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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LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. Chandra Hundley (standing left), a combat medic from Des Moines, Iowa, and U.S. Army 1st Lt. Billy Habibi (standing right), a medical operations officer from Des Moines, Iowa, both with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, react after the Green Bay Packers score during the Super Bowl the morning of Feb. 7 at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam in northeastern Afghanistan. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Matson, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs Office)LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – It may have been 4 a.m., but the Soldiers gathered at the dining facility on Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam were far from sleepy.

Instead a crowd of fiery Soldiers were eating chicken wings, jumping up and down and yelling at the dining facility television screen. It was Super Sunday, Monday morning in northeastern Afghanistan. The Soldiers, primarily from the
1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment of the Iowa National Guard’s 34th Infantry “Red Bulls” Division woke up a little earlier than usual to see a classic confrontation between two of the most storied franchises in the National Football League.

Since Iowa has no NFL team, most of the Soldiers in the dining facility say they root for the closest geographical teams from bordering states – the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings, the Kansas City Chiefs, and of course, the Green Bay Packers. The Packers fans outnumbered the Steelers fans that morning, although there was still a good representation of fans cheering for the black and gold.

One Packers fan watching the game was U.S. Army 1st Lt. Billy Habibi, who was born in Oshkosh, Wisc. He rocked nervously back and forth in his chair during the commercial break between the third and fourth quarters. The Steelers, down 21-10 at halftime, had closed the gap to 21-17.

“It’s a great game,” said Habibi, a medical operations officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 133rd Inf. Regt., who now calls Des Moines, Iowa, home. “The third quarter was terrible for the Packers.”

Across from him, wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers cap, U.S. Army Spc. David Brumley, an unmanned aerial vehicle operator from Co. B, 2nd Brigade, 34th Inf. Div. Special Troops Battalion, from Stuart, Iowa, shook his head.

“I’m gonna say the opposite of that, except for the part about it being a great game,” Brumley said. “The first half was terrible.”

When asked what they thought would happen, Habibi refused to make a prediction.

“I just know the Packers gotta score,” he said. “I don’t want to jinx it.”

“I’m gonna say 27-21, Steelers,” Brumley said.

There were as many as 100 people inside the dining facility to watch the game, but a group of maybe 50 diehards were there from kickoff to the end of regulation. Habibi and Brumley were two of these diehards. Both said they were lifelong fans of their teams. Someone could have almost known exactly what was going on in the game simply by watching their contradictory facial expressions.

But, on this day, it was Habibi who wound up smiling at the end of the game. He and his co-workers and fellow Packers fans from the FOB aid station gathered around the huge Green Bay sign they made for the game to take celebratory pictures after the Packers claimed their fourth NFL title.

Meanwhile, a somber Brumley removed the Pittsburgh flag he had hung on the wall on the opposite side of the television screen.

“That’s OK, we already got six (championships.) More than any team,” he said as he left the chow hall.LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Spc. David Brumley (front), an unmanned aerial vehicle operator from Company B, 2nd Brigade, 34th Infantry Division Special Troops Battalion, from Stuart, Iowa, and a mixture of Army and civilian Steelers fans behind him, cheer on the black and gold during the Super Bowl at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam in northeastern Afghanistan Feb. 7. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Matson, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs Office)LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army 1st Lt. Billy Habibi (left), a medical operations officer from Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. Army Dr. (Lt. Col.) Dean Krueger (center), the battalion surgeon from Tohma, Wisc., and U.S. Army Spc. Chandra Hundley, a combat medic from Des Moines, Iowa, all with the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment aid station, are all smiles as they stand beside the Green Bay Packers sign they made to root the team on Feb. 7 at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Matson, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs Office)


Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 February 2011 02:26


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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.