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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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