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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KHOWST PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Local girls sing a song celebrating their mother's contributions to society during the International Women's Day celebration in Khowst City, Khowst Province March 8. Approximately 270 women attended the event held to celebrate women and to discuss changes needed to increase women’s rights. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Tobey White, Task Force Duke Public Affairs)KHOWST PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - The women, clad head to toe in light blue burkas provided a stark contrast to the female Soldiers in Multi-cam uniforms attending a shura at the civil military operations center in Khowst City March 8.

More than 270 women gathered to celebrate International Women’s Day, sponsored by the Director of Women’s Affairs in Khowst City. It was a day to celebrate being a woman and to discuss changes needed to increase women’s rights.

Women from various U.S. Army units, including the 3-19th Agribusiness Development Team, the 870th Military Police Company, and the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division were invited to attend the event.

“It was the first time coalition forces had been invited to attend the International Women’s Day in Khowst Province,” said U.S. Army Maj. Rosemary Reed, 95th Civil Affairs, Khost Provincial Reconstruction Team, and a resident of Tacoma, Wash. “It is a sign that they have an increased trust and interest in working with us and may continue to do this in the future.”

In a country where women’s rights often take a backseat, it is especially important for key leaders from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Khowst Province to meet and address women’s issues and concerns openly and publicly, said Reed.

Events included speeches from Khowst Provincial Gov. Abdul Jabbar Naeemi and key female leaders in the community. It also included poetry readings from several high school students and a song by several local girls celebrating the contributions their mothers make to society.

“Our government is trying to do better for women and we are trying to bring equality to women,” said Naeemi.

He praised the strength of Afghan women in the face of war and the loss of loved ones. Naeemi also promised to try to improve their legal rights. One issue he addressed is the practice of families giving girls under the age of 18 to old men for marriage.

“We will work to solve these issues until our grandkids do not have to pick up a weapon for fighting but can go to school for education,” Naeemi said.

He told the women about a five-year plan to build schools and parks, and to increase women’s education. In addition, Naeemi reminded the women that a child’s education starts at home. It is a mother’s job to understand how to raise a child and is important to instill in the child manners and respect for women from the beginning, he said.

“This is a woman’s problem. Women raise men,” said Hakmina, a female provincial council member. “You have to teach a man how to live, and you need to teach him how to respect his mother.”

The presence of the governor at the International Women’s Day event showed he was supportive of addressing those concerns and issues involving women, Reed said.

“It shows there is a commitment from GIRoA, whether that be through a project or certain laws,” Reed said.

Coalition forces along with GIRoA officials presented certificates of appreciation to women who had gone above and beyond for women’s rights.

“It was nice to be part of something that is helping build the infrastructure of Afghanistan, especially since it’s helping women come up in society,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Julissa Matute Velasquez, a 870th MP team leader and a resident of San Jose, Calif.

 

    

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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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