Nuristan PRT delivers assistance to Barge Matal

Written by U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Natassia Cherne Tuesday, 05 January 2010 00:30

NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team delivered materials to the village of Barge Matal, Dec. 29, to help the village rebuild and compensate for major losses after an anti-Afghan attack earlier last year.

Last summer, AAF launched a series of attacks on the villagers of Barge Matal, Coalition forces, and Afghan security forces, leaving many homes and the village sawmill – the only source of economic activity for the village – burned down.  

U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. Christopher Saunders, Nuristan PRT engineering officer, and native of Camarillo, Calif., over the past few months, has helped purchase parts for the sawmill.

“The sawmill was the heart of economic activity in Barge Matal,” Saunders said. “The destruction of the sawmill by AAF was a huge blow to the community, and it became our top priority to get a new band saw to the village to get the lumber industry going again.”

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Russell McCormack, the commander of the Nuristan PRT and native of Hampstead, N.H., and a personal security detachment met with local villagers to talk about the items being delivered to their village.

The villagers thanked the team for providing funds and equipment and for giving them the opportunity to reconstruct their community and lives.