Story by Sgt. 1st Class E. L. Craig
KUNAR, Afghanistan – Under the darkness of night, three movement groups of 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, Team Kunar, Soldiers lined Forward Operating Base Wright’s helicopter landing zone.
Chemical lights and night vision goggles provided the only lamination, as they awaited air transportation that would bring them to, Nangalam, a small remote Afghan forward operating base, where they would stage for more than a week.
The 5th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, Team Laghman, provided artillery support elements to assist with security during the mission.
“3rd Squadron is sending key leaders to Nangalam to advise, and assist if needed, in one of the Afghan National Security Forces most decisive missions, as the end of the 2013 fighting season approaches,” said U.S. Army Capt. William Brink, spokesman, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division.
Story by Master Sgt. Benjamin Bloker
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan -- Staff Sgt. Daniel Hall walked into the air cell room and proclaimed, “I got us a case of Pop-Tarts and they haven’t expired yet!” Finding such items on a base in the middle of retrograde is a big deal. Forward Operating Base Salerno’s dining facility is down to one hot meal a day and there are no stores.
Hall, a Smith Valley, Nev. native, is part of the 19th Movement Control Team, a small squadron of Air
Force surface movement controllers and aerial porters tasked with overseeing the vast majority of retrograde operations at FOB Salerno.
The sobering responsibility of being the last team is foremost in everyone’s mind.
Story by Staff Sgt. Opal Vaughn
NANGARHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan- Afghan commandos from the 1st Special Operation Kandak detained a suspected insurgent Sept. 24 in Nangarhar province’s Bati Kot district.
The three-day operation concluded Sept. 25 with the Commandos successfully clearing key areas along Highway 7, including Meshawar village.
Afghan Commandos discovered the suspected insurgent after questioning numerous men in the village. The suspect turned himself in peacefully after admitting his participation in insurgent
Story by Staff Sgt. Richard Lower
HERAT PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan commandos from the 4th Special Operations Kandak assumed control of Village Stability Platform Parmakan Sept. 26 in Herat province’s Shindand district.
Afghan National Army special forces and U.S. Special Operations members held a transfer of authority ceremony to celebrate an iconic moment in Afghanistan’s history. International Security Assistance Forces Commander U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. attended the ceremony.
The change in leadership embodies the United States and NATO’s ongoing security transition operations in Afghanistan, underscoring the Afghan government’s efforts towards eventually taking the lead for security throughout the entire country.
Story by Staff Sgt. JaJuan Broadnax WARDAK PROVINCE, Afghanistan- Afghan commandos from the 2nd Special Operation Kandak detained 73 suspected insurgents Sept. 26 in Wardak province’s Sayad Abad district.
Commandos discovered several suspected insurgents during a routine clearing operation in Sra Kala village after inquiring about the local insurgency. The suspects were detained on the spot,
following questionings and initial background checks.
The area is known for its insurgent activity, Capt. Masud Ahmadi, commander of the kandak’s 1st
Company, said. Just last month, Afghan Commandos killed three enemy insurgents in Sayad Abad district and confiscated a 107 mm mortar, an improvised explosive device initiator and approximately 40 pounds of homemade explosives.
“The villagers living in the area were very pleased with our operation because we showed the enemy fighters that they are not welcome here,” Ahmadi said.
“Our mission is to destroy insurgent hiding places, to capture insurgents and eliminate those who are trying to destroy this country,” added Lt. Col. Ahmadullah Popal, 2nd Special Operations Kandak commander.
The detainees were transferred to the Sayad Abad district National Security Directorate for identification and further questioning. No civilians were injured, and there were no reported structural damages during this operation.
Story by Staff Sgt. Richard Lower HERAT PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army special forces soldiers from the 9th Special Operations Kandak detained two Taliban leaders Sept. 26 in Herat province’s Guzarah district.
Afghan Special Forces assaulted Mohham Daud and Mohham Shafiq’s hideaway near Herat city hours before dawn. Tactical ground teams began the complex operation by closing off any escape routes the militant commander might use to flee.
Daud attempted to break through the ANASF barrier armed with a machine gun. ANASF returned fire,
forcing him to surrender. Daud sustained a gunshot wound during the engagement.
Afghan special forces also captured Daud’s father, Mohhamd Shafiq, during the operation.
Col. Mir Abdullah, 2nd Special Operation Brigade operations officer, praised the 9th SOK soldiers, highlighting their continued efforts to secure Afghanistan from Taliban militants
Both Daud and Shafiq are Taliban commanders, known for smuggling foreign suicide bombers
into numerous provinces throughout Afghanistan. Daud is also a well-known narcotics network leader in the Delaram and Gulistan districts.
ANASF soldiers also raided Daud’s home in Nimroz province’s Delaram District later the same day. Afghan Special Forces are pressuring insurgents in Delaram due to increased attacks on coalition and Afghan forces along Highway 1.
Story by Staff Sgt. Opal Vaughn
counterinsurgency efforts by providing security support to rural areas with limited Afghan National Security Forces presence. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Opal Vaughn)
KABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Months of deliberation and planning came to culminated Sept. 25 in Kabul province’s Pahgman district, as local leaders agreed to establish an Afghan Local Police program in their villages.
More than 100 guests attended the ALP validation shura, including the Deputy Provincial Police Chief Col. Amrullah Pahgmani, Pahgman District Gov. Abdul Qadeer, Afghan National Army 2nd Special Operations Kandak commander Lt. Col. Ahmadullah Popal, and the son of ex-jihadi leader Abdul Rasul Sayyaf.
“District leadership and district elders tried and have now come to the agreement that ALP are essential to Pahgman,” said Qadeer. “So today is a historical day that the elders have come together and have approved the inauguration of the ALP program.”