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)

U.S. Army Sgt. Erin King of Polk, Pa., Forward Operating Base Lightning Medical Training Team noncommissioned officer in charge, demonstrates how to palpate for abdominal abnormalities during combat medic training at Forward Operating Thunder Jan. 31. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Derek Nelson, 17th Public Affairs Detachment)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army combat medics proudly walked to the front of the room to receive their graduation certificates at Forward Operating Base Thunder Feb. 6.

The soldiers completed an extended three-month combat medical training course. The students learned valuable medical skills such as intravenous infusions, burn treatment, tactical combat casualty care and triage procedures.

“I enjoyed studying about burns,” said ANA soldier Sayed Rahim of Dai Kondi, one of the combat medic graduates. “Too many people have been burned badly in Afghanistan and I would like to be able to help treat them.”

These skills are vital to the battlefield. Afghan soldiers put them to the test a week prior to graduation in a trauma lane exercise. The trauma lanes put soldiers into a simulated battle environment intended to simulate stress similar to what they will face in real life.

“We try to make the training as realistic as possible,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Erin M. King of Polk, Pa., Forward Operating Base Lightning Medical Training Team noncommissioned officer in charge. “Because of the intensity of the training, we are confident at the end of the day that they are better prepared to handle any medical issues that they may come across on the battlefield.”

Medics go through all of the steps of tactical combat casualty care during the trauma lanes. Student serve as both medical professionals and casualties. Casualties are assessed, treated with immediate aid and then evacuated to a safe area where they receive a head-to-toe assessment and further care, if necessary.

Instructors work hands-on with their students throughout the course, but are especially vigilant during the culmination exercise.

“We help to make sure that what they are doing is correct and to standard” said U.S. Army Spc. Christopher M. Theodule of Valley Stream, N.Y., a member of the combat medic training team. “We put them under stress to help them get used to the intensity of being a real combat medic, while helping to guide them and teach them what they need to do and what they can’t do.”

Instructors and students share a sense of pride upon completion of the course.

“Watching our 30 students receive their certificates was a proud moment in this deployment,” said King. “We’ve been with this group of students longer than usual and we were able to interact with them and learn from them as well as teach them.”

A combat medic student plays the role of a combat casualty during the combat medic course’s trauma lane culmination exercise at Forward Operating Base Thunder Jan. 31. Students performed tactical combat casualty care on the mock casualties as part of their final course evaluations. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Derek Nelson, 17th Public Affairs Detachment)Combat medical traning graduates proudly display their graduation certificates Feb. 6 after completing more than eight weeks of medical training at Forward Operating Base Thunder. (Photo by U.S. Army Cpt. Kenneth Stewart, 17th Public Affairs Detachment)



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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.

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.