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Mountain Warrior March 2010

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Mountain Warrior March 2010 Edition




March 2010 | Vol. 1 | Issue 5

Vol. 1 | Issue 5

To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Civilians of Task Force Mountain Warrior:
A Mountain Warrior welcome to the newest members of our Task Force. We’ve seen some significant changes in our “line-up” over the last six weeks. All four of our Provincial Reconstruction Teams and the Laghman ADT are new and, after just two weeks, already making a positive impact across the eastern zone. We also said farewell to TF Roughrider and TF Wildhorse while welcoming TF Iron Gray into our ranks. Iron Gray took over responsibility for Laghman, a province they also operated in for a year in 2007. Welcome to each and every new member of our team – you are joining an incredible group and I know you will make us better. Although the warmer winter allowed the enemy to be more active, all of your phenomenal efforts turned this mild winter into our advantage. I’m proud of how we were able to step up our operational tempo in every area. We conducted hundreds of combined action patrols against insurgents – many long-time insurgents were taken out of action. We spent countless hours training our ANSF partners and helped them foster closer relationships with the local populace. However, our efforts to demonstrate complete transparency in everything we do have had the most profound effect. For example, Kunar, the most dangerous and unconnected province in RC-East, saw a 50% increase in public opinion towards the Afghan government. The perception of Coalition Forces positively doubled as well. As a result, we’ve seen local villages and entire valleys come together to speak out against corrupt government and seek reintegration for former fighters. This pressure has forced dismissals of corrupt and ineffective officials and allowed for increased participation of local Afghans in legitimate governance, security and development. The Afghan people believe that we understand the real problems they face and realize we have the courage and commitment to affect lasting change. I know this momentum is the result of months of disciplined and professional operations across our formation – thank you for your tireless efforts. We also all understand there is more work to be done. Warmer weather will allow, and our positive momentum will force, the enemy to conduct a strong counteroffensive against our successes. We must be ready for an increase of insurgent attacks and subversive activities this spring. I know we are prepared for whatever challenges or adversity comes our way, but I ask that we redouble our resolution to keep complacency out of our ranks. Despite the unforgiving terrain and hot, humid weather, we will continue to help eliminate insurgents and build legitimate governance in this region. We came to Afghanistan because our country was attacked by terrorists who trained and deployed in this very region. What you are doing here is critical to our National defense. You have changed the dynamic in our area of operations and we will continue to be successful. I thank you and your families for your continued sacrifice. God Bless you all! Led By Love of Country! Colonel Randy A. George
Mountain Warrior | March 2010

To the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Civilians of Task Force Mountain Warrior:
We have continued to make great sacrifices in order to make Afghanistan a safe and thriving country. We are the standard that all other task forces strive to be like. You should be very proud of all the hard work and extra effort that you have put in up to now. Continue to keep your eye on the ball all the way until you get on an aircraft heading back. Never forget that you all represent the great servicemembers lost and their memories will live on with you. Keep improving the fox hole and remember safety always. Don’t think that now is the time to start doing stupid things like experimenting with drugs or attempting to take illegal products back home. Leaders, keep on giving that tough love in order to ensure our servicemembers and civilians are safe and doing the right things. It starts with you!!! Enforce our standards to the last and do not allow complacency. Maintain all of your systems so that we turn over a FMC fleet and equipment to 1-101. Again, we are always representing. Look, act and think like a professional at all times. Think through every decision you make and everything you say. Keep your billets and work areas clean, neat, functional and secure. Take pride in everything that you do. Don’t forget Families. Keep them informed. As always, stay safe! God Bless! CSM Charles V. Sasser, Jr.

Col. Randy A. George TF Mountain Warrior Commander Vol. 1 | Issue 5

Command Sgt. Maj. Charles V. Sasser TF Mountain Warrior CSM

On the cover: U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Kreuger Jr., of Wheeling, W. Va., a team leader with 4th Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal, pulls security during a meeting with village elders in the Watapor District of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Albert L. Kelley, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

5 759th MP Company 6 ABP, Shinwari elders meet 7 2nd Bn., 77th Field Artillery Regt. 8 Kalagush weightlifting competition 9 704th Brigade Support Battalion 10 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt. Photo Page 11 Nuristan PRT provides base defense 12 Twins from 2-77, 3-61 reenlist 13 Visit to Kunar’s western districts 14 Red Warrior Photos 15 Vet care priority for Afghan families 16 Kunar PRT Trains Local Workers Fallen Heroes 17 Honoring those we’ve lost 18 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion


Chaplain’s Corner
By Maj. Paul Madej, TF MTN Warrior Chaplain

I woke up this morning and felt the hustle and bustle of life all around me. No one was buying presents, but Soldiers were carrying out missions, Rear D sent me contracts for 28 Marriage/Single Soldier Retreat opportunities for the summer, my Request for Orders arrived, palms were delivered for Palm Sunday services this weekend, and the gym was filled by 0500 with Mountain Warrior Soldiers trying to stay fit. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the morning, most of us will spend a moment of today realizing that homecoming will be here soon. Our Soldiers and families continue to excel, continue to mature, continue to be a part of a dynamic team, continue to understand courage and pride, and most important, realize what is really important in life. In the midst of any hustle and bustle of life you may be experiencing, take time to pause and realize that in the midst of war, we are almost there.
Sgt. Michael Masterson - NCOIC

Moutain Warrior Staff:
Maj. T.G. Taylor- Public Affairs Officer Capt. David Williams - Deputy PAO Spc. Eugene H. Cushing - Print Journalist Pfc. Beth Raney - Editor

IEDs Reinforce Community, Defense
Photos by U.S. Army Sgt. Tracy J. Smith, 48th Brigade Public Affairs

U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Reece, from Kennesaw, Ga., with the 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regiment, keeps a trained eye on the mountain ranges as Coalition and Afghan security teams investigate an improvised explosive device found by a village citizen near a Dih Bala District police center in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, Dec. 27.

U.S. Army Sgt. Benjamin D. Parker, an explosive ordnance disposal team leader from Cincinnati, Ohio, and U.S. Army Spc. Chase Donnelly, a robotics operator from Minnesota, prepare their robot to inspect a suspected improvised explosive device in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. The team successfully detonated the IED in place, Dec. 27.

An improvised explosive device is detonated in place by the 764th Explosive Ordnance Team, Task Force Mountain Warrior. The device was discovered by a construction crew working on a road in the Dih Bala District of eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, Dec 27.

Mountain Warrior | March 2010

759th Military Police Company

Vol. 1 | Issue 5


Afghan Border Police meet with Shinwari elders to protect border
By U.S. Army Sgt. Tracy Smith, 48th IBCT Public Affairs Afghan Border Police and Coalition Forces hosted Shinwari tribal elders at a meeting in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, Jan. 21. The jirga, or meeting of elders held to make a specific decision, was conducted to unite the tribes and gain their support in the fight against anti-Afghan forces, corruption and illegal actions that threaten the Afghan people and their government. More than 170 Maliks, or tribal elders, from six districts in Afghan Border Police Col. Niazy, the commander of Nangarhar province’s ABP Zone One, presents Nangarhar province put Malik Usman with the “longi”, a traditional headdress symbolic of tribal leadership and adherence aside tribal differences to Pashtunwali. elder from the Mohmand Valley, their people economically. He to form the alliance and ring stability to Afghanistan’s opened the jirga’s discussion and also announced the formation eastern border region. spoke passionately about issues of the ABP’s 8th Kandak to be The jirga was organized by the important to the representatives headquartered in the Achin District. ABP’s 6th Kandak headquarters of the people of their villages. The new headquarters will bring “Is it only me who dares to speak jobs and service opportunities and gave the tribes confidence that their concerns would be heard. out,” Niyaz said. “I do not have to the people of the region. The Kandak, actively seeking to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Randall V. the power to remove a corrupt Simmons, the commander of the governor, but I can expose him and recruit from the local community, 1st Squadron, 108th Cavalry Regi- so must you. I appeal to you today will bring 500 jobs to the region. ment, Task Force Rough Rider, because we must stand together to Zaman said he and the Ministry of applauded the leaders for their purge our community of corruption Interior will also increase each ABP bravery in continuing to fight op- and the thumb of tyranny.” Soldier’s pay by roughly 15 percent. “This is an opportunity for During the open discussions, pression and dispelled rumors that chieftains signed the the people of Shinwar to step International Security Assistance the Shinwari Pact, forward and give new life to Forces would leave Afghanistan anti-Taliban before sustainable security and a committing to unification and the new battalion and keep jobs stable economy could be achieved. pledging to resist the AAF. in the community,” he said. Zaman, a former Mujahedin The Shinwari Pact allowed the “America has donated its most prized possession, its sons and sub-tribes to publically announce fighter, reflected on the collapse daughters, to this mission and we their cooperation with their Afghan of governance during the Soviet will not leave until our mission National Security Force brothers occupation and subsequent attacks is complete,” Simmons said. to bring peace to Afghanistan. by the Taliban on what he referred Brig. Gen. Zaman Mamozai, to as “Afghanistan’s innocents” in During previous key leader the ABP Zone One commander, the 1990s. Taking ownership of engagements in Task Force Rough Rider’s area of operation, said the elders’ willingness to their own security now did not mean the Maliks voiced common commit to their own defense is taking a handout, but a helping community concerns such as a source of personal pride for hand from partners in the fight. “Take advantage of Coalition security, education, health care and him as a Muslim and an Afghan. In his speech, Zaman invited Force resources to rebuild the need for reliable governance. Malik Niyaz, an influential tribal the Maliks to further reinforce what we have lost,” Zaman their security by empowering continued on page 8


Mountain Warrior | January 2010

Task Force Steel

2nd Bn., 77th Field Artillery Regt. 7
Vol. 1 | Issue 4

FOB Kalagush hosts weightlifting competition

Photo By U.S. Air Force SrA Ashley Hawkins

Photo By U.S. Air Force SrA Ashley Hawkins

U.S. Army Sgt. John Mills from Dallas, Texas, lifts over 200 pounds as U.S. Marine Gunnery Sgt. Judah Crawford from Pasadena, Calif., spots his performance during a weight lifting competition on Forward Operating Base Kalagush, Dec. 31. The competition and thousand-pound challenge was held to boost morale among U.S. servicemembers and civilians around the FOB and bring in the New Year. In the end, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson tied with U.S. Army Capt. John Mosby from El Paso, Texas, lifting a total of 1,010 pounds.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson, personnel noncommissioned officer in charge, from Camden, N.J., dead lifts 365 pounds as U.S. Army Sgt. Leveron Moore from Memphis, Tenn., monitors his performance during the thousandpound challenge on Forward Operating Base Kalagush, Dec. 31. The weight lifting competition was held to boost morale among U.S. servicemembers and civilians around the FOB and bring in the New Year. In the end, Wilson tied with U.S. Army Capt. John Mosby from El Paso, Texas, lifting a total score of 1,010 pounds.

Protecting the border in Nangarhar
encouraged. “The United States was not considered an infidel country when it assisted Pakistan in the development of nuclear power, so it should not be considered such as they look to help our beloved Afghanistan.” As one of Nangarhar province’s three most influential tribes, the signing of the Shinwari Pact will set precedence for future defense and economic growth planning and implementation for Afghanistan. Yet the outcome must be worth more than the paper it is printed on. Simmons reiterated the need for action-based solidarity with tough, encouraging talk. “[Your signature] indicates that your tribe is united and will resist

the Taliban or other insurgents at all costs,” Simmons said. “I applaud you for taking responsibility for your own security and I stand ready to fight to the end for peace and victory alongside you and our [Afghan National Security Force] brothers in arms.”

continued from page 6

A tribal elder, assisted by an Afghan Border Police officer, places his thumbprint on his signature, agreeing to the mandates of an anti-Taliban Shinwari pact during a Shinwari tribal meeting for peace and unity.

A tribal elder prepares to apply his ring stamp over his signature, thereby agreeing to the mandates of an anti-Taliban Shinwari Pact during a Shinwari tribal meeting.


Mountain Warrior | March 2010

Spartan Combined Action Team Trains ANSF
By U.S. Army Capt. Robert L. Farmer, 704th Brigade Support Battalion The call to partnership with our Afghan National Army counterparts has never been as important as it is now. Both the U.S. and Afghan armies have struggled in the war against the Taliban for years now, but one of the issues that always existed is the establishment of the best route to train them to take the lead. The Soldiers of the 704th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Blacksmith, have eradicated that issue with just moving in. The Blacksmiths created two teams of Soldiers to assist in the training of the Afghan National Army’s 5th Kandak. Of the 17 Soldiers selected from the battalion to support this mission, four from Company A were selected for this challenging task. U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mike Granillo, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jamie Grant, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Rodrigo Raeder, and U.S. Army Spc. Thomas Meredith were selected to fill various positions on the Functional Training Team. Their mission is to teach our Afghan counterparts on the functional areas that encompass a transportation company. All four Soldiers have parted ways with their fellow Soldiers on Forward Operating Base Fenty to live with their counterparts on FOB Hughie and FOB Fiaz. A typical day for the trainers is an early morning rise to conduct physical training with the ANA Soldiers, followed by a quick shower and then breakfast. Formation is at approximately 8:30 in the morning and then it is on to training. Training consists of basic marksmanship on the M16 rifle, RPK, and the DShK, their version of our .50 calibre machine gun. The next large money maker is the drivers training

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mike Granillo and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jamie Grant, both with the Company A, 704th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force Blacksmith, train Soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 5th Kandak on marksmanship and drivers training. This partnership is key to Afghan independence and victory against the Taliban.

program. Being that approximately 80 percent of our counterparts do not have driver’s licenses or have never driven a vehicle, these classes receive quite a bit of attention. As of now, the partnership is still in its beginning phase and we expect a lot of progress in the near future. These four Soldiers are a very important investment into the future of the Afghan Army and the nation as a whole.

Combined Action at Combat Outpost Fiaz
By U.S. Army Capt. Chad R. Handley, 704th Brigade Support Battalion Life for U.S. Army Sgt. Damian Decastro has changed from the moment he deployed to Afghanistan. Decastro, a patient administration noncommissioned officer, served his last deployment tracking casualties all over the battlefield. But with a new deployment came new challenges. This deployment, Decastro was selected to work in the 704th Brigade Support Battalion’s Company C headquarters, tracking all medical evacuation flights that would come through Forward Operating Base Fenty to Bagram Airfield. Early in January, Decastro was selected for his unique skills to provide another level of expertise, this time to the Afghan National Army. His unique set of skills, ranging from basic Soldiering skills to medical operations and Currently, Decastro performs patient tracking, made him the daily classes for ANA Soldiers. ideal person to assist in mentoring Specifically, his actions have led the 5th Kandak medical company. to the development of a company training program for the ANA to qualify on M16 rifles, crew-served weapons familiarization, vehicle maintenance and patient tracking. Decastro has trained and qualified 20 Afghans on the M16, assisted with the training of numerous preventive maintenance, checks, and services classes, and has provided a template for patient tracking for the ANA medical company. In addition to his training missions, Decastro serves as the U.S. Army Sgt. Damian Decastro, from Miami Springs, Fla., assists an primary tactical operations center Afghan National Army Soldier with the NCO for the functional training fundamentals of rifle marksmanship. team, serves as a driver and the Decastro enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005, and was assigned to Fort Carson in primary communications NCO for his team. March 2006. Vol. 1 | Issue 5


Unit destroys anti-Afghan fighting positions

Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte

(Above) U.S. Army Soldiers with 2nd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal, and Afghan National Policemen move from cover to search an area near the Sundray Village in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province, following a Feb. 18 attack against an International Security Assistance Force convoy using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. (Right) U.S. Army Pfc. Edgar A. Rios, of La Puente, Calif., an MK-48 gunner with 2nd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal, looks on as International Security Assistance Forces destroy a fighting position and weapons cache using air-to-ground rockets in the Laghram Valley in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province, Feb 18.

(Below)U.S. Army Soldiers with 2nd Platoon, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Lethal, and Afghan National Police withdraw from an area near the Sundray Village in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province using smoke for cover, Feb. 18. Officials searched the area following a Feb. 18 attack against an International Security Assistance Force convoy using small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. ISAF Soldiers destroyed about five fighting positions and a weapons cache in the using artillery, mortar fire and air-to-ground rockets.

Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte


Mountain Warrior | March 2010

Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte

Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team provides base defense at FOB Kalagush
By U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ashley Hawkins, Nuristan PRT PAO U.S. Navy personnel assigned to eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team help keep Forward Operating Base Kalagush secure by manning the Entry Control Point. This group of Sailors from different naval stations across the U.S. works as a team every day to perform searches, identify the local civilians and the Afghan National Army Soldiers who work on the FOB, and work with the Afghan military to provide force protection. Chief Petty Officer Clifford Williams, of Shertz, Texas, the noncommissioned officer in charge of force protection for the PRT, has spent the last 17 years dealing with law enforcement as a master-atarms in the Navy, he has also been a force protection officer since 2006. “For the past several years, I have specialized in anti-terrorism and force protection,” Williams said. “I originally volunteered for the PRT to do something else, but coming here to work at the ECP and do force protection everyday was just a natural fit.” Working at the ECP puts the Sailors at risk if there is an attack on the base. During one incident, Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas Beck of Muskegon, Mich., and U.S. Air Force Airman Robert Wagner of Knoxville, Tenn., quickly responded and returned fire with 800 rounds of 240B machine gun ammunition after an attack on an observation post. “It was an early morning when I heard the alarm sound and rushed to the ECP to unlock the ammunition room,” Beck said. “We were the first at the ECP to respond to the attack that morning.” On a daily basis, the men work closely with ANA Soldiers, Afghan security guards and local interpreters to guard the gate. The Sailors are also working to help the locals by teaching them a trade, and working to create jobs in the area, such as being a part of the ANA or contracted as security guards. “We’re partnering with the ANA and [Afghan security guards] to help stabilize the region,” Williams said. “This is a primary mission of the Nuristan PRT that we all are a part of: to promote stability and governance, so that the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan can take over once all U.S. troops are out of Afghanistan and help their people.” The ECP is made up of Sailors with diverse specialties such as logistics specialists, cooks, aviation specialists and masters-at-arms. The Sailors have searched more than 50,000 people and more than 10,000 vehicles while keeping the base secure.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Gladey, of Port Saint Lucie, Fla., assigned to the Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team, scans an Afghan’s fingerprint on a Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment camera on Forward Operating Base Kalagush, in eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province, Jan. 20.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Benjamin Growick, of Voorheesville, N.Y., assigned to the Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team, shows an Afghan National Army Soldier the fundamentals of allowing vehicles through the Entry Control Point on Forward Operating Base Kalagush, in eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province, Jan. 20.

U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Clifford Williams, of Schertz, Texas, the noncommissioned officer in charge of force protection for the Nuristan Provincial Reconstruction Team, searches an Afghan’s vehicle before allowing entry onto Forward Operating Base Kalagush, in eastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan Province, Jan. 20.

Vol. 1 | Issue 5

The family that reenlists together, sticks together
By U.S. Army Spc. Eugene H. Cushing, TF MTN Warrior PAO A recent reenlistment ceremony had observers seeing double at Forward Operating Base Fenty in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, Jan. 18. This was because the two Soldiers reenlisting shared the same last name, the same DNA and the same looks. U.S. Army Spc. Justin L. Hastings, and his identical twin brother, U.S. Army Pfc. Josh L. Hastings, reenlisted at the same time during their 12-month deployment to eastern Afghanistan with Task Force Mountain Warrior. The Hastings brothers, both from Brandon, Fla., joined the Army separately in 2008 and found themselves both assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, after completing Initial Entry Training. Justin was assigned to Company G, 2nd Battalion, 77th Field Artillery regiment, as a truck driver, and Josh was assigned to Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, as a squad-automatic weapon gunner. Justin described the decision to reenlist as a mutual one, while Josh claimed the idea was all his. By reenlisting at the same time, the two were able to get assigned to the same unit again. “It’s great, I couldn’t ask anything more than that,” Josh said about sticking together at their next assignment. The Hastings related a few stories about times that looking alike and having the same last name had gotten one or the other in trouble. In one case, Justin was standing in formation at the end of the day while his brother waited behind the formation for him. They said the platoon sergeant

U.S. Army Spc. Justin L. Hastings and U.S. Army Pfc. Josh L. Hastings, raise their right hands to take the pledge of reenlistment during their ceremony, Jan. 18.

didn’t notice Justin in formation and asked where he was, when another Soldier said he was standing behind the formation. “Our platoon sergeant started freaking out,” Justin said, going on to explain that the sergeant brought his brother over and had them to stand next to each other once the mix-up was cleared. The Hastings brothers have also gone to great lengths to establish themselves as individuals. “We’re both excelling pretty well in the military,” Justin said about their successes. He went on to explain that he has been selected for Soldier of the Quarter boards. Josh’s achievements included being an honor graduate from his initial entry training. After the deployment, the brothers said they are transferring to a unit in Germany to continue serving alongside each other. “I wanted to use the Army as a way to see the world,” Josh said of their decision to go to Germany. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go to Germany and have my brother come with me.” “Technically, you came with me,” Justin said. “Germany sounded great, just me and my brother in Germany, spreading our wings and seeing the world.” “It’s a great learning experience,” Josh explained. “He’s always tailing me,” Justin said. “Whatever,” Josh countered. “He’s the one tailing me.”

U.S. Army Spc. Justin L. Hastings and U.S. Army Pfc. Josh L. Hastings, present their certificates of reenlistment while standing beside U.S. Army Col. Randy A. George and U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Charles V. Sasser jr., the commander and command sergeant major for Task Force Mountain Warrior.


Mountain Warrior | January 2010

Provincial Governor, TF Lethal visit Western Kunar Districts
By U.S. Air Force Capt. Tony Wickman, Kunar PRT PAO The Kunar provincial governor joined the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment commander to visit three western Kunar districts in Task Force Lethal’s area of operations, Jan. 4 through 5. Fazlullah Wahidi, provincial governor, and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brian Pearl, Task Force Lethal Warrior commander, spent two days on a whirlwind tour of the Chapa Dara, Manogai and Watapur Districts to meet with district leaders and village elders. The governor and Afghan Brig. Gen. Hussain Khallullah, the provincial chief of police, visited with the district sub-governors and line directors, Afghan National Police officers, village elders and shura members in an effort to better connect the provincial Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brian Boisvert and district governments. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Brian Pearl talks with Fazlullah Wahidi, and Brig. Gen. Wahidi addressed a few key issues during Hussain Khallullahprior to a district shura at the Chapa Dara district center the visit, including security, reconciliation in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, Jan. 4. and budgets. National Army units in the province to improve the “The trip was part of my plan to meet the elders and security and repel anti-Afghan forces. shuras for peace and development,” Wahidi said. “We Pearl told the shura gatherings in each of the districts want to bring people closer to the government, and to that security was improving, but he needed the help of also talk to them about their security in their area.” the elders to continue the progress. Wahidi said in each of the districts, the village elders “My troops are young, but they have good hearts were eager to talk about the reconciliation process. and I hope they are communicating with you elders “The reconciliation process was just announced when coming to the villages,” Pearl said at the Chapa and they showed their willingness to talk to their Dara shura. “I instruct them to go to the village elders unhappy brothers to have them come down from the when they come through the villages so they establish mountains,” he said. “But, they ask for activities to a relationship…so talk to them about problems with keep them busy by providing jobs for them.” security and development.” The governor said security is a concern for the Pearl praised the elders for their strength and asked provincial government and he is working with the them to use it to improve their districts. Afghan National Security Forces to secure the “Thank you for supporting our Soldiers,” he said. population in the districts. “Since you are the elders and you’re a strong group, “We’ll increase the police numbers in the districts I ask that you protect my Soldiers as they protect you to keep them secure,” Wahidi said. “Sometimes and your families.” people don’t come to the government because they At the Manogai shura, Pearl used an analogy for think the government’s position isn’t very strong in security that brought a hearty hurrah from the group. the districts.” “Coalition Forces, the government, ANA, ANP and Wahidi said the government was bringing more the elders cannot do it alone,” he said. “We are like ANP to the districts and repositioning the Afghan five fingers going five separate ways. But, when we come together we are like a fist and we can do great things.” Wahidi said the trip was a good opportunity to see the progress being made in the districts, since his last trip nearly a year ago. “I saw a lot of development and it’s very good for the people,” he said. “I saw positive signs. The focus should be on the village people. We should start development from the village because the number of people [there]. “When we’re talking about poverty and reducing it, we should start from the bottom up,” Wahidi said.

A Chapa Dara district elder speaks to a shura at the Chapa Dara district center in Kunar province, Afghanistan, Jan. 4.

Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brian Boisvert

Vol. 1 | Issue 5

Red Warriors
1st Bn., 12th Inf. Regt.


Mountain Warrior | January 2010

Veterinarian care a priority for Afghan families
By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment The waiting room was a long line beside the road, there were no magazines and the patients did not seem thrilled with the promise of free health care. Many complained loudly as they were secured into pens for their shots. Their owners, on the other hand, appeared satisfied. Residents arrived continuously at the Shamir Kowt mosque in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province throughout the morning of Feb. 10, bringing with them more than 900 animals – including cattle, goats and sheep. The turnout was the largest of nearly a dozen Veterinary Inoculation U.S. Army Spc. Kathy S. Tanson, of Corning, Calif., an animal specialist, helps an Afghan girl Training Operations held with her goat during a Veterinary Inoculation Training Operation at Shamir Kowt Mosque. since November throughout Animals received not just the province by members of the book and their savings account,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. vaccinations, but also nutritional Afghan Veterinary Association and International Security Assistance Max Volte, from Sacramento, Calif., supplements and other medicines. deputy commander for the ADT. Volte noted all the treatments are Forces. Organizers previously referred “[The animals] are a member of the endorsed by the Afghan Veterinary Association. Members of the U.S. to the events as Veterinary Civic family and they are relied on.” On previous missions like this, Department of Agriculture were Action Programs, but said they changed the name to reflect the ADT would do all the work. also on hand to evaluate and grade the more active role of Afghan Now it is a coordinated effort the animals as they came in. through the Afghan government, “They’re getting Cadillac veterinarians. which contracts with civilian treatment here,” Volte said of Members of the U.S. Army’s 40th and veterinary the animals. “They’re excellent, Infantry Division’s Agribusiness veterinarians technicians to conduct the excellent vaccines.” Development Team, a California Volte said that since the National Guard unit, said most treatments, Volte said. In turn, the ADT helps treatments help the animals, they area residents depend on livestock organize the event sites and help boost the wealth of the owners for their livelihood. for “The animal is their check provides invaluable lessons This who attend, thereby helping the the veterinary technicians. economy of the area. experience helps the technicians Another side effect was helping become full-time veterinarians, bring locals down from the hills open their own businesses and to mix with those in the valley, provide the essential follow-ups essentially making the event a needed to maintain the animals’ regional one, he added. health. U.S. Army Soldiers handed “[Afghans] have to sustain this out additional livestock food because we can’t,” Volte said. supplements and free radios as Mohammed Tahir, a veterinarian residents left with their animals in who participated in other public tow. The day had a few shows for vaccination programs in previous the crowd as well, usually when years, said the event was good one of the large water buffalos training for him but an even better broke free and had to be wrestled experience for the public. back into place by the ADT “It’s most beneficial for the Soldiers. people,” he said. “This is acting as a festival,” According to the ADT, Veterinary Volte said. “It has a spinoff of Afghan veterinarian Mohammed Tahir vaccinates a horse brought to the Inoculation Training Operations community building.” Veterinary Inoculation Training Operation have helped treat more than 4,700 at the Shamir Kowt mosque, in eastern animals since November.
Afghanistan’s Kunar province, Feb. 10.

Vol. 1 | Issue 5


A Kunar PRT engineering interpreter teaches more than 40 unskilled laborers construction practices using a new training program in Manogai District, Feb. 6.

Photo by U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Brian Boisvert

PRT Trains Local Workers in Manogai Village
By U.S. Air Force Capt. Tony Wickman, Kunar PRT PAO Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team engineers The PRT engineering department joined with local provided a basic construction class to more than 40 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers representatives to put unskilled laborers using a new training program in together a program they can take on the road to train the Manogai District of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar the workers. province, Feb. 6. “Look at the recent 7.0 earthquake in Haiti The training was for workers employed on projects and compare it to the last 7.0 earthquake in San funded by the PRT who had difficulty meeting basic Francisco,” Burgess said. “There were less than 70 international construction standards. deaths in San Francisco, but close to 200,000 deaths On recent quality assurance checks of local in Haiti. That is a huge difference, and building codes projects, the PRT engineers noticed repeated poor and construction techniques are the difference.” craftsmanship and building techniques. To correct the The training given to the students explained things issues, engineers developed a new training program like how to properly mix concrete, how to interlock to be delivered in Pashto to train the workers on rocks for strength, how to vibrate concrete and how important construction principles. to use rebar. The class made clear the effects of “Going through some old records I saw an e-mail poor construction and how using better techniques from (the previous PRT engineer) sent in February can improve a structure’s durability over time and 2008 to contractors that I could have written withstand what nature throws at it. yesterday,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jay Burgess, The engineers compared the schools under PRT lead engineer. “It was the same construction construction around Manogai to those in Haiti. It issues we have today. Every issue we have today was had the desired outcome, with the workers getting in that e-mail, it was scary.” a clearer picture on why they had to work harder to Burgess said he was frustrated today’s engineers are improve their infrastructural abilities. dealing with the same construction issues as previous “The training went extremely well and it was well PRTs without any changes and set out to find a way received by the workers,” said U.S. Navy Chief Petty to fix it. Officer David Zahm, a PRT engineer. “[Everyone] “The contractors hire the unskilled laborers from did a great job teaching them and they were happy to the local area, which is good, but they are not training learn. In fact, they requested more training.” them on international standards for construction The PRT engineers plan on using this training practices,” Burgess said. technique on all future projects to train unskilled Burgess said having the workers build to the workers in the beginning to ensure they do the work international standards does not cost more money, but right the first time, every time. This will help eliminate does take more time and more education. a project being delayed or over budget. Mountain Warrior | January 2010


Fallen Heroes January 3 through March 6

“Let me not mourn for the men who have died fighting, but rather let me be glad that such heroes have lived.” - Gen. George S. Patton
Vol. 1 | Issue 5


4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion

Mountain Warrior | March 2010

Daniel’s Delimmas
Art by U.S. Army Pfc. Jeremy Sprague 2nd Bn., 12th Inf. Regt. Dialogue by U.S. Army Spc. Eugene H. Cushing

Retention NCO’s Letter:
The FY10 Task Force Mountain Warrior Retention program
is heading into the home-stretch of our deployment and it is time to start looking towards what we are going to do when we redeploy. Some of us have already made those decisions by reenlisting to stay at Fort Carson or an assignment of choice. For the rest of us it is time to consider our future and where we want to spend our next assignment. If you are in your reenlistment window your first stop should be your servicing career counselor to see what your reenlistment options are. If you are an initial or mid-careerist and have CONUS and OCONUS assignments available. Now is the time to make a decision before you are put on orders and don’t have a choice.If you are not in your reenlistment

By Master Sgt. James L. Pugsley Senior Career Counselor

Task Force Mountain Warrior

window then you can update your assignment preferences through the “Assignment Satisfaction Key” or “ASK“. “ASK” provides the capability to post assignment preference information directly to the Total Army Personnel Database. U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC) Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate (EPMD) assignment managers will use this information when considering you for assignments.Under the old “Dream Sheet” days, you could choose from 230 CONUS locations and 280 OCONUS locations, but had little chance of being assigned to any of the locations.”ASK” requires you to select two CONUS locations from a Divisional Installation Listing and one CONUS location from a more expanded listing.You may select

three of four OCONUS locations.By providing you with realistic location options, their goal is to match Army readiness requirements with your preferences. You are contributing to the overall decision process and your vote counts.While U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC) must still fill unique assignments, the majority of assignment locations will be available for you to select.Those who decline to submit preferences will be assigned according to the needs of the Army. Led By Love of Country! JAMES L. PUGSLEY MSG, USA

Senior Career Counselor
[email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] [email protected] martha.e. [email protected] [email protected]

MSG Pugsley SFC Davis SFC Cabana SSG Herron SSG Gutierrez SGT Charley SSG Berry SGT Lytle

4IBCT, 4ID 1-12 IN 2-12 IN 3-61 CAV 2-77 FA 704th BSB 4th BSTB 759th MP

FOB Fenty FOB Wilson FOB Blessing FOB Fenty Bagram FOB Fenty FOB Fenty FOB Fenty

831-6051 841-6011 481-2155 831-6058 431-5102 831-6089 SVOIP 776-9711 831-6442

Vol. 1 | Issue 5

Awards and reenlistments

Hey There! Want to see your pictures in the Mountain Warrior? Shoot us an e-mail or send your photos to: [email protected] and you just might see your photos in the next issue!
Mountain Warrior| Mountain Warrior | March 2010

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