Monday, January 26, 2009

C Troop 6-4 CAV bridge access for Remote Afghans

Notice the credits for the pictures.

Army 2nd Lt. Michael Herndon and his squad provide over-watch security for workers below while they construct a bridge and improve a three-mile stretch of road in the Lal Por district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.

U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jay Bessey

Army Staff Sgt. Olen Ice operates a Bobcat to widen, smooth and harden stretches of road between Lal Por village and Reneh in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.

U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jay Bessey

Local Afghans stand by as Army Staff Sgt. Olen Ice lifts a plank to be used for a bridge in the Lal Por district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.

U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jay Bessey

Afghan security forces, local residents and U.S. soldiers lay planks for a bridge in the Lal Por district of Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.
U.S. Army photo by Capt. Jay Bessey

U.S. Soldiers Bridge Access for Remote Afghans
By Army Spc. Brandon Sandefur Special to American Forces Press Service

JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan, Jan. 26, 2009 - U.S. soldiers are building roads to remote areas in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar province that are opening doors to a better way of life for local Afghans.
Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team are improving accessibility into the province's Lal Por district by building a bridge and improving three miles of road. Prior to the construction, access was limited to small vehicles and pedestrians, isolating the villages in the district's Reneh and Parchaw areas.
"Isolation creates a situation that can and will be exploited by enemies of the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan," said Army Lt. Col. Patrick Daniel, Special Troops Battalion commander. "People who are not reached by the legitimate government will be reached and exploited by the enemies of the government in an insurgency."
Since the completion of the project, mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles and large cargo trucks now can enter the area, enabling NATO's International Security Assistance Force to reach out to local people who may not have seen them before.
Daniel further explained how projects like this help establish trust and confidence in the Afghan government and the U.S. forces assisting them.
"The best way we can counter the enemies of Afghanistan in these areas is by assisting the government in creating access and reaching the people of remote areas like Reneh and Parchaw," he said. "This operation was a definite positive step in that direction."
Despite terrain and security issues, the project was completed in three days by soldiers from Charlie Troop, 6th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment.
The troops also helped to widen, smooth and harden stretches of the road between Lal Por village and Reneh while working with Afghan security forces to establish security along the route.
"Because the road has been so restrictive, the government has not been able to provide large-scale projects in the area," Army Capt. Jay Bessey, officer in charge of the project, said. "As a result of this inability, the people have felt abandoned.
"We wanted to use this project to show them that, at the behest of their sub-governor, we could and would support them," said he continued. "Hopefully, this project ties them closer to the government and opens the door to increased security through a prolonged [Afghan security forces] presence."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

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Friday, January 16, 2009

DOD Announces Units for Afghanistan Force Rotation and Deployment

DoD Announces Units for Afghanistan Force Rotation and Deployment

The Department of Defense announced today that the 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, based in Fort Richardson, Alaska, is scheduled to deploy as part of the next rotation of forces in Afghanistan. The 25th Naval Construction Regiment, based in Gulfport, Miss., will deploy as an additional unit in support of coalition operations in Afghanistan.

This announcement involves approximately 4,000 service members, and their deployments are scheduled to begin in February 2009.

The 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division will replace one active duty brigade currently on the ground, and continues the current U.S. commitment to providing three brigade combat teams in support of Regional Command East.

The 25th Naval Construction Regiment will provide additional expeditionary engineering and construction support to coalition forces in Afghanistan. This regiment was originally scheduled for deployment to Kuwait, but will now deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In consultation with Afghan officials and NATO, commanders continue to assess the situation to ensure sufficient force levels to best support the Government of Afghanistan, perform counter-terrorism operations, assist with reconstruction, and train and equip the Afghan national security forces. Afghan security forces continue to develop capability and assume responsibility for security, and this U.S. force rotation and deployment may be tailored based upon changes in the security situation.