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)
NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Government and community leaders from Nurgaram District cut the ribbon on a completed solar panel project in Nangaresh Feb. 21 that will provide lights and electricity to the boys and girls schools in the village.
“The community put a lot of hard work into this project, and we hope to repeat it at other schools in the district,” said Dr. Mehirulla Muslim, the Nurgaram District subgovernor in an address to nearly 100 teachers, community leaders, and citizens. “Children need an education that will help them grow into good people, not where they become thieves and criminals, not where they take up a gun and commit violence.”
The project was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development from the Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team at nearby Forward Operating Base Kalagush in western Nuristan Province.
U.S. Army Capt. Garrett Gingrich from Waterloo, Iowa, commander of Company C, 133rd Infantry Regiment, represented the FOB at the ceremony and told the audience it was a wonderful day to celebrate the progress and hard work of local citizens that turned the dream of electricity at the school into reality.
“We are honored to support our neighbors and the district government leaders who support you,” said Gingrich. “The solar panels here will let your children study longer, and as long as (community leaders) stand up against the criminals and violence, we can see other further progress.”
When considering construction projects, USAID and the Nuristan PRT account for sustainability, and this project is no exception. Following the ceremony, the PRT ensured steps were in place to keep the system running well into the future.
Maintenance of the system is the responsibility of the district line director for education. When school officials expressed concerns that they do not yet have the tools needed to maintain the system and that those tools are not available at the local markets, the PRT offered a solution.
U.S. Army 1st Lt. Robert Perales of Richmond, Ind., a civil affairs officer from the Nuristan PRT, explained the process of how to get funding from the district and provincial governments to train school employees on system maintenance and to get the needed tools and parts required to keep the system fully functioning after the warranty period expires.
“We explained to them the forms they needed to fill out to get the money for project sustainment,” said Perales. “(Provincial Gov. Jamaluddin) Badr is coming up here to implement this system.”
The project put an energy-efficient, compact fluorescent light fixture and an electrical outlet into classrooms. The entire system provides 15 kilowatts of power, enough for both the boys and girls schools and for a future community education center slated to be built on the site in the future.
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