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 - U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams of New Liberty, Iowa, veterinary officer for the Iowa National Guard's 734th Agribusiness Development Team, teaches knot-tying for improvised animal halters to Dr. Abdullah of Marawara District and other Afghan veterinarians who serve Kunar Province. Adams and other ADT members worked with Kunar Province veterinarian Dr. Mohammed Ghalib to provide continuing education to Asadabad veterinarians Oct. 21, 2010. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team Public Affairs)KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan veterinarians who participate in veterinary programs sponsored by the Iowa National Guard’s 734th Agribusiness Development Team’s expressed satisfaction with the ADT’s efforts during in-depth interviews to evaluate the effectiveness of the programs March 10.

U.S. Army Maj. Loren Adams of New Liberty, Iowa, a doctor of veterinarian medicine who serves as the ADT’s veterinary officer, had seven veterinarians practicing in Kunar Province come to the ADT’s headquarters at Forward Operating Base Wright. The primary purpose of the visit was to administer a follow-up rabies vaccine to the veterinarians, all of whom are taking part in an ADT-initiated rabies control and prevention program.

While the veterinarians were on FOB Wright, a member of the ADT asked them a number of questions related to current and potential ADT-supported veterinary projects.

Each of the Afghan veterinarians interviewed agreed the ADT’s veterinary programs have been beneficial, and each of the veterinarians recommended an expansion of the programs. Not all the veterinarians wished to be interviewed. Those who declined said they did so because their colleagues had already spoken for them and they had nothing further to add.

Adams worked closely with the Kunar Provincial veterinarian, Dr. Mohammed Ghalib, to implement a variety of initiatives in August 2010. They implemented veterinary outreach sustainment programs linking Afghan veterinarians with local livestock owners, professional development seminars for Kunar veterinarians, and a rabies control and prevention program in Asadabad, the provincial capital.

Adams explained why he arranged to have the Afghan veterinarians interviewed about the ADT’s veterinary programs.

“Naturally, I’m going to think the programs I’m in charge of are great, but it’s the Afghan veterinarians who are on the ground making them happen,” Adams said. “What I really wanted to know is whether or not they had seen any unintended consequences from the programs, and they would know.”

Every veterinarian interviewed insisted all of the ADT’s programs have been beneficial. Dr. Abdullah, an Afghan veterinarian, gave a response typical of the veterinarians interviewed.

“These programs have helped a lot,” Abdullah said. “It has been very helpful financially for us and for the owners of livestock to help prevent many kinds of diseases.”

Another interview subject, Dr. Hiyadatullah, singled out the veterinary outreach sustainment program, in which Afghan veterinarians provided free vaccinations to livestock owners, as especially valuable.

“Through the ADT, we were able to get involved with livestock owners and get their respect through this vaccination program because, at first, the livestock owners were not interested in vaccinations,” Hiyadatullah said. “But when they found out the vaccines were free, they all came and brought their livestock, so even if it’s not free in the future, they’ll still want their animals to be vaccinated, and they’ll bring them and pay for it because now they know the benefits of vaccination and animal treatment.”

Each veterinarian thought existing ADT veterinary programs should be expanded. Dr. Wasiullah, who is also the director of the Asadabad Veterinary Laboratory, called for a province-wide expansion of ADT veterinary programs.

“We should do the same programs in all districts,” Wasiullah said. “We should provide vaccinations for all the livestock in all the districts of Kunar.”

The veterinarians had a variety of recommendations for additional programs. While the specific recommendations for future veterinary programs varied, each veterinarian urged the ADT to continue to support the veterinary sector in Kunar Province. Dr. Bahadr Khan, who practices in the Narang District, made a direct plea for ongoing involvement by the ADT.

“We want the ADT to assist us in our efforts and provide these kinds of programs for us,” Khan said. “Through the ADT’s assistance, we can help the people of Kunar and livestock owners.”

As the ADT’s veterinary officer, Adams said he was pleased with the results of the interviews but he is careful to make no promises to the Afghan veterinarians.

“I really like the veterinarians here, and I’m glad they’re benefiting from what the ADT is doing, so we’ll keep doing it,” Adams said. “Our deployment will end in (this summer) and it’s going to be up to the team from Illinois who’s replacing us to decide what kind of veterinary programs they want to do.”

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Kuchi tribesman and Afghan veterinary workers herd sheep toward the chutes where the animals were de-wormed and vaccinated as part of a veterinary outreach sustainment program for the nomadic Kuchi tribesman camped in the Noor Gal District Jan. 8. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Capt. Peter Shinn, 734th Agribusiness Development Team Public Affairs)



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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.