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Capt. William Hanna of West Des Moines, Iowa, is presented a pilot-in-command certificate from U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher Downey of Philadelphia, Task Force Shooter commander. Hanna is the Company A, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade commander and a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Kam Gerohimos, Task Force Shooter)NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – In the days of the mounted cavalry trooper, the “stable call” was the sound of a bugle signalling cavalrymen to tend to their horses. In today’s cavalry, the traditions remain the same, but the stable call has altered its significance. Troopers of Task Force Shooter, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, gathered Jan. 14 to honor these cavalry traditions at Jalalabad Army Airfield.

In the atmosphere of team-building and camaraderie, the squadron conducted several warrant officer promotions, awarded certificates to newly designated pilots-in-command, awarded the Broken Spur, said a farewell to one of its officers, broke-in Stetsons, and recognized several contractors working with the unit.   
“I’d like to start off tonight by recognizing five contractors who have been a great asset to the squadron,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 James Riley of Fulton, Miss., recognizing five civilian contractors who deployed with the unit and work alongside Army maintainers to keep the squadron’s aircraft safe and mission ready. “We look forward to having them with us for the rest of the deployment.”

The second event of the evening was awarding pilot-in-command certificates.  The pilot-in-command is the pilot ultimately responsible for the aircraft’s operation and safety during flight. 

“In light of these demonstrated qualities,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Christopher Downey, TF Shooter commander from Philadelphia, reading the certificate, “he is therefore charged to safely and diligently discharge his responsibilities as an aircraft commander and is hereby given the title and authority of pilot-in-command.” 

Newly designated pilots-in-command awarded certificates were: U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Stefan Blasingame of Seattle, an AH-64D Apache pilot; U.S. Army Capt. Kyle Rogers of Erie, Pa., also an Apache pilot; U.S. Army Capt. William Hanna of West Des Moines, Iowa, a UH-60 Black Hawk pilot; U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Nicholas Daniels of St. Johnsbury, Vt., a CH-47 Chinook pilot; U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Mark Chamberlin of St. Augustine, Fla., a Chinook pilot; and U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matthew Blazewicz of Hollidaysburg, Pa., also a Chinook pilot.

The most anticipated event of the night was the awarding of the Broken Spur. 

“The history of the Broken Spur has a long and distinguished lineage, dating back at least until mid-July of 2010,” said U.S. Army Maj. Mark Herold, squadron executive officer and a native of Waterloo, Iowa. 

The Broken Spur is literally a tethered spur, broken in half and attached to a necklace and awarded to the squadron member who has distinguished himself or herself for the most ridiculous and humorous error in judgement. The Broken Spur is to be proudly displayed in the recipient’s place of business, and the person awarded the Broken Spur will recount the infamous details of their impaired cognitive abilities when requested.

After opening the forum to new nominations and through much debate, a unanimous vote selected U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joseph Carr as the recipient of the Broken Spur. 

After the Broken Spur was awarded, three pilots were promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3. The three pilots were: Mark Leach of Daleville, Ala., an OH-58D Kiowa pilot; Andrew Erp of Watertown, S.D., also a Kiowa pilot; and Mark Chamberlin of St. Augustine, Fla., a CH-47 Chinook pilot.

In the midst of congratulating new pilots-in-command and recently promoted pilots, there was also a farewell. The squadron said farewell to U.S. Army 1st Lt. Jeffery Shadwick, an OH-58D Kiowa pilot from Campbell Hall, N.Y.

“Coming to us early from flight school while the troop was still at (High Altitude Mountainous Environmental Training), 1st Lt. Shadwick, with little platoon leader experience, figured out what needed to be done, and got the job done,” said his troop commander, U.S. Army Capt. Scott Wohlford of Watertown, N.Y. “He will be greatly missed but we look forward to him doing great things with his next unit.” 

Shadwick will be going to another base to become a flight platoon leader.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better place to start my career as an aviator then Task Force Shooter,” said 1st Lt. Shadwick. “These stable calls are one of my favorite cavalry traditions where we can all get together and celebrate all the achievements and occurrences in our organization.”

To end the gathering, troopers conducted the time-honored cavalry tradition of breaking in their Stetsons. The following cavalry troopers broke in their Stetsons: U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Richard Ernst of Islip, N.Y.; U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Brian Cammack of West Bend, Wis., and U.S. Army Spc. Ben Shipp of Roundup, Mont., and the entire MEDEVAC platoon, C Company, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th CAB.  NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – During a stable call Jan. 14, Mark Leach of Daleville, Ala., is promoted to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3 by his troop commander, U.S. Army Capt. Chad Monroe of Watertown, N.Y. Leach was one of three cavalry troopers promoted at the gathering. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Kam Gerohimos, Task Force Shooter)


Last Updated on Friday, 28 January 2011 00:47


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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.