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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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Gul Rang (left), agriculture extension manager for the Khas Konar District, and Zabihulla, a Khas Konar farmer and village elder, share a laugh with members of the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team during a meeting at the Khas Konar District Center Feb. 6. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team has made deliberate, methodical progress in assisting agriculture officials and farmers in the Khas Konar District of Kunar Province.

Over the past three months, members of the ADT approved repairs to a modern seed cleaner a corrupt official had looted, and facilitated selection of a demonstration farm site by district officials and shura members. ADT members presented a land-use agreement for the demonstration farm to the district subgovernor and the shura for their consideration Jan. 20.

Most recently, members of the ADT met with Gul Rang, the district agriculture extension manager, and Zabihulla, the owner of the demonstration farm site at the Khas Konar District Center Feb. 6. At the meeting, ADT members and the Khas Konar agriculture leaders discussed potential cool storage locations and the design of the greenhouse slated for installation on the demonstration farm.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rick McLain of Stockport, Iowa, is the ADT’s project leader for Khas Konar. Despite the ADT’s accomplishments thus far in Khas Konar, McLain insisted the team’s most important achievement so far has been to establish solid relationships with district agricultural leaders.

 “We want to help them in ways that will improve their long-term productivity, and we want to make sure they can sustain anything we start,” McLain said. “That means we’ve got to trust one another, and trust takes time.”

According to McLain, he has developed an especially strong bond with Rang and Zabihulla. During the Feb. 6 meeting, Gul Rang praised McLain as an “honest man” and “good partner.”

“When Chief (McLain) says this thing or that thing will happen, then I know it will take place, because he is a man of honor,” Rang said.

While McLain said his experience with Rang was that Rang, too, was an “honest” and “honorable” man, McLain reserved his highest praise for Zabihulla.

“I’ve been to his farm three times so far, and he’s not a man with his hand out,” McLain said. “He reminds me of the old farmers I know in Iowa who won’t ask you for help, but might accept it if you offer it to them the right way.”

Zabihulla is also the elder of the village immediately adjacent to the proposed demonstration farm site. His sole interest in working with the ADT, Zabihulla told McLain during the most recent meeting, is improving the lives of the villagers he leads.

“I have paid to put a well on this land, and I am willing to sign a deed to give this land to the government for the demonstration farm,” Zabihulla said. “I will give my time, my fortune and my land if it will help my people.”KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – As members of the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team look on, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Rick McLain of Stockport, Iowa, the ADT’s project manager for the Khas Konar district, makes a point during a meeting with Gul Rang, the district agriculture extension manager, Feb. 6. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Don Kuehl of Jackson, Minn., a soils specialist for the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team, shakes hands with Zabihullah, a farmer and village elder in the Khas Konar District, following a meeting at the district center Feb. 6. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)


Last Updated on Thursday, 10 February 2011 00:52


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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.