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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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 on Bagram Airfield Feb. 3. FET training is five days and teaches Dari and Pashto language, Afghan culture, Afghan religion and many other lessons to prepare for future engagements. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Grant Matthes, Combined Joint Task Force-101 Public Affairs) BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – In an effort to maximize communication with the Afghan population and to honor their customs, coalition forces train female engagement teams to interface with local women.

 

FET training teaches service members and civilians to communicate with Afghan women without offending their way of life. The five-day course consists of Pashto and Dari language training, Afghan religion training, Afghan cultural training and many other lessons to prepare the students for future engagements. The final test prior to graduation is an exercise that allows the students to utilize the skills they learned throughout the training on local Afghan women.

“The female engagement team ... has been around for the past nine years, we are just starting to put a name on it now,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Teresa Wolfgang, 404th Civil Affairs Battalion commander out of Fort Dix, N.J. “Fifty percent of the Afghan people are women; if you ignore 50 percent of the population, you’re not going to get that much information. This is Afghan culture and we have to respect it, that’s where the female engagement team comes into play.”

The FET team has many roles when talking to Afghan women out on patrol.

“The FET team helps connect the local populous to the government in a more direct fashion that has been done in a while,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Lindsey Pawlowski of Chicago, a FET member with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “It provides an opportunity to gather information from Afghan women within a town.”

During missions, FET members can assist in accomplishing the task and purpose for the patrol, as well as get the other side of the story from the local females in the village, said U.S. Army Col. Stephen Bentley of Austin, Texas, 101st Abn. Div.’s human terrain analyst team leader.

“During the patrol after-action report, the FET team members will report their findings as well as what the other soldiers found out from the males of the village, so it will give you on the ground-truth situational awareness of the village,” Bentley explained.

Wolfgang, a native of Roanoke, Va., touted the female engagement team as another tool in the commander’s toolbox that can be used to practice their counterinsurgency strategy.

“It’s good to teach and empower the kids rather than just give out humanitarian aid,” said U.S. Army Capt. Nicole Zupka of Fair Lawn, N.J., a battle watch captain with Combined Joint Task Force-Paladin.

Classes are scheduled quarterly, but are based on demand.

“The FET team is a tremendous enabler to a team, mission, patrol, and to local villages,” said Bentley.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 February 2011 08:40
 

    

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ADT launches several Ghazni projects

 

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Task Force White Eagle Texas Agribusiness Development Team IV attended a ground breaking ceremony hosted by Ghazni Deputy sub-Gov. Mohammad Ali Ahmadi at the Ghazni Governor’s compound April 27.

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TF Dolch launches UAV in Logar Province

 

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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.