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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KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Abdul Wali and Said Obaidullah, Afghan agricultural professionals who are part of the internship program initiated by the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team, talk about an upcoming field day March 19 with U.S. Army 1st Lt. Scott Shirk of Emmetsburg, Iowa, ADT project manager for the Chowkay District, and U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Don Kuehl of Jackson, Minn., ADT project manager for the Sarkani District. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team began an internship program for young Afghan agricultural professionals here as the year began. Now, members of the ADT and the interns themselves say the program is paying big dividends for all concerned, including Afghan farmers.

The Iowa ADT’s internship program is modelled after a similar initiative the Kansas ADT implemented in Laghman Province, according to U.S. Army Maj. Dwayne Eden of Wesley, Iowa.

Eden, who is in charge of the Iowa ADT internship program, had high praise for the two Afghan professionals who are working with the ADT.

“It is working out excellent,” Eden said. “They both come from Nangarhar University and they know agriculture and the Afghan way, and they can speak with the local farmers.”

The young Afghan agricultural professionals, Said Obaidullah and Abdul Wali, both have undergraduate degrees in agriculture from Nangahar University. Both are 24 years old, and both have similar motivations for working with the Iowa ADT.

“I like working in agriculture because it is important to the development of Afghanistan,” Wali said. “This is the main point: when the country develops its agricultural land, this country becomes more developed.”

Obaidullah added that he takes satisfaction from improving the farming practices of everyday Afghans who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods.

“We train the farmer, we show the farmer how to grow more, how to use the scientific approaches or the new technology that we use in our demonstration farms, which is where we train the farmers,” Obaidullah said. “It’s very good for us and very good for them.”

Wali and Obaidullah have worked on each of the ADT’s seven demonstration farms across Kunar Province but have spent the most time at the demonstration farm in the Chowkay District.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Scott Shirk of Emmetsburg, Iowa, is the ADT’s project manager for Chowkay. He described the internship program as “one of the best things we’ve done” and said it was mutually beneficial for all concerned.

“It’s a win-win for both the ADT and the interns,” Shirk said. “The ADT has gotten more work accomplished utilizing the interns that are able to go out every day where we’re not, so that’s a win for us. And it’s a win for the interns. The interns are learning from us, we’re learning from them,” he added. “And then also it’s a win for the local Afghan farmers, who are able to increase their knowledge from the training that we’re conducting.”

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Don Kuehl of Jackson, Minn., also works closely with Obaidullah and Wali. Kuehl, the ADT’s project manager for the Sarkani District, pointed to the internship program’s larger strategic implications.

“Well, one of the things I like about working with our interns is the fact that when they’re out in the country they are a positive reinforcement for the ADT with the local population, the district governmental officials and the provincial governmental officials as they put a ‘best face’ on what the United States government is attempting to do for the Afghan citizen here,” said Kuehl.

Kuehl, Shirk and Eden each expressed feelings of respect and personal affection for Obaidullah and Wali. The two young Afghan professionals admitted they had not expected the integrity of the ADT members.

“Just the sincerity, the maturity of the ADT was a very big surprise for me,” Obaidullah said.

Wali was even more direct in stating how his opinion about U.S. forces in Afghanistan had changed since he began working with the ADT.

“Before I came to work with the ADT and American people, I thought, they’re very much liars; they’re not honest,” Wali said. “When I came here, I was very much surprised to find that these are very honest men, not liars at all.”

The opinion of young Afghan men like Obaidullah and Wali is especially important, Kuehl emphasized.

“The future of Afghanistan is actually in these young men’s hands right now,” said Kuehl. “If this country is to succeed, it’s going to be because of young men like Said and Abdul.”KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Abdul Wali and Said Obaidullah, Afghan agricultural professionals, tour Forward Operating Base Wright Jan. 2 on their first day as agricultural interns for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team. U.S. Army Maj. Dwayne Eden of Wesley, Iowa, who directs the ADT's internship program, provided the tour. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team)


Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 March 2011 03:29


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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.