Noor Gal women receive vet training

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams of New Liberty, Iowa, veterinary officer for the 734th ADT, teaches Kunar Women's Shura member Sohila how to tie (click for more)

TF White Eagle doctors fight for Afghan woman’s health

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – TF White Eagle doctors wash an Afghan woman`s burned leg to prepare her for further treatment. (click for more)

A joint venture: 64th MPs, Alingar AUP work, patrol together

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Two Afghan girls peek out of a schoolhouse window in the town of Kachur Jan. 15. (click for more)

Kotalay: a village caught in the middle

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - A town barber trims the beard of a village elder in the town of Kotalay Jan. 10. (click for more)

Iowa ADT small poultry project a sustainable success

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Sgt. Heather Eberle of Altoona, Iowa, combat medic with the 734th ADT, makes friends with Afghan children inside their home compound in (click for more)

Redhorse focuses on Bagram Security Zone

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Staff Sgt. William R. Haley (left), fills out paperwork while U.S. Army Spc. Joshua A. Knaack looks on. Both are Sioux City, (click for more)

ANSF, TF Storm provide security in Kharwar

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Pfc. Ryan B. Stuart of Brooklyn Park, Minn., assigned to Task Force Storm, provides security for Afghan National Security Forces in Kharwar (click for more)

ANA, TF Lethal stop suspected IED emplaces in Zormat

PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Members of the 1st Coy, 1st Kandak ANA prepare to disrupt and prevent insurgents from planting an IED on a road near Tatanak Village in Zormat (click for more)

Paktika road boosts economy

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Mohammed Anwar, the cousin of a shop owner in Mata Khan District, sews a scarf here Jan. 10. (click for more)

Laghman PRT visits shops in Mehtar Lam

LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. John Kuehlthau, Laghman PRT civil engineering team, and U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Alexandra Davis, Laghman PRT medical specialist, (click for more)

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Maj. Patrick Smock of Liberty Hill, Texas, runs the Miami Marathon satellite race at Forward Operating Base Fenty in eastern Afghanistan Jan. 30. Smock, an orthopaedic surgeon assigned to 745th Forward Surgical Team and attached to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, ran the 26.2-mile marathon in 3 hours, 27 minutes in eastern Afghanistan. His two civilian brothers, also doctors, ran the Miami Marathon in Florida later that day. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – His sleep was restless. The dark, early morning hours would soon come. He tossed and turned most of the night, finally rolling out of bed at 3:30 am.   

He’d been training hard for the past four months. The day had finally arrived for the young orthopaedic surgeon. After grabbing some caffeine and carbohydrates, he began drinking lots of water.

The countdown began. In just a couple of hours, he would be running the 26.2-mile Miami Marathon, thousands of miles from the coast of Florida, amidst the concrete barriers and the concertina wire that lined the perimeter fence of Forward Operating Base Fenty in eastern Afghanistan.

His name is U.S. Army Maj. Patrick Smock and he is assigned to the 745th Forward Surgical Team which is attached to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

As he arrived at the start line, a few stars still shined through the clouds and dotted the sky. Soon, the sun would begin to crest over the snow-capped mountains.

Ready, set, GO!    
As Smock and the other marathoners took off down the dusty hardtop road, they soon came across a group of up-armored trucks getting ready to roll out on a convoy.

“That really puts things in perspective,” said Smock. “You see that and you think, ‘This (race) is just for fun.’ By the second lap, those guys were already gone, doing their job. Halfway through, I was doing pretty good. I hit my wall about 21, 22 miles and started to need to take a break, walk it out and make sure I keep fuelling myself up. I used that finish line as my motivation.”

And what exactly motivated Smock to run the Miami Marathon while deployed in Afghanistan in the first place?

“My brothers Michael and David and I had planned to run the Miami Marathon together for almost a year now,” said Smock, who lives in Liberty Hill, Texas. “We are all doctors, all went to the same school and are all very active, but have never run a marathon together.  

“When I found out that I would be deployed and unable to run with them in Miami, it was disappointing, but I decided that it would not stop me from running ‘with’ them, even if it was from half-way around the world,” he explained.  

Shortly after arriving at FOB Fenty, Smock contacted the Miami Marathon race directors back in the U.S. and inquired about a satellite run.  

They were very receptive and were happy to sponsor the run, Smock said. “They also sent T-shirts, medals and several other goodies to pass out to all the participants,” Smock added.

To train for the event, Smock said he spent four months running laps around the airstrip here and wore out three pairs of running shoes. The soles on the pair he wore for the Jan. 30 race were already starting to separate. And even though Smock knew he’d missed an opportunity to be with his two brothers who ran the marathon in Miami just 10 hours after he finished his, he said he plans on doing future events together with them, barring another deployment.

“I don’t know if we will run Miami together in the future, that will most likely depend on how our schedules work out, but we are already tentatively planning to sign up this summer for the Ironman Triathlon in Lake Placid (in N.Y.) in 2012,” Smock said. “Hopefully no deployments interfere with those plans. I don’t think I could find a place to swim in Iraq or Afghanistan!”

Smock ran eight laps, 26.2 miles, around the airstrip on FOB Fenty and finished the race in 3 hours, 27 minutes.

“I crushed my goal,” he said. “I had run two marathons before, and I did each of those in just under four hours. I wanted to run 3:30 today. I think my official clock time was 3:27 and some change. I’m so excited right now!”

NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – A Soldier gives U.S. Army Maj. Patrick Smock, orthopaedic surgeon with 745th Forward Surgical Team, a high-five as he crosses the finish line at Forward Operating Base Fenty Jan. 30. Smock, a Liberty Hill, Texas, native, participated in a satellite run of the Miami Marathon. Smock had originally planned on running the Miami Marathon in Florida with his two brothers but, since he was deployed, he ran it just 12 hours before his brothers were scheduled to start the marathon in the U.S. Smock finished the 26.2-mile course in 3 hours, 27 minutes. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Richard Daniels Jr., Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)



Related Links

Bagram Airfield

The Flood





Fallen Heroes

Language Selection

Press Releases

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.


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.

TF Iron Rakkasan radio connects GIRoA to people in Miri

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan government and 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, are expanding their reach with a second Radio in a Box station at the Miri District Center in Andar Province.