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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PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. Zachary Stoos (center), of Ankeny, Iowa, and the 3rd Platoon sergeant for Troop B, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, talks to villagers with the help of two Afghan National Army soldiers here Feb. 21. ANA soldiers, Afghan National Police and other assets partnered with Troop B to search the village of Qual-e Jala for targeted individuals to help improve security in Koh-e Safi District. While searching the village, the Troop B Soldiers and their partners killed one known insurgent, detained four others and found assorted weapons which they gathered and destroyed. Task Force Redhorse is a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, also known as Task Force Red Bulls, and maintains security throughout Parwan Province. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Sounds of CH-47 Chinook helicopter blades chopping the air filled the passengers’ ears as they jumped out the back onto a soft dirt field. In the dark, dismounted Soldiers switched-on their night vision devices after the helicopters lifted and flew away, leaving the skies empty except for the bright moon. In the early morning hours Feb. 21, Operation First Snow was finally underway.



As a second round of Chinooks landed, the first group of Soldiers were already moving towards Qual-e Jala to search the compounds for the targeted individual. Soldiers and attachments of Troop B, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, took the first steps to clear, hold, and build Koh-e Safi, ridding the area of insurgency one target at a time.

“We went to Qual-e Jala within Koh-e Safi to search for known weapons cache sites, and we wanted to detain a known insurgent we believed was in the area,” said U.S. Army Capt. Randall Stanford, a Clive, Iowa, resident and the Troop B commander. “The sources we used didn’t work to get our primary objective, so we just continued with our clearing and searching operations.”

The company spilt the village and cleared the compounds one by one. Throughout the day, they killed one insurgent, detained four others and found grenades, rockets, landmines and improved explosive device making materials. The Afghan National Army, with minimal guidance, took the lead on the majority of the searches.

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Andrew Smith, 3rd Platoon leader for Troop B from Iowa City, Iowa, said the ANA soldiers did a great job while they cleared 3rd Platoon’s sector of the village.

“We had 10 ANA soldiers with us, and one spoke pretty good English,” he said, “which worked out very well because without him we would have had to do a lot of hand signalling. He really helped out.”

Stanford said Troop B had trained previously with the ANA and Afghan National Police unit that ran the operation with them. He was happy with how much the ANA took the lead in clearing the village.

“They really got in on the questioning of detained individuals,” he said. “Without having to go through an interpreter, the ANA had a lot of questions they would fire at them. My interpreter would just have to say ‘He’s asking this,’ and they were asking the right questions. It’s good when they can ask the questions and do the searching; we are getting where we need to be which is us backing up and them going forward, and that’s happening already.”

“We were very satisfied with the cooperation we had with the Bravo Troop,” said ANA Lt. Aimal, the executive officer for 3rd Company, 3rd Battalion, 201st Infantry Regiment. “We did what we came to do and it was very successful.  We hope that in the future we have many successful missions like this with other Coalition Forces.”

Troop B plans on conducting future operations with the ANA and ANP, Smith said.

“I’m looking forward to future partnership with the ANA and ANP because without them our element is so small that it’s really difficult to make an impact,” said Smith. “When we have (the Afghan forces) with us, the local Afghans seem to be a little more understanding and accepting of us being there than if it’s just us alone.”

The mission went off flawlessly, said Stanford. Troop B had planned and briefed the mission for weeks prior to execution, each Soldier knew exactly what his or her task and purpose was. Not only did Troop B have ANA and ANP along on the mission, but they also had a French Operational Mentoring Liaison Team, a law enforcement professional, a female engagement team, military working dogs, and air assets to name a few.

“We had so many assets rolled up into this one mission,” Stanford said. “For it to go off as well as it did, and (for us to) find as much stuff as we did, and detain the individuals we did, I couldn’t be more proud.”

Clearing, holding and improving Koh-e Safi, Qual-e Jala was the first step. Troop B plans to continue throughout the rest of the district to make it a safe place for Afghans to live peacefully.

“We are here to help them,” said Smith, “to secure them and to get the guys that are doing harmful things out.”PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Buchness (center), of Leonard Town, Md., and the 3rd Platoon sergeant for Troop B, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, helps an Afghan National Army soldier climb a wall, here Feb. 21. ANA soldiers, Afghan National Police and other assets partnered with Troop B to search the village of Qual-e Jala for targeted individuals to improve security Koh-e Safi District. While searching the village, the Troop B Soldiers and their partners killed one known insurgent, detained four others and found assorted weapons which they gathered and destroyed. Task Force Redhorse is a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, also known as Task Force Red Bulls, and maintains security throughout Parwan Province. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Andrew Smith (right), of Iowa City, Iowa, and the 3rd Platoon leader for Troop B, 1st Squadron, 113th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Redhorse, hands a document that was found in a building search to Afghan National Army Lt. Aimal, here Feb. 21. ANA soldiers, Afghan National Police and other assets partnered with Troop B to search the village of Qual-e Jala for targeted individuals in order to ‘clear, hold, build’ Koh-e Safi District. While searching the village, the Troop B Soldiers and their partners killed one known insurgent, detained four others and also found assorted weapons which they gathered and destroyed. Task Force Redhorse is a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, also known as Task Force Red Bulls, and maintains security throughout Parwan Province. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ashlee Lolkus, Task Force Red Bulls Public Affairs)

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 26 February 2011 21:39
 

    

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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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