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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GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – More than 200 local villagers were hired to prepare the land for the planting of 1,500 fruit trees at Chardewal Farms in Andar district March 28. The trees were purchased from local nurseries and will enable the farm to once again have functioning and profitable apple, apricot and almond orchards. (Photo by U.S. Army Maj. Michael J. Tucker, Task Force Ramrod)GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – During the last two weeks of March, more than 28,000 trees were planted throughout Ghazni Province, coinciding with Nowruz, the Afghan New Year.

This tree reforestation initiative had multiple implementing partners from coalition forces and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Working alongside the Sultan Hussein, Ghazni Director of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock, Texas Army National Guard Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV facilitated the purchase of the trees from local nurseries. Hussein took the lead in the distribution to 14 districts in the province working through the district subgovernors and agriculture extension agents.

In Qarabagh District 2,000 trees were purchased and included red plums, green plums and apricot. Many of these trees were planted in the district center and bazaar, while others were given to local farmers to plant at their homes.

“Sultan Hussein’s participation in this tree planting initiative not only increased plant life in the province, but it increased life in the agriculture sector, as well,” said U.S. Army Maj. Robert Mullen, Texas ADT-IV project manager from San Antonio.

In coordination with the civil affairs team with Task Force Ramrod in Andar District, Texas ADT-IV, and the Ghazni DAIL, 650 apple trees, 650 apricot trees and 200 almond trees were purchased and planted at Chardewal Farms March 28.

Chardewhal Farms was once a profitable farm that produced high-quality apples, apricots and almonds. Due to a non-functioning well, the farm has been without water for four years. TF Ramrod facilitated the construction of a new well which will enable the farm to be functional once again.

“The orchard at Chardewahl represents what’s left of the huge government farm that spread over much of Andar and Giro districts in Ghazni Province,” said U.S. Army Maj. Michael J. Tucker of San Diego, TF Ramrod civil affairs. “The 60 government employees who work at the orchard lacked motivation and rarely worked, but the tree planting and the well that was drilled to support the trees have brought new life to the employees. They worked very hard to plant the trees and it has renewed their purpose.”

Not only did the employees plant the trees, they extended their work by cleaning out irrigation ditches far away from the farm.

“While eating a celebratory meal with the irrigation chief, we designed a plan to repair over 22 kilometers of a canal that supplies water to thousands of wheat farmers,” Tucker said. “The trees planted in Andar will provide a source of revenue for the irrigation department, but will also provide a source of inspiration that new life is coming to the area. Every irrigation employee is thrilled about the project, and it has drawn a lot of interest for the Andar residents looking for signs that their government can take care of them.”
GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Qarabagh District subgovernor Muhibullah Ekhpelwak waters a newly planted fruit tree at the bazaar in Qarabagh District March 27. Within a two-week period at the end of March, more than 28,000 trees were planted throughout Ghazni in an initiative facilitated by Texas Army National Guard Ghazni Agribusiness Development Team-IV and the Ghazni Director of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock. (Photo by U.S. Army Capt. Wade L. Aubin, Texas Agribusiness Development Team-IV)



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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.