Govt and military officials, along with leaders from TF Duke, listen to a briefing. The meeting was a chance for leaders to discuss recent security achievements, share info, and plan for the winter fighting season.
Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky, (second from right), and members of his personal security detail run to their UH-60 Black Hawk. Volesky and his team were conducting a surprise battlefield circulation to several ISAF positions south of Kabul, in the Deh Yak and Mata Khan districts, to see how Op Shamshir was progressing.
A member of the ANA and a member of the local AUP, Deh Yak District, provide over watch during Op Shamshir with U.S. forces.
Army Capt. Scott Hall, from Fla., launches himself off of a UH-60 Black Hawk onto the valley floor of the Deh Yak District. Hall is the personal asst. to Brig. Gen. Gary Volesky.
Maj. Abdul Gafar, who is with the ANA, shakes hands with Brig. Gen. Volesky, while a member of the AUP looks on. The ANA, AUP and U.S. soldiers were in the middle of Op Shamshir in the Mata Khan District, south of Kabul.
RC-East, Bagram Media Center
KANDAHAR PROVINCE -- In Kandahar district, a combined Afghan and coalition patrol discovered a damaged coalition vehicle and storage container, in a civilian compound, Oct. 19. Upon further investigation, the SecFor discovered a weapons cache as well. The cache consisted of 3 AK-47s, a shotgun, a hand grenade, 15 AK-47 mags, and 450 7.62 mm rounds.HELMAND PROVINCE -- A combined Afghan and coalition SecFor patrol detained an insurgent leader, during an op in Lashkar Gah district, in an ongoing op throughout the week. The leader commands several insurgents, and is responsible for planning attacks against Afghan and CF.
ZABUL PROVINCE -- A combined Afghan and coalition patrol discovered a large store of explosives, today. The patrol was conducting a clearing op in the village of Arel, when they came upon the cache near an IED. The cache contained 2 containers with 88-lbs (40 kgs) of explosive material, 26-lbs (12 kgs) of ammonium nitrate, and bomb making materials.East
KHOST PROVINCE -- In Qalandar district, a combined Afghan and coalition SecFor patrol discovered a weapons cache, today. The cache consisted of 8 82 mm recoilless rifle rounds, 9 RPGs, 3 landmines, and 250 12.7 mm rounds.
GHAZNI PROVINCE — A combined Afghan and coalition SecFor detained multiple suspected insurgents, during a security op in search of a Taliban leader in Wali Muhammad Shahid Khugyani district. The leader coordinates with fellow insurgent leaders to plan attacks in the area.
----- A combined Afghan and coalition SecFor detained 2 suspected insurgents, and discovered an explosives cache, during an op in Ghazni district, yesterday. The cache consisted of 880-lbs (400 kgs) of homemade explosives.
Fourteen soldiers from the 77th Sust Bde, 310th ESC finalized a logistics mission, Sept. 30, at Habur Gate, turning over the Ibrahim Khalil Border Complex to the GoI. The bulk of the Soldiers’ success rested on their ability to multitask, both teaching and performing their professional and personal skills to one another, and to the local Kurdish workers.Supplies, equipment and food are transported through Turkey, and into Iraq daily to sustain both civilian and military personnel in Iraq. Local nationals help facilitate this daily, million-dollar op. LTF-77th soldiers ensured that Kurdish workers were properly trained and able to perform their tasks, sometimes spending as much as 10 hours a day to ensure their efficiency.2nd Lt. Gerard Sullivan, the officer-in-charge of Logistical TF 77th, STB, 77th Sust. Bde., said that many of the local nationals had only gone as far as the 3rd grade, and that many were illiterate. “Those were the guys we worked with every day,” said Sullivan, who previously worked as a teacher in Honduras for 2 years.
Sullivan said that perhaps the most memorable training was the unforeseen training the soldiers taught their Kurdish counterparts. “They've a heart as big as gold, but a lot of them are just not experienced,” said Sullivan about the more than 120 Kurdish contractors working with them at the complex."Hiring family members, regardless of their training or experience, is a common practice for people in this area," Sullivan said. “It’s like, ‘this guy is my brother, so he’s the new a/c guy,’ or ‘this guy is my cousin, and he’s the new reception desk guy,’” he said. “They were working for us, but didn’t know how to do their job,” said Master Sgt. Ricky Pittman, the NCO-in-charge of LTF-77th, and a native of La. Despite the lack of training the Kurdish workers had, they made the job easier and were eager to learn, said Spc. Ray Hughes, the NCO-in-charge of communications for LTF-77th, and a native of N.J.Although nearly all of the 77th Sust. Bde. soldiers here were Combat Lifesaver certified, the Kurdish had little medical training. “I ran a small, 3-day class with the Kurdish army, teaching them basic medical skills to stop bleeding and open up airways,” said Spc. Jonathan Frick, the NCO-in-charge of the aid station at Habur Gate for the 77th Sust. Bde., and a native of N.J.Frick added, "there was even a Kurdish army medic in attendance. He said that he was motivated to train the locals, because he knew that these medical skills might one day save a life."With the U.S. mission coming to a close, the Ibrahim Khalil Border Complex will be used by the Kurdish customs administration, and will also be a symbol of the cooperation between the U.S. Army and Kurdish people," said Khorshid Yousif, a liaison officer between the complex and the U.S. forces.