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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PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Jastorff of Underwood, Iowa, with the help of U.S. Army Cpl. Timothy Green of El Paso, Texas, U.S. Army Sgt. Lance Morrow of Council Bluffs, Iowa, and U.S. Army Pvt. Michael Kraught of Des Moines, Iowa, all from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, lift the roof for a new, move a roof for a reinforced Afghan Security Guard fighting position Jan. 31 near the front gate of Forward Operating Base Gardez. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nicholas Rasmussen, Task Force Lethal Public Affairs)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Soldiers of the Afghan Security Guard no longer have to depend on a wooden shack and Plexiglas windows to protect them as they stand watch at Forward Operating Base Gardez.

U.S. Army Soldiers designed and built a new reinforced a tower Feb. 3 to protect those on duty.

The new tower was the brainchild of U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Jastorff of Underwood, Iowa, a supply specialist in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment. He not only created the plans, he also completed much of the work on the tower.

A month ago, U.S. Army 1st Sgt. James Cline of Grimes, Iowa, the FOB mayor, approached Jastorff with an idea.

“(Cline) wanted a new fighting position with a bunker,” said Jastorff. “We knew we wanted steel and we knew we wanted ballistic glass.”

Jastorff spent the next few days tossing ideas around in his head.

“I wanted to make something safe,” Jastorff said. “Those guards up there ... have a wooden shack with 1/2 inch plywood.”

After a few days, it came to him. He decided to engineer it to put it on top of the bunker.

A few hours and several measurements later, Jastorff had his plan laid out.

He asked the Oklahoma Agribusiness Development Team for help providing some of the materials, including the steel that would make up a large portion of the tower.
 
Jastoff had the HHC mortar platoon, lead by U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Todd Smiley of Council Bluffs, Iowa, take the steel to the firing range to test it against different caliber weapons.

“It’s sound and secure,” said Jastorff, happy his idea was taking form.

With his hand-drawn schematics and the steel, Jastorff asked the maintenance shop to weld the steel to match his design, which included armored windows scavenged from an old gunner’s turret. Jastorff designed it so that a cracked or broken window can easily be removed and replaced with another one.

When the steel was finished, it was mounted on top of a reinforced bunker. With several swings of a sledge hammer, Jastorff and U.S. Army Cpl. Timothy Green of El Paso, Texas, got the steel structure to fit.

After two weeks of solid work, the fighting position was complete and put into place, further fortified with sand bags and barriers.

The Afghan Security Guard soldiers on duty the day the tower was installed had no idea it was coming. They were very excited to use it.

“This is really safe because it has windows and the metal, it is anti-bullet,” said Naim of Gardez City, a guard on duty at the time. “The old tower was leaking, and that was not good.”

Along with protection from the weather, the reinforced tower will provide the guards security.

“It will give them encouragement to fight ... knowing they’re safe,” said Jastorff.
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Jastorff of Underwood, Iowa, and U.S. Army Cpl. Timothy Green of El Paso, Texas, both of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, maneuver the floor into place Feb. 1 in a fighting position designed and constructed by Jastorff. The structure will help fortify the entrance to Forward Operating Base Gardez and increase the safety of the Afghan Security Guards who operate in it. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nicholas Rasmussen, Task Force Lethal Public Affairs)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Jastorff of Underwood, Iowa, and U.S. Army Cpl. Timothy Green of El Paso, Texas, both of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, make final measurements Feb. 2 before installing a door that will be the final addition to a new fighting position they are building for the entrance to Forward Operating Base Gardez. The new structure will provide more protection for the Afghan Security Guards who work the entry point. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nicholas Rasmussen, Task Force Lethal Public Affairs)PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Naim, an Afghan Security Guard soldier, monitors people and vehicles entering Forward Operating Base Gardez from a fighting position made by U.S. Army Spc. Nathan Jastorff of Underwood, Iowa, a supply specialist in Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Lethal, 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry Regiment, Feb. 3. The structure was designed and constructed to increase the protection of the ASG while they monitor the front gate of FOB Gardez. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nicholas Rasmussen, Task Force Lethal Public Affairs)

 

    

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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.

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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.

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