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)
Over lunch, Mullen held a question and answer session with Soldiers based on the FOB, and then visited the farm maintained by the Indiana National Guard’s 3-19th Agribusiness Development Team.
Mullen entertained several topics posed by Soldiers during the session, including the growing presence of contractors on U.S. FOBs downrange and the possibility of sending ground troops in to assist the Libyan rebels.
Mullen said the use of contractors in non-combat related maintenance and other positions was necessary due to the large-scale operation, and to ensure U.S. Soldiers can remain focused on their counter-insurgency mission.
Regarding Libya, Mullen said he agrees with the President’s decision to not send ground troops.
“I fully support the President’s decision,” he said. “It would be viewed very poorly in the public eye if the U.S. were engaged in an armed conflict with a third Muslim nation within a decade.
After the luncheon, Mullen visited the 3-19th ADT’s headquarters.
The team’s composition, concerning their civilian occupations and areas of expertise, was a topic of discussion with Mullen.
U.S. Army Col. Walt Colbert, the 3-19th ADT commander from Indianapolis, informed Mullen that a significant transformation took place in the three years that Indiana ADT’s worked within the Khowst Province.
“When Indiana’s first team came in during 2009, U.S. Soldiers were delivering actual training to the farmers of Afghanistan. Two and a half years later, with many strong relationships and partnerships in place, agricultural extension agents native to Khowst Province are now capable of conducting their own training seminars,” said Colbert.
While touring the ADT’s farm, Mullen took special interest in their solar dehydrator – an inexpensive device made to dry fruit, some of which are being distributed across the province – as well as a test plot of winter wheat, which was planted using more western practices than are normally seen in this region.
Mullen addressed the ways the ADT is developing new and better ways to help the local villagers help themselves.
“The countless lessons learned over the course of three consecutive ADTs are an excellent example of the continuity that allows the ADT to evolve along with the needs of the Afghans,” said Mullen.
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