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3rd BCT 3rd BCT never stopnever stopss
- Pages 8-9- Pages 8-9
AApril 23,pril 23, 20072007 wwwwww.cfc-a.centcom.mil.cfc-a.centcom.mil
Freedom Watch Page 2 April 23, 2007
ArmySec. Gates extends Army tours to 15monthsWASHINGTON - All Soldiers in theU.S. Central Command area of opera-tions will serve 15-month tours in theregion beginning immediately,Defense Secretary Robert M. Gatesannounced April 11.
"Effective immediately, active Armyunits now in the Central Commandarea of responsibility and those head-ed there will deploy for not more than15 months and return home for notless than 12 months," Gates said dur-ing a Pentagon news conference.
The policy applies to all active-dutyArmy units with the exception of twobrigades currently in Iraq that havealready been extended to 16 months.The policy does not apply to MarineCorps, Navy or Air Force units servingin Central Command. It also does notapply to Army National Guard or ArmyReserve units deployed to the region.
The 15-month tour applies toactive-duty Soldiers serving inAfghanistan, the Horn of Africa and
all the countries in the region. U.S.Central Command stretches fromKenya to Kazakhstan and Egypt toPakistan.
"Soldiers will receive an extra$1,000 a month for each month orportion of the month that they servelonger than 12 months," Gates said.
Air Force Reynolds named academy men'sbasketball coachU.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -Jeff Reynolds, an assistant coach forthe Air Force Academy men's basket-ball team the past two years, has beennamed head coach of the Falcons, ath-letic director Dr. Hans Muehannounced April 17.
Reynolds, the seventh head coach inprogram history and the fourth in thelast five years, signed a five-year con-tract. Terms of the contract were notdisclosed. He succeeds Jeff Bzdelik,who resigned on April 3 to becomehead coach at the University ofColorado.
During his two seasons as an assis-tant, Mr. Reynolds helped guide AirForce to its two most successful cam-paigns on the basketball court. In2005-06, the Falcons were 24-7, thebest record in program history, andplayed in the NCAA Tournament forjust the fourth time ever. In '06-07, AirForce posted a 26-9 record, setting a
new school record for most victoriesin one season, and advanced to thesemifinals of the NIT. Air Force wasjust one of 17 Division I teams to winat least 50 games the last two seasons.
MarinesTattoo sleeves become taboo inCorpsMARINE CORPS BASE CAMPSMITH, Hawaii - While most Marineshave their own opinion on tattoos, theCorps' is the only one that counts.
The new policy explained inMarAdmin 198/07 went into affectApril 1. It bans new sleeve tattoos onthe arm or leg that are visible in phys-ical training T-shirts or shorts or get-ting additions to existing sleeves. Thisincludes quarter, half and full sleeves.Any current tattoos will be grandfa-thered, but any visible tattoos in PTgear must be photographed, meas-ured, described and inserted into thatMarine's service record book by theJuly 1 deadline.
According to the MarAdmin, a fullsleeve is defined as one large tattoo orgroup of smaller ones that cover theentire arm from the shoulder to thewrist or on the leg from the upperthigh to the ankle, or almost coveringa portion of the arm or leg. The defi-nition of a large tattoo is up to theMarine's commanding officer..
Freedom Watch magazine is conducting a readership survey fromtoday until April 30. American Forces Network - Afghanistan invitesall coalition forces members to participate in the questionaire in a con-tinuing effort to provide its audience with the best up-to-date news,information and upcoming events.
"We encourage everyone to read the survey and e-mail us yourthoughts and comments," said Maj. John Byran, AFN - Afghanistancommander. "We want to make the Freedom Watch the best it can be!"
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Defense DigestPAGE 4The misadventures of Airman Snuffy McDufflebag PAGE 5ISAF team trains ANA humaitarian de-minersPAGE 6
JLC, DLA make site visit to Aria water plantPAGE 7Bagram’s first permanent customs building opensPAGE 8-9
Murphy’s Law delays, not defeats, 3rd BCTPAGE 10Aviation task force hosts GWOT Trot PAGE 11Freedom FocusPAGE 12ANA graduates 86 from pre-NCO coursePAGE 13Fireman makes special delivery to childrenPAGE 15Entertainment Page
Freedom Watch Page 3
April 23, 2007
Thousands of Aria bot-tled water containersline the wall of thewarehouse, just out-side Bagram Airfield,Afghanistan.
COVERA Soldier from 1st Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion,87th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th MountainDivision, pulls security during a convoy at ForwardOperating Base Orgun-E, Afghanistan, March 22. (Photoby Army Spc. Matthew Leary)
Freedom Watch is a weekly publication of Combined Joint Task Force-82.
CJTF-82 Commander Army Maj. Gen. David M. RodriguezRC East Public Affairs Officer Army Lt. Col. David A. Accetta
Freedom Watch, a Department of Defense publication, is published eachMonday by the American Forces Network - Afghanistan Print Section atBagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Printed circulation is 5,000 copies per week.
In accordance with DoD Instruction 5120.4, this DoD newspaper is anauthorized publication for members of the U.S. military overseas.
Contents of the Freedom Watch are not necessarily the official view of, orendorsed by, the U.S. government or the Department of Defense.
Deadline for submissions is 0730 Zulu each Friday. All submissions aresubject to editing by the AFN-A Print Section, located in Bldg. 415, Room205, Bagram Airfield. We can be reached at DSN 318-231-3338.
Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Thomas J. DoscherCompany B, 122nd Aviation Support Battalion, Task Force Atlascommand group run to the finish line of the 5km run together.This was their last run together as a command team. The dayafter, their commander relinquished command.
55Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Oshawn Jefferson
Members of the Afghan National Armygo through a field training exerciseduring the Humanitarian De-miningPredeployment Course at BagramAirfield, Afghanistan, April 12. Thefirst teams of Afghan HumanitarianDe-miners are scheduled to graduatetoday.
Freedom Watch StaffCommander - Air Force Maj.
John BryanSuperintendent - Air Force Senior Master Sgt.
Richard SimonsenNCOIC - Air Force Staff Sgt.
Matt LichtenbergEditor/Print Chief - Air Force Senior Airman
Brian StivesStaff Writer - Air Force Staff Sgt.
Visit the CJTF-82 website atwww.cfc-a.centcom.mil
66Photo by Navy Chief Petty Officer Eric Harrison
Correction:In the April 16 edition of the Freedom Watch, the story “Bagram
PRT holds MEDCAP, VETCAP” stated that they handled morethan 150 patients, the number should have been more than 600patients, including men, women and children.
COMMENTARYPage 4 Freedom Watch April 23, 2007
By Air Force Staff Sgt.Oshawn Jefferson
American Forces Network -Afghanistan
What a crazy couple of weeks ithas been. First, gas prices have beenrising steadily for the last 11 weeks.Californians are close to crossing the$4 mark for regular unleaded gasoline.We found out that Larry Birkhead isAnna Nicole's baby's daddy (don't actlike you didn't care) and even some-one with a great smile and no talentcan go deep on American Idol. Withnews like this, I can't wait for footballor the next season of America's Nexttop Model to start so I have some-thing to watch on TV. (You know youwatch it!)
Anyway, I ran into my good buddyMaster Sgt. Johnny Mentor at theDFAC. He was sitting in the cornerby himself, looking at a wall andmumbling. I just knew it had some-thing to do with our old pal Snuffy.
I went over and said hello toSergeant Mentor and asked him howthings were going and if I could joinhim for lunch. Isaid, "I alreadyknow that look.Tell me whatyour habitual linestepping Airmanis up to now." Hesaid, "combatstress, this idiotcomplained ofcombat stress."
For those whodon't know,according to theU.S ArmyHOOAH 4 Health Web site, (Yes,that is really the name) combat stressis a natural result of heavy mental oremotional work, when facing dangerin tough conditions. Like physicalfatigue and stress, handling combat
stress depends on the level of yourfitness and training. It can come onquickly or slowly, and it gets betterwith rest and replenishment.
Wait until you hear what Snuffy isstressed out about. He told SergeantMentor that his duty hours of 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. at the G-14 ClassifiedInteroperability of AfghanistanOperations Office were beginning towear on him. He also complainedthat the satellite dish he installed onhis hooch can only pick up 62 chan-nels (Four below his dish network athome). And since Snuffy lives in a Z-hut, which has double the size roomsof a normal B-hut, he could only geta queen size bed inside, which issmaller than his king size bed backhome. Just to make you more angry,Z-huts are the only hooch's in theAOR you can drink in and they comewith an indoor shower and bathroom.Yea, Snuffy has it real rough.
Sergeant Mentor said that he does-n't even have it that good. I tell you itmade me want to smack Snuffy and Iwas just listening to the story.
Still Sergeant Mentor sent Snuffyto see the CombatStress team on base.Sergeant Mentorlearned from theteam that studiesshow many peopleexperiencing com-bat stress will stillfunction normallyin their day-to-dayactivities. But thereare still commonsigns of combatstress to include:
-- Tension headand backache, trembling, fumbling,jumpiness.
-- Pain in old healed woundsbefore combat.
-- Pounding heart; rapid breathing.`-- Upset stomach; vomiting; diar-
rhea; frequent urination.-- Emptying bowels and bladder at
the first sign of danger.-- Fatigue, weariness, distant,
haunted ("1,000 yard") stare.-- Anxiety, worrying, irritability,
swearing, complaining.-- Awakened by bad dreams; griev-
ing; feeling guilty.-- Anger at own team; losing confi-
dence in self/unit.Sergeant Mentor said the Combat
Stress team suggested some simpletechniques that he can do for himselfor as a supervisor to help relieve thesigns of combat stress:
-- Attempt to restore calm andcontrol to a given situation;
-- Remember that combat stress isnormal and others have it too; ithelps to maintain a sense of humor;
-- Focus on the team's immediatemission;
-- Expect to continue duties; focuson a well-learned task or drill and fol-low SOPs;
-- Welcome new team membersand stay in touch with the rest of theteam … keep talking;
-- Get the facts; don't jump to con-clusions or believe rumors;
-- Think of success and talk aboutit;
-- Take a deep breath; shrug shoul-ders to reduce tension;
-- And if combat stress signs don'tsubside, seek support and help fromyour leaders or medical unit CombatStress teams.
Although Snuffy's problems seemmild to say the least, I learned somethings I can do to help myself or mytroops deal with combat stress. Ithanked Sergeant Mentor for his timeand told him things could be worse.But then again, he is the supervisorof Airman Snuffy McDufflebag. Andwe all know when it comes to habitu-al line steppers, they are always up tosomething.
The misadventures of Airman Snuffy McDufflebag
Combat stress is a naturalresult of heavy mental or
emotional work, when fac-ing danger in tough condi-tions. Like physical fatigueand stress, handling com-bat stress depends on thelevel of your fitness and
Story and photosBy Air Force Staff Sgt.Oshawn JeffersonAmerican Forces Network -Afghanistan
International Security AssitanceForce soldiers empowered Afghanswith taking care of their own securityby training humanitarian de-miningteams here.
"This training is a step forward tomaking a safer Afghanistan," saidArmy Capt. Chris Nuckols, 207thRegional Security AssistanceCommand embedded tactical team."The work we are doing here todaywill make for a safer tomorrow."
Members of the Afghan NationalArmy spent April 12 to 14 learning
two levels of de-mining. While takingthe de-miners course and de-minerspre-deployment course, the ANAmembers learned de-mining to inter-national standards. This training madethem qualified to conduct de-miningoperations anywhere in the world.
"After these ANA members com-plete this training they will be able toclear land for buildings or farming,"said Australian Maj. Alex Thomson,Royal Australian Engineer officer incharge of the Operation EnduringFreedom mine action center. "Beingtrained will help them be ready toserve their community."
In the past, the de-mining coursegraduated individual Afghan humani-tarian de-miners. Even if those de-miners cleared a field they would stillhave to wait for someone else trainedto international standards to comebehind them to clear a field. This new
course will graduate highly skilledteams so they can clear the fields with-out help.
"We can now help our own peopleourselves," said ANA Sgt. Said Arif,ANA humanitarian de-miner. "Theclassroom instructors have beenenjoyable and helped me to be able toserve my country."
When the class graduates, the ANAwill have three new de-mining teams of12to 14 members capable of clearing1,500 to 2,000 square meters of fieldsper day. Not only will the ANA mem-bers be able to clear mines, they will alsobe able to clear unexploded ordnance.
"Seeing the Afghan people empow-ered to help themselves is somethingwe take pride in," Nuckols said. "Theylove our assistance and we enjoy help-ing them help themselves."
The new ANA humanitarian de-miners are expected to graduate today.
NEWSApril 23, 2007 Freedom Watch Page 5
ISAF team trains ANA humanitarian de-miners
Members of the Afghan National Army go through a field trainingexercise during the De-mining Pre-deployment Course here April 12.The first teams of Afghan Humanitarian De-miners are scheduled tograduate today.
Gul Ahmadic Salhaminm, AfghanTechnical Consultant and De-miners Course instructor, teach-es an Afghan National Armymember about different types ofde-mining techniques.
NEWSPage 6 Freedom Watch April 23, 2007
Story and photoBy Navy Chief Petty OfficerEric Harrison 43rd Joint Logistics Command
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghan-istan - An eight-member logisticsteam made a site visit to the Aria bot-tled water plant located just outsideBagram Airfield April 11.
The Aria bottled water plant wasopened for processing Jan. 7 and hasbeen approved by the U.S. Army andthe International Bottled WaterAssociation for bottled water produc-tion.
The Ramin brothers, John, Tahirand Zahir, built the plant with theirown money along with a free landlease from the U.S. Army. The goal forthem and for officials on Bagram is tobe able to supply locally bottled waterfor the base, and eventually the com-munity.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 JoseTexidor, the Theater Food Advisor forCombined Joint Task Force-82, islooking forward to the opportunity tohave another local bottled water sup-plier available to the prime vendor,Supreme.
Texidor said the water Supremegets from Aria willsupplement thelarge amount ofbottled water thecombined jointoperating areaalready consumes.
"Right now,Supreme getswater out ofDubai, so our priceincludes shippingcosts, which addsto the overall cost,"he said. "Whereas, if Supreme gets thewater from Aria, that cost will be elim-inated."
The plant also serves as a way forthe Ramin brothers to provide morethan 300 jobs for Afghans when theplant is in full operation and to inject afinancial boost into the local economy.
Following the terrorist attacks onSept. 11, 2001,John Ramin, anowner of the com-pany, made the tripback to Afghan-istan to see wherehe could help.
"We came inhere and saw a lotof opportunities,"said youngerbrother Zahir."The country isdeveloping, so we
decided to stick around."According to Zahir, one batch line
produces more than 160,000 half-liter
bottles of water. If the plant were run-ning all three of its lines at full opera-tion, it could produce 324,000 bottlesof water a day.
Now that all water quality hurdleshave been met, the only thing left todo is for Supreme and Aria to negoti-ate a fair price.
"They passed the Army's watertest," said Texidor. "So now it's a mat-ter of them working with Supreme."
"We're closer today than we've everbeen at any point in time," said ChiefWarrant Officer 4 Bill Taylor, DefenseSupply Center Philadelphia, part ofthe Defense Logistics Agency. "We'revery pleased with the commitmentthat the Ramins have made for the U.S.Army and the forces here and for thecommitment they're going to be mak-ing for the Afghan population."
JLC, DLA make site visit to Aria water plant
Zahir Ramin, co-owner of the Aria water plant, points out the workingsof the bottling facility at the Aria bottled water plant, which is just out-side Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Aria is negotiating a contract toprovide bottled water to Coalition forces in Afghanistan.
“We came in here andsaw a lot of opportuni-
ties. The country isdeveloping, so wedecided to stick
Aria bottled water plant co-owner
Story and photoBy Air Force Staff Sgt. Kevin Tomko455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghan-istan - A new facility to streamline out-processing for servicemembers openedhere April 12.
The new permanent customs build-ing, the first in the country, officiallyopened with a ribbon-cutting ceremonyattended by Army and Air Force offi-cials and members of the 1stExpeditionary "RED HORSE" Groupwho built the facility.
On hand for the ceremony were the455th Expeditionary Mission SupportGroup commander, Air Force Col.Terri Chaney; the theater provost mar-shal Army Col. James Gray; deputycommander for base operations, ArmyLt. Col. James Bonner; provost marshalArmy Lt. Col. Antonio Pietri anddeputy provost marshal, Army Lt. Col.Ricardo Guerrero.
"As part of the master plan of thisbase, this facility will enhance and
secure the movement of cargo, equip-ment and personnel outbound to thecontinental United States," said Pietri ina speech.
Sgt. 1st Class Gualberto Gonzalez,the customs non-commissioned officerin charge, said the new $524,000 facilitywill be a vast improvement over the cur-rent facility.
"We have much more room for pro-cessing," said Gonzalez. "The area isalso more secure. The service memberswill have more facilities, and there areeven plans to put in a concession area."
The new customs building was builtentirely by the 1st Expeditionary "RedHorse" Group members of this rota-tion and the one prior.
Chief Master Sgt. Michael Scott, theNCOIC of the project, said the biggestobstacle in the construction of thebuilding was the weather in the coldermonths.
"The roof could only be worked onin fair weather, and the roof had to beclosed before any interior work couldprogress," he said.
NEWSApril 23, 2007
You are a good friend.
DariShuma yak doste khoob hasted.(Shoo-ma yak doe-stay khoobhas-tand.)
PashtuTasoo yow khu malgeray yaste.(Tah-soo yow khoo mal-gah-rayyaws- tay.)
The two main languages spoken in Aghanistan are Dari and Pashtu. Dari, derived from“darbari,” meaning the language of the court of kings, is spoken in the central, northernand western provinces of Afghanistan. Pashtu is spoken in the eastern, southern andsoutheastern provinces.
Dari/Pashtu phrase of the weekDari/Pashtu phrase of the week
Bagram's first permanent customs building opensFreedom Watch Page 7
Air Force Staff Sgt. Charles Crumity, 1st Expeditionary "RED HORSE"Group heavy equipment operator, places his signature on a beam tosignify the completion of the building. The building is the first perma-nent structure for customs at Bagram Airfield.
only slightly dampened by the extension.It's been two months since the
extension, 14 months since the begin-ning of their deployment, and 1stPlatoon, Co C. is still conductingpatrols and going out on convoys.
"In nine days, it will be one fullyear, straight through, that I have beenhere," Ansley said. Ansley took hisR&R leave early on the deployment,and will serve more than 400 consecu-tive days in a combat zone as a resultof the extension.
"I think they handled it better thanmost," said Sgt. 1st Class Gonzalo E.Lassally, 1st Platoon Sergeant."Everyone probably thinks that theirplatoon is the best, so I am not goingto say they're the best, but they are thetightest."
A majority of the platoon has beentraining together for over a year-and-a-half, Putnam said, and it was thisclose-knit community of Soldiers that
acted as a support mechanism withinthe platoon. More than 10 membersof the 1st Platoon have been togethersince the unit's first deployment insupport of Operation EnduringFreedom in 2004.
"These are like your brothers righthere," said Ray, who is in Afghanistanfor the second time with Co. C. "Sothis deployment, even though it's long,it's like your family. People rememberthat this is the Army, and we are atwar. Anything can happen."
The high spirits seen as they pre-pare to go out on convoys, work ontheir vehicles in the motor pool orsimply spend time in their rooms canall be traced back to one thing, Raysaid. It's all about the guy to your leftand to your right, he said.
"Civilians will never understand thatbond, how deep it is," Ray added.
"I don't think anybody would havegone back home, unless the whole pla-
toon went home," Lassally said. "Theyare practically family to one another.Amazingly enough, considering whatthey have been put through, they arestill re-enlisting. We are at a 90 percentre-enlistment, with 70 percent stayingin the unit."
Even though they are separatedfrom their spouses and children, theyknow they are doing something worth-while in the Army, Ray said.
"It's what we signed up for, and it'swhy I just re-enlisted," he said.
And more importantly than servingtheir country, the bond they havewithin their unit motivates the Soldiersto stay part of the team.
"They would rather get deployedtogether, with the same group of guysthey have deployed with," Lassallyexplained.
"We are a tight group of guys," con-firmed Army Sgt. Mark T. Clinger, ananti-armor specialist with the platoon.
April 23, 2007 Page 9Page 8 Freedom Watch FEATURE
Story and photosBy Army Spc. Matthew LearyTask Force Fury Public Affairs Office
FORWARD OPERATING BASEORGUN-E, Afghanistan - Used toextended missions and unforeseencomplications, the Soldiers of 1stPlatoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion,87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd BrigadeCombat Team, 10th MountainDivision embarked on a missionMarch 22 a few hours after daybreak,but they wouldn't return until wellafter nightfall, the mission lasting morethan 13 hours.
Many Soldiers chalk it up to whathas become a popular term within theplatoon: Murphy's Law.
On the way out to a remote outpostto deliver supplies, the convoy washeld up by several civilian vehiclesstuck in the mud. The same mud-ladenroads that stopped the flow of civiliantrucks slowed down the military vehi-cles as they went up and down hillsand crossed small streams. And just asthe platoon was almost back home,two vehicles experienced a mechanicalbreakdown, one requiring extensivework.
So as the light faded and the weatherturned cold, the Soldiers joked aboutthe situation. Someone realized theymight miss Mexican night at the diningfacility, and this set off a heated debateabout what good Mexican food is.
This situation is familiar to the unit,the plan changing midway through amission, said Spc. Justin M. Ray, a rifle-man with 1st Platoon, Co. C.
"It's Murphy's Law," confirmedArmy Sgt. Jordan L. Ansley, a teamleader in 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon."Anything that can go wrong, will gowrong."
But for Ansley, a native of TwinFalls, Idaho, nothing proved the theory
of Murphy's Law like the extension oftheir entire brigade in January.
In early January, the 4th BCT, 82ndAirborne Division, began deploying toAfghanistan to replace the Soldiers ofthe 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., whowere finishing a year-long deployment.In late January, the Department ofDefense announced an increased forcestructure plan for Regional Command-East. Instead of one brigade coveringthe area, two brigades would split thebattle space, doubling the combateffectiveness within the area.
So although the 4th BCT, 82ndAirborne Division arrived as a replace-ment force for 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn.,they became a supplementary force.
This meant 2-87th Inf. and the restof 3rd BCT, 10th Mtn., would stay inAfghanistan for an extra four monthsas Soldiers from the 173rd AirborneBrigade prepared to relieve them. TheSoldiers went from being weeks away
from returning home to being fourmonths out.
"It was definitely a surprise," saidArmy Sgt. Craig R. Putnam, a squadautomatic weapon's gunner with 3rdSquad and native of Flint, Mich. "A lotof guys were down at first."
But the Soldiers of 1st Platoon, Co.C quickly rallied together and focusedon the mission at hand, Putnam said.
"We've been through worse," headded, speaking about enduring gruel-ing missions in the mountains ofAfghanistan. "Being here a little extratime didn't make that much of a dif-ference. Nothing goes exactly asplanned, so this was no different."
The extension was a perfect exam-ple of Murphy's Law in action, Ansleysaid. But the Soldiers grouped togetherand made the best out of the situation,keeping unit morale high.
The platoon continued on with themissions they were given, their spirits
Murphy's Law delays, not defeats, 3rd BCT
Army Staff Sgt. Sean Lepper, a squad leader with 1st Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 3rdBrigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, pulls security during a convoy stop March 22.
Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry, 3rdBrigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division stop and survey the areaduring a convoy March 22. Like most of the Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 1stPlatoon has spent more than 14 months here in Afghanistan.
Story and photosBy Army Pfc. Aubree RundleTask Force Pegasus Public Affairs
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghan-istan - More than 2,000 runnersarrived April 14 to participate in theArmy Aviation Association ofAmerica's annual 5 kilometer/10 kilo-meter run known as the "GWOT -Trot." This event was held not onlyhere, but also at Forward OperatingBase Salerno, Afghanistan, and FortBragg, N.C., on the same day.
Members of the Armed Forces,Coalition forces and civilian personnelhere registered and competed in therun to win first, second and third placemedals for the top three men andwomen to complete the 5km and10km run. There was also a medalawarded to the first team to complete.
"The turn out for the run was wellover what was expected, which seemedto have a positive impact on every-
one's morale," said Army Capt.Thomas J. Whitlow, Company A com-mander, Task Force Atlas. "More than300 people showed up the day of therun to register."
Recognition and thanks were givenby AAAA, Iron Mike ChapterPresident, Army Col. Kelly Thomas,
Task Force Pegasus commander, justbefore the race began.
"This run was organized to supportthe AAAA, Iron Mike Chapter andalso bring us all together to participatein the first run of the season," saidCommand Sgt. Maj. Andrew Nichols,command sergeant major for TF Atlas.
The first place winners for the 5 kmrace were Nick Diorio and JenniferCaci.
The first place winners for the 10km race were Daniel Kiui and MicalaHicks. The team that won called them-selves "Fort Hoodlums."
"It felt good to come out and runwith other enlisted Soldiers, officers,Coalition forces, and other membersof the Armed Forces that are sta-tioned here," said Chance Gibbons.
After the race, a chili cook off washosted by Morale, Welfare andRecreation. The runners were giventhe opportunity to taste test differentchili recipes. Army Sgt. Larry Howard,Aviation Dining facility, was the win-ner of the cook off.
April 23, 2007Page 10 Freedom Watch NEWS
Aviation task force hosts GWOT Trot
More than 2,000 members of the Armed Forces, Coalition forces and civilian workers take off from the startand finish line to compete for first place in the Army Aviation Association of America's annual 5 kilometer/10kilometer run known as the "GWOT - Trot."
Melanie Taylor takes a samplefrom one of the chili recipes sub-mitted for the chili cook off heldafter the race by Morale Welfareand Recreation.
Army Specialist Clayton Commons
Unit and occupation: 450th MovementControl BattalionTime in the military: three yearsHometown: Manhattan, Kan.What service do you provide on BagramAirfield? I am an administration specialist. Iprocess all the awards, leaves, mail, passes andpromotion packages for the battalion.Hobbies: skateboarding and playing the guitar.Most memorable moment in Afghanistan:On my second day here, one of my co-workersand friends almost died from the suicide bomberat an entry control point.What do you miss most about home? I miss Brandy, mygirlfriend, the most.The first thing that you're going to do when you get
back: I am looking forward to spending my deploymentmoney on a new truck and going on a road trip in it.Interesting personal fact: I was the first person to snow-board down a mountain in Valdez, Alaska, when I was 15years old.
April 23, 2007 Freedom Watch Page 11NEWS
If you have high-quality photos of servicemembers supporting the Coalition mission or enjoying well-deserved off-duty time, please e-mail them to [email protected] Please include full identification and caption informa-tion, including who is in the photo and what action is taking place.
Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Matt Lichtenberg
PHOTOS FROM THE FIELDPHOTOS FROM THE FIELDOn April 8, Easter Sunday,members of the Republic ofKorea Forces SupportGroup passed out morethan 300 "Amazing EasterEggs" to Coalition forcesafter the worship service.The "Amazing Easter Egg"is an eggshell-shaped potin which the seed of asword bean is planted.When it sprouts out of thesoil, the Korean letters fornine different SpiritualFruits in the Bible appearembroidered on the leaf.The nine Korean symbolsstand for love, joy, peace,patience, kindness, good-ness, faithfulness, gentle-ness and self-control.
Photo by Air Force Staff Sgt. Matt Lichtenberg
Story and photoBy Army Sgt. Tony J. Spain 22nd Mobile Public AffairsDetachment
CAMP SHIRZAI, Afghanistan - Agraduation ceremony was held here for soldiers of the AfghanNational Army who successfully completed the TeamLeadership Course March 29.
The TLC is a required developmental course for ANA sol-diers to become non-commissioned officers. Eighty-six ANAsoldiers serving in the 205th "Hero" Corps received their cer-tificates and took the next step to becoming a NCO in theANA.
During the three-week course, U.S. and British Soldierstrained and advised ANA instructors on tactical situations andhow to survive in a field environment. The ANA instructorsthen trained their Soldiers under the supervision and evaluationof the U.S. and British Soldiers.
ANA Maj. Gen. Rhamullah Rawofi, 205th "Hero" Corpscommander, was the guest speaker for the ceremony andpraised the U.S. and British soldiers for their efforts.
"We are thankful for the United States and other countrieswho are here to teach and support us," said Rawofi.
"Your teachers helped you successfully complete the TeamLeadership Course and I'm very happy you've done well," hesaid to the graduates.
Rawofi also reminded the graduates they are the future ofthe ANA. If they work hard, they'll be in positions of com-mand in the future.
"We must be powerful because the people of Afghanistanare counting on us. By graduating from this course, you helpthe ANA become more professional," Rawofi said.
The commander also told the soon-to-be NCOs it's part oftheir duty to train soldiers using the knowledge they haveacquired.
"It is important that you apply what you learned to opera-tions in the field and that you teach your fellow soldiers," saidRawofi.
ANA soldiers receive training in several areas throughoutthe course. They spend the first 10 days learning how to men-tor, motivate and discipline soldiers. In that same time frame,they also learn rank structure and customs and courtesies. Therest of the course focuses on battlefield tactics, like movingunder fire in buddy teams, moving in battle as a squad, check-ing for vehicle-borne improvised explosive devises at a checkpoint and cooking in the field.
ANA Sgt. Sabar, 205th Hero Corp, is proud to be a gradu-ate of the course.
"I learned how to take care of my fellow soldiers," Sabarsaid. "I was happy to complete the course and hope I will beable to lead the Soldiers working under me."
Army Staff Sgt. Victor Colon-Rosa, an American adviserserving on the mobile training team, based at the KabulMilitary Training Center said the students of the 205th HeroCorps did an outstanding job.
"This was my first class at Shirzai, these soldiers were thebest I have seen so far," said Colon-Rosa, who has instructedseveral classes at KMTC in Kabul. "I see a lot of good leadersalready in this group. I see five to seven good leaders that couldmake a platoon sergeant and there are a lot of good squad lead-ers here," he said.
Colon-Rosa also said this is the result of three weeks ofhard work and training.
"Today you see the results [of this course] with 86 soldiersgraduating. It is unreal to graduate that many from this type ofcourse," he said.
Colon-Rosa said most courses start off with 120 to 130 stu-dents. Out of those, 25 to 30 students graduate. Most drop outof the course because of discipline problems or for missingmore than three days.
Colon-Rosa expressed his pride for the new graduates."I am extremely proud of this class. What I came to realize
about this group is about 80 percent of them are privates,"Colon Rosa said. "Those are the ones that will make the futureof this army. I hope and pray they take what they have learnedhere, apply it to the battle field, and teach other soldiers thathave not been through the training."
Page 12 Freedom Watch April 23, 2007
ANA graduates 86 from pre-NCO course
ANA soldiers assault an objective during training inthe Team Leadership course near Camp ShirzaiMarch 27.
Story and photoBy Army Pfc. Jaime D. Mial Task Force Spartan Public Affairs
JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghan-istan - The plumes of smoke mayhave settled years ago, but the memo-ry of what happened on Sept. 11,2001, will never go away. For some,the memory is closer than for others -- some lived it very personally.
For some special New York Cityfirefighters and their families, theemotions they still feel about that daysparked a generous outpouring ofschool supplies to help children in anAfghan town that used to be home tothe very man that caused them somuch pain.
"It started when some of the fire-fighters heard that the Taliban wasburning schools and they wanted tohelp," said Navy Cmdr. John Gormley,the regional adviser for CombinedJoint Task Force-82 to the ISAF com-mander. Gormley is a reserve sailor.In civilian life, he serves as a fire cap-tain in New York City.
Gormley and colleagues discussedsending donations to Afghan children.
"I told them that if they sent thestuff to me, I'd get it there," he said."When I talked to my best friend, Lt.Patrick Neville - he's a firefighter withLadder Company 42 in New York, hesaid, 'We got the same people thataffected our lives on Sept. 11, 2001,affecting these young children's livestoo. This is an opportunity to helpthose young children who have suf-fered from the same element that hurtus on Sept. 11, 2001.'"
With good intentions, willing heartsand now a way to make their visionhappen, the firefighters of New Yorkand their families prepared to sendlove to a place that had once beenhome to so much hate.
"They sent books, pencils, paper,
crayons and the love from the spiritsof the brothers that were lost on9/11," Gormley said.
An opportunity to distribute theassembled supplies presented itselfduring a meeting. Gormley coordinat-ed with the provincial reconstructionteam at Jalalabad, a majorNortheastern Afghan city and thecapital of Nangarhar Province.
"When I saw the PRT commanderat a conference and told him what wewere trying to do, he told me he had areally deserving school," he said.
From his base at Bagram Airfield,the fire captain began to collect itemsfor distribution. At one point hisroom was so full of boxes filled withdonations he could barely find a pathto his bed. When the day came to loadthose boxes up for delivery to theHada Farms School in Jalalabad, thedozens of packages bearing "FDNY"in bold black marker were ready forthe final leg of their long journey.
As the convoy rolled into theschoolyard dozens of eager little eyespeered out from the windows. In onebuilding, a mass of little boys sat on alarge rug, no longer paying attentionto the neatly dressed teacher in frontof them. Their eyes, instead, fixatedon the procession of uniformed menwalking behind them and into theirprincipal's office.
Once the identities of those whodonated the supplies were revealed tothe principal, he expressed his deepestcondolences for the families andthanked the servicemembers for theirsupport. The school supplies, all neat-ly packaged into large plastic bags,were then distributed to the waitingchildren.
The mass of tiny boys were thefirst to receive their gifts, hugging theservicemembers and thanking them inPashtu.
In the next building, the young girlswere learning school lessons, with theyoungest outside under a tent. Someinitially shied away from the large menoffering them gifts. But soon theywere all singing for them and smiling.
"It might have been 65 little kidssquashed into a tent, but in their eyesyou could see the promise of hope inthe future," Gormley said.
"The children really loved it," saidDanny Hall, a State Department rep-resentative serving with the JalalabadPRT. "I think it's very moving thatpeople who were so touched bytragedy themselves can still reach outto others."
As the convoy rolled out to returnhome, the children waved their good-byes, gripping their packages close totheir hearts.
Fireman makes special delivery to childrenFEATUREApril 23, 2007 Freedom Watch Page 13
Navy Cmdr. John Gormley hands out school supplies to a group ofyoung girls at an Afghan school in Jalalabad April 3.
Courtesy Combined Joint Task Force-82 Public Affairs
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - The 207th Infantry Brigadebegan work on a $46,000 project intended to repair,upgrade and clean canal systems in the village of TakhtaPol in Daman District of Kandahar Province April 16. Thecontract will also upgrade the Takhta Pol Karez - a gravitybased system, which draws ground water for distributionthrough the canals.
$48,000 has also been dedicated to the repair, upgradeand clean canal systems in the Village of Mowmand, alsoin the Daman District. These two projects will increasewater use for agricultural purposes as well as improve thequality of water supplied to approximately 40,000 villagersin Daman District. The contracts also provide employment
opportunities for locals within the village."It is important that we invest in construction projects.
We need to focus on projects that will help improve indus-
try, commerce and education, along with improving thequality of life," said Army Col. Richard Stephen Williams,207th Inf. Bde. commander and U.S. National CommandElement South.
"Investing in construction projects and providingemployment opportunities for young men will decrease thereason that most young men join and fight alongside theTaliban," he added.
Courtesy Combined Joint TaskForce-82 Public Affairs
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Thisweek, eight Royal Air Force Regimentservice members were awarded U.S.Army medals in recognition of theirexcellent service while working tosafeguard the International SecurityAssistance Force's main operatingbase in the South, Kandahar Airfield.
British Wing Commander AndyKnowles, Squadron Leaders SteveCarter and Matt Stowers and WarrantOfficer Mike O'Hara received ArmyCommendation Medals. FlightLieutenant Mark Folley, FlightSergeant Andy Smith and SergeantCarl Nunn received ArmyAchievement Medals. All membersare part of the Kandahar AirfieldForce Protection Team.
"These fine soldiers demonstratedexemplary dedication and commit-ment to the protection of KandaharAirfield and upheld the highest idealsof military service," said Army Col.Richard Stephen Williams,Commander, 207th Infantry Brigadeand U.S. National CommandElement South. "Their service is acredit to themselves, the 207thInfantry Brigade and the Royal AirForce Regiment."
The Kandahar Airfield ForceProtection Team is composed of sol-diers from Romania, Canada, theU.S., United Kingdom, Netherlandsand Denmark. The team was respon-sible for substantially increasingsecurity around NATO's KandaharAirfield; the largest operating base inthe South as well as conductingnumerous village outreach projects inthe surrounding area which benefitthe neighboring local populationareas.
NEWSPage 14 Freedom Watch April 23, 2007
“Investing in construction projects andproviding employment opportunities
for young men will decrease the reasonthat most young men join and fight
alongside the Taliban.”
- Army Col. Richard Stephen Williams207th Inf. Bde. commander and
U.S. National Command Element South
RAF members awarded Army medals for excellence
Courtesy photoArmy Col. Richard StephenWilliams pins U.S. medals onRoyal Air Force Flight LieutenantMatt Stowers.
Canal upgrades begin inKandahar Province
ENTERTAINMENTApril 23, 2007 Freedom Watch Page 15
Great moments in reflectiveGreat moments in reflectivebelt historybelt history
Got a joke, review, or top ten list? Email it to:[email protected]
and you could see them printed here!
Normandy, June 6, 1944: Poor navigation, overrun dropzones and Nazi flak scattered the elite U.S. paratroopers
throughout the French countryside. If not for their Army-issue reflective belts, they would have never been able to formLGOPs * (Little Groups of Paratroopers), thus enabling them
to complete their mission.
Fill in the grid so thatevery row, every column,
and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1
Last Week’s SolutionDifficulty: Medium
Reviews You Can Use
The Last King of Scotland (R)Starring Forest WhitakerDVD Release: April 17th
Plotline: Based on the events of thebrutal Ugandan dictator Idi Amin'sregime during the 1970s as seen byhis personal physician.I can't think of a better actor to tog-gle between media-savvy jester andstone-cold killer than ForestWhitaker. Movie Goof: The microphone
changes in the speech scene. When Amin is speak-ing, it's large and white. For long shots a smaller,black one is used.
Puzzle courtesy of Pappocom
Weekly Top Ten List
10. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sun-glasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars.See if they slow down. 9. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguiseyour voice. 8. Every time someone asks you to do something,ask if they want fries with that. 7. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it"in." 6. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Onceeveryone has gotten over their caffeine addictions,switch to espresso. 5. In the memo field of all your checks, write "Forsmuggling diamonds." 4. Finish all your sentences with "In accordance withthe prophecy." 3 Dont use any punctuation2. Have your co-workers address you by yourwrestling name, Rock Bottom.1. When the money comes out the ATM, scream "Iwon! I won!"
Top 10 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity
Review by: Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly
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Freedom Watch Freedom Watch April 23, 2007April 23, 2007