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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LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Pfc. Matthew Loebs, an infantryman assigned to Company F, Pathfinders, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Knighthawk, from Miami, catches his breath after firing at targets from 25 meters away during a stress shoot on Forward Operating Base Shank March 11. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Brian P. Glass, Task Force Patriot Public Affairs)LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Being prepared for stressful combat situations could mean the difference between living and dying. To test their preparedness, Soldiers on Forward Operating Base Shank competed in a “stress shoot” March 11.

Pathfinder Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Task Force Knighthawk, based out of Fort Drum, N.Y., participated in the competition.

Army pathfinders are experts in navigating foreign terrain to establish safe landing zones for aircraft and airborne and air assault Soldiers, according to an Army pathfinder school website.

The stress shoot tests the Soldiers’ ability to shoot their weapons after navigating through a variety of physically challenging events.  To make the challenge more realistic, the Soldiers had to wear full battle rattle – helmets and body armor.

“We ran from our ready tent, which is close to the flight line, all the way down to this range,” said U.S. Army Pfc. Will Whitehead, an Infantryman of Company F, 2nd Bn., TF Knighthawk, from Lynchburg, Va. “Then, we did a 25-meter tire flip (and) then dragged the Skedco (litter) another 25 meters.”

Following the physical challenges, the Soldiers shot their rifles at targets on the range, firing 10 rounds from a kneeling position and 10 rounds standing, said Whitehead. Finally, the stress shoot participants had to carry ammo cans from the first firing point on the range to the last point, shoot at the M9 targets and then take the ammo cans to the finish line.

Whitehead, who recently returned to FOB Shank from Environmental Morale Leave (EML), said he felt the physically draining effects of the event. Despite just coming back, Whitehead and his battle buddy completed the event and felt good about it afterward.

“It was pretty tough. I got out of shape, especially on leave. I mean, even for my buddy, he was breathing pretty hard too,” said Whitehead. “(During) the stress shoot, (it) was hard to keep my heart rate low. I wasn’t shooting too well when I was kneeling. When I was standing, I got my rhythm back and controlled my breathing better.”

Participants agreed the tire flip was the most physically demanding task during the stress shoot. Along with thinking and reacting for possible future combat, the Soldiers noticed they accomplished an underlining objective.

“The run and the heavy tire with the rim in it put a lot of stress on you (physically),” said U.S. Army Pfc. Stephen Moore, an infantryman with Co. F, 2nd Bn., TF Knighthawk, from Fort Drum N.Y. “The Skedco pull required us to work as a team the whole time, which is the main thing they tried to accomplish here ... building teamwork. We never know when we will be called up to do missions, so we have to be ready.”

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jason Taylor, a 2nd Bn., TF Knighthawk, squad leader from San Antonio, organized the event. Taylor wanted to see what his Soldiers could do under stressful conditions.

Taylor wanted to get more out of the Pathfinder Soldiers than just to see them physically pushed to the brink. He understands fighting a war is not easy. He made that clear for the shooters during the weapons-firing portion of the event.

“In combat you don’t shoot in a perfect scenario, you’re always tired,” said Taylor. “This was here to put that stress on them and to show them how to control their breathing. We worked on team building and being used to shooting with a full kit on while in stressful conditions.”

Taylor was happy with what he saw. Just like any other training event, Taylor will use this as a building block for the participants.

“They’re doing pretty good,” said Taylor. “They’ve got little things to work on with their shooting, but over all they are doing good.”
LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Pfc. Stephen Moore, an infantryman assigned to Company F, Pathfinders, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Knighthawk, from Fort Drum, N.Y., races through a 25-meter tire flip as part of a stress shoot event on Forward Operating Base Shank March 11. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Brian P. Glass, Task Force Patriot Public Affairs)


Last Updated on Friday, 18 March 2011 06:19


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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.

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.