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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
KUNAR PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN – U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top commander in Afghanistan, visited Soldiers in the Pech River Valley March 31 to show his appreciation and support for their efforts in rooting out the insurgency in the region over the past 11 months.
Speaking to Soldiers at Combat Outpost Honaker-Miracle assigned to 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Task Force Bastogne, Petraeus praised the battalion’s leadership and honored the Task Force Bulldog troops for their relentless determination in fighting in an area that has seen some of the most kinetic activity since the Afghan war began.
“This is simply the best mountain fighting brigade in the United States Army,” Petraeus said of the 1st Bn., 327th Inf., Task Force Bulldog. “There is simply no other unit I would rather have fighting here.”
The Pech River Valley, TF Bulldog’s area of operations, lies near the border of Pakistan in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. It is an area where U.S. and NATO forces are engaged in intense fighting, trying to prevent insurgents from slipping in from neighboring Pakistan.
Since mid-February, TF Bulldog has focused on realigning units from the Pech River Valley to more densely populated and strategically important areas in Kunar Province and neighboring provinces.
By early March, they’d completed a transition of Forward Operating Base Blessing to the Afghan National Army’s control, the largest base transferred in Afghanistan to date.
Earlier this week, TF Bulldog closed Combat Outpost Michigan and simultaneously executed Operation Bulldog Blitz, another in a line of many offensive operations undertaken by the task force.
U.S. forces departed both bases without expected enemy resistance.
“I attribute that to our extensive planning, knowledge of the terrain and people; and, most importantly, to our precise execution on the ground,” said U.S. Army Capt. Robert Reynolds of Huntsville, Ala., Task Force Bulldog assistant operations officer. “The enemy could not affect us, although we know he wanted to.”
Petraeus said he was impressed with recent operations and with the battalion’s progress in protecting the Afghan people and advising Afghan National Security Forces and government officials, despite the violent nature of the region. He admitted that he’d been following the Bulldog battalion very closely since the realignment of forces began.
During his visit, Petraeus took time to award one Bronze Star Medal with Valor, three Army Commendation Medals with Valor, and four Purple Hearts to members of the battalion.
Although he did not cite specific figures, the unit’s success has come at a cost. Since deploying last April, the battalion has had 15 Soldiers killed in action and have had 143 wounded in action. TF Bulldog will return home to Fort Campbell this spring.
“I’m proud of the effort each and every one of you have put into this fight. You should all be proud as well,” said Petraeus.
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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Coalition forces killed seven insurgents in defensive operations in the Alah Say District, Kapisa Province, eastern Afghanistan, March 29.
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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.
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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.
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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.