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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PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army 1st Lt. Roy Silhanek, Task Force Red Bulls Embedded Training Team operations officer in Panjshir and Tama, Iowa, native, shows Afghan Brig. Gen. Qasim Jangalbagh, Panjshir Provincial Police Chief, how to use the scope on an M4 carbine rifle during weapons qualification in Anaba District March 10. The Panjshir ETT and Law Enforcement Professionals met with several Afghan National Police members at a small arms range to zero their weapons and maintain shooting proficiency. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Surrounded by mountains, Anaba District has a large echo effect when a gun blast sounds in the valley. The sound of weapons being discharged over and over also brings many curious onlookers.

More than 30 Afghan National Police watched from a mountainside near a small arms range as several U.S. military and ANP leaders fired M4 carbine rifles at 300 meter targets March 10.

“The ANP joined us for our semi-annual standard weapons qualification,” said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Anthony McDavitt, Task Force Red Bulls Embedded Training Team engineer and Police Mentoring Team non-commissioned officer in charge. “Someday they’ll use the M16, like Afghan National Army has, so familiarization can only help.”

He said firing the M4 rifle is similar to the M16.

The ANP, including Afghan Brig. Gen. Qasim Jangalbagh, the Panjshir Provincial Police Chief, observed, the Panjshir ETT and Law Enforcement Professionals performed primary marksmanship instructions before zeroing their weapons.

“Even though I shoot well with the AK-47 rifle, I really enjoyed learning about the M16 rifle and shooting it,” said Afghan Col. Muhammad Dost, Panjshir’s Operation Control Center Provincial deputy commander.

McDavitt, a Davenport, Iowa, native,  and marksmanship instructor, ran the range. Along with assisting his team with their semi-annual qualifications, McDavitt will also assist the ANP Basic Academy cadre once a month training cadets at a weapons qualification range.

“The PMT will be joining me in helping implement the Ministry of Interior qualification standards and the Academy cadre’s qualification standards for training the cadets,” McDavitt said.

The ANP are eager for McDavitt’s involvement in the training, said Dost.

“It will be a great benefit to have Sgt. McDavitt help train at the Academy range. He has a lot of knowledge and experience about the range operations. The ANP soldiers are eager to learn,” Dost said.

The maintenance standard and weapons system for the AK-47 rifle is very different from that of the M16 series, said McDavitt.

At the end of the day, as the brass from the ammo was picked up, discussions and jokes commenced about the several hours of training and the results of the bullet-ridden targets.

“Even though the weapons and training are different, at the end of the day, we’re able to see the great relationship develop between the Afghan forces and our U.S. military members,” said McDavitt. “We get to bond at the range for a few hours and we all leave with the satisfaction of knowing our counterparts and weapons a little better.”PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan Col. Muhammad Dost, Panjshir’s Operation Control Center Provincial deputy commander, fires an M4 Carbine rifle at a target at a small arms range in Anaba District March 10. The Panjshir Embedded Training Team and Law Enforcement Professionals met with several Afghan National Police members at the range to zero their weapons and maintain shooting proficiency. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Army 1st Lt. Loren Nicholls, Task Force Red Bulls Embedded Training Team intelligence officer in Panjshir, and Ames, Iowa, native, speaks with an Afghan guard about his target after firing an M4 carbine rifle during a weapons qualification in Anaba District March 10. The Panjshir Embedded Training Team and Law Enforcement Professionals met with several Afghan National Police members at the range to zero their weapons and maintain shooting proficiency. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Amber Ashcraft, Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)


Last Updated on Saturday, 19 March 2011 01:15


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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.