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Article "Getting off the ground" written by LATESTE Henri on Afghan Experience

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ISAF Mirror

  1. 1. Winter Aid:HelpingThose In Need
  2. 2. 16-18 Aid: ISAF humanitarian efforts help many Afghans sur- vive the harsh winter. 5 General4 Eyes of Nazia: A young Afghan 12 Bird Strikes: A bird ecologistwoman gets help from PRT Qalat helps flight safety officials at Kabuland local doctors after she is brutally Afghanistan International Airport dealattacked by her husband. with bird problem. 9 Road5 General Mohammadzi: An 14 Mission Complete: Airmen atAfghan National Army woman general Bagram conduct a ceremony to inacti-works to improve her country, while vate a security forces squadron formed to support detention operations.inspiring women.6 Medical Training: Afghans 19 Farah Road: Reconstruction team hopes to improve road con-graduate from advanced medical struction in Afghanistan by using cob-training course. blestone and other materials.8 Road Dedication: A new Ba- 20-25 ISAF in Photos: Picturesgram road is named in honor of an illustrate ISAF events and operationsAirman killed during combat opera- during the past few months. 10 Tornadotions in Herat.9 Afghan Air Corps: New aircraft 26 Australia Day: ISAF Australian forces observe their country’s day ofand facilities give new life to Afghani- national pride during a medal cer-stan’s military air operations. emony at HQ ISAF.10 Helping Returnees: BaghlanPRT provides aid and other assist- 26 New Camp: Norwegian forces fund new base camp for an Afghanance to ease the transition of Afghans National Army unit.returning to their homeland. 30 Fire in Mazar-e Sharif: ISAF11 Tornado Landmark: German forces come to the aid of Afghan fireISAF forces in northern Afghanistan fighters battling a large fire in thereach flying milestone. city’s business district. 20 Fire2 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  3. 3. COMISAF Intent In full partnership with the grow-ing institutions of the Islamic Re- ISAF Mirror is a Headquarterspublic of Afghanistan, and within the International Security Assistancemeans allocated by NATO and the Force Public Affairs product intend-many nations supporting the mis- ed for the information and entertain-sion, ISAF demonstrates NATO’s ment of ISAF and associated per-commitment to the security, re- sonnel. Though articles have beenconstruction and the extension of edited, opinions expressed are thosegovernance in Afghanistan. Further, of the author and do not necessarilyISAF demonstrates both the will and reflect the policies of NATO, Jointcapacity to apply irresistible force by, Forces Command Headquartersthrough, and in support of AfghanNational Security Forces against the Brunssum or ISAF.insurgents’ strategy and others who The Mirror is published quarterly Gen. Dan K. McNeilforcibly oppose the progress of this Commander, ISAF (March, June, September and De-campaign. We will assist in dem- way as to demonstrate respect for the cember) and distributed among theonstrating the growing capacity of Afghan people and their culture in regional commands. View it on-lineANSF to meet the GIRoA’s security order to effect their direct support of at, and will operate in such a our endeavor. Submissions to ISAF Mirror should be related to ISAF opera- tions; however, other articles may beISAF Mission run based on their appeal to an inter- Conduct military operations in the assigned area of operations to assist national military audience. Articlesthe Government of Afghanistan in the establishment and maintenance of a should be sent in Microsoft Wordsafe and secure environment with full engagement of Afghan National Secu- format and photos should be at leastrity Forces, in order to extend government authority and influence, thereby 4.5 cm at 300 dpi resolution. Includefacilitating Afghanistan’s reconstruction and contributing to regional stability. identifying information of authors, photographers and subjects. EmailISAF operations are divided among five regional commands: submissions toRegional Command Capital (approx strength 4,800) •HQ ISAF in Kabul (Composite) or pres- •HQ RC-C in Kabul (TUR) The dead-Regional Command South (approx strength 11,600) line for submissions is the 25th day •HQ RC-S in Kandahar (CAN) of the month prior to publication.Regional Command West (approx strength 2,500) To contact the editor, call 0799 •HQ RC-W in Herat (ITA) 51 1218 or email todd.wivell@isaf-Regional Command North (approx strength 3,300) •HQ RC-N in Mazar-e Sharif (DEU)Regional Command East (approx strength 13,900) •HQ RC-E in Bagram (USA) Editorial Staff Royal Navy Capt. Mike Finney, Chief, Public Affairs U.S. Lt. Col. Claudia Foss Military Assistance to ISAF Spokes- person U.S. Master Sgt. Reginal Woodruff EditorFront Page: Illustration representing ISAF humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan this winter. BackPage: ISAF forces provide security for Afghans using mules to cover rugged terrain. ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 3
  4. 4. A husband’s abuse nearly destroyed her. But many peoplecommitted themselves to heal and remove fear from the ...EYES OF NAZIABy U.S. Air Force Capt. Bob Everdeen foods and paying for some of her meals. through Dr. Gary Davis, an AmericanProvincial Reconstruction Team Qalat Some of the time she was in excellent surgeon working with the NMH in Kabul. Nazia Hookum Darr was beaten and spirits and other times you could see the Dr. Davis obtained consent from Gen.disfigured by her 40-year-old husband fear in her eyes.” (Dr.) Mohammad, a plastic surgeon, toof three months on Christmas Day. He The hospital staff relayed Nazia’s fears accept the patient transfer. Meanwhile,smashed her mouth, shaved her head, cut of retribution from her husband or his Colonel Bramble worked the political side,off her nose and ears and poured boiling family members as part of Pashtunwali, a obtaining permission of Zabul Provincewater on her hands and feet. pre-Islamic-era honor code still practiced Governor Delbar Jan Arman to allow United States Army Lt. Col. James by some Afghans. military transport for Nazia. GovernorBramble, Commander of Provincial “(My husband) was an older man with Arman coordinated with the Minister ofReconstruction Team Qalat, found out gray hair, and he was mean to me from Women’s Affairs in Kabul to take care ofabout the attack the day after it happened the time we met,” said Nazia. “I had no her in Kabul.and knew 16-year-old Nazia had to be choice; my mother died when I was young She arrived in the capital city in mid- Nazia Hookum Darr (Courtesy photo)helped. “The story was so compelling that and my stepmother arranged the marriage. January.we immediately contacted the provincial I’m afraid of him. He’s a former Talib. “Once we were in Kabul, I immediatelygovernor and arranged a trip to the local “In Qalat my husband was jobless and called Dr. Davis and the Minister ofhospital to visit the doctors taking care of was always complaining about economic Women’s Affairs,” said Colonel Gauron.the girl,” he said. problems. Two weeks after we moved into “The doctor arranged a bed for Nazia, and The following day representatives our new home; he beat me for no obvious the Director of Women’s Affairs sent afrom the PRT met with Zabul Province reason.” male and female escort to bring her to theChief of Staff Gulab Shah and the local Afghan National Police say the man’s hospital.”Director of the Interior, and then traveled first wife died about a year earlier under “When we made the transfer withto Zabul Provincial Hospital to meet Nazia suspicious circumstances. representatives at the gate, Nazia cried,”in the women’s ward. Due to Afghan According to Colonel Gauron, many said PRT Interpreter Spozhmae Karzai.sensitivities, only a female translator and people have reached out to help Nazia “We will miss her, but we’re so happychief physician were allowed to meet with survive her ordeal. “We had American she is getting to the plastic surgeons. Shethe abused woman. military surgeons, two international deserves it.” “Nazia’s wounds were healing well and nongovernmental organizations and the Nazia’s ordeal showed cooperationshe was well taken care of by the Afghan Afghan National Military Hospital all among government agencies and aphysicians,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. volunteering to help,” he said. “After growing trust by the Afghan people. AsMichael Gauron, PRT chief medical discussing the options, we elected to the country continues to develop, thisofficer. “The hospital staff, especially the facilitate Nazia’s transport to Kabul and growth may ensure women such as Naziafemale nurses, really rallied around her. have Afghans take care of her.” will be able to live freely, with hope andWe made frequent visits, bringing soft Colonel Gauron worked medical issues choices, without fear.4 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  5. 5. An Officer and a LadyAfghan general offers hope to women of her countryStory by Staff Sgt. Amanda Delisle changes she would like to see take place overcome discrimination against AfghanHQ ISAF Public Affairs Office for women in Afghanistan. women. General Mohammadzai is an To begin with, the general said “If we work together, we can helpexperienced Afghan National Army she is hopeful to have more women in women all over the world obtain theirsoldier with more than 35 medals and administrative affairs in her country’s aims and goals in the future. By this, we40 letters of commendation. The general Ministry of Defense. can reach more opportunities for Afghanis also an accomplished parachutist “All of us have somehow encountered women.”with more than 5,000 jumps in 23 years discrimination in our own military,” said She suggested the MOD dedicateof service. That is a commendable General Mohammadzai. “We need your positions just for women and that acareer for any one, even more so when help to high-ranking female be put in charge ofone considers that General Khatol women in these roles, to care for them.Mohammadzai is an Afghan woman. She believes this would help them to During a recent visit to have freedom in their work affairsHeadquarters International without criticism from men.Security Assistance Force, the A woman knows anothergeneral spoke to military woman’s situation and couldwomen of various countries help women to work freely andto share her views and be able to do good work, theexperiences as a woman general the Afghan military. With an obviously strong “I am very grateful sense of who she is and what sheto have sisters like wants for Afghan women, Generalyou from far away Mohammadzai made her way as acountries,” said General woman in the male-dominated AfghanMohammadzai. “I’m proud of military with a strong work ethicall of you. We’re all here to work and strong character.for the betterment of Afghanistan.” The tough woman and mother As a leader and example for managed her work and took care ofwomen of Afghanistan, General her family of 10 as she progressedMohammadzai said her advice to through the ranks to her currentwomen everywhere is to finish their position.higher education, be good mothers, have General Mohammadzai said thestrong self-confidence and ignore the progress she sees in Afghanistan is proofnegativity of others. her work hasn’t been in vein. She expects Women from the United Kingdom, to continue to be an example to womenAustralia, France, Canada, Iceland, by living by her motto: “Don’tthe United States and fear anything, even if whatGermany asked you want is in thethe general’s mouth of theopinion lion.”on General Mohammadzai (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch) ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 5
  6. 6. Progress System now tracks status of projects in Afghanistan Courtesy of ISAF Staff Reports Reconstruction and development projects in Afghanistan are now managed in one database. Information is gathered on all reconstruction and development Afghan and ISAF medical professionals treat an Afghan child. (HQ ISAF stock photo) projects in the country by Afghanistan Country StabilityAdvanced Medical Training Picture, a database developed and managed by International Security Assistance Forces soldiers at HQWith their country’s mortality rate one ISAF. “We hope the system willof the highest in the world, new medical increase the management of information systems capacitytraining graduates give hope to Afghans within the Government of Afghanistan,” said a civil militaryBy U.S. Air Force Capt. Bob Everdeen reminded them of the significance of their cooperation expert at HQ ISAF.Provincial Reconstruction Team Qalat new careers. With more than $12 billion Less than a month after a basic “I have seen people who have invested in country-wideemergency medical technician training completed this training in the past,” said reconstruction and developmentclass graduated here, seven more Afghan Dr. Rahman. “You are now the future to since 2002, ACSP has an estimatedmen entered the medical field after make things better for Afghanistan.” 70,000 activity records providedgraduating Feb. 5 from a nursing school “We look forward to more classes like from more than 170 sources.program facilitated by the Qalat Provincial this in the future,” said Mr. Wadan, during The Ministry of RuralReconstruction Team. his address to the graduates. “You’ve Rehabilitation and Development is The 12-month training program teaches studied hard, earned your certification and the largest contributor to ACSP andstudents the basics of nursing: taking vital now employers will be eager to accept you the military has provided more thansigns, assessing overall health, initial into their practices.” 8,500 projects for the system.patient screening, medical terminology “To the students, ‘congratulations,’” This program has a commonand an overview of medications. The added Dr. Ahmadzai. “To the PRT; thank picture for these projects and helpscourse is taught by an Afghan employed you. This is a very special subject because eliminate duplication of the PRT. you are helping humans. One person can Previously, more than one school The importance of the achievements make a difference, especially in Zabul was built in the same area due to aof the seven young men was described where we don’t have enough educated lack of oversight and coordinationby Afghan government representatives people in the medical field.” between agencies.from Zabul Province, who attended The graduates must complete “Now, we can conduct ourthe graduation ceremony. Dr. Nazir a certification test in Kabul before projects in the right places to getAhmadzai, director of Public Health; Mr. being hired to practice in Afghanistan. the right development in the mostAbdul Nabi Wadan, director of Education; Traditionally, graduates of the nursing needed areas,” said Ahdib Fahardi,and Dr. Fazul Rahman, director of Ibn program, who pass the test, enjoy a 100- Afghanistan National DevelopmentSina Medical, praised the graduates and percent employment rate. Strategy executive director.6 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  7. 7. Education Mahmood Raqi gets new school Courtesy of ISAF Staff Reports Kapisa Provincial Government representatives and members from the Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team recently opened a school and health clinic in Mahmood Raqi District, Kapisa. U.S. Air Force Capt. Jordan Berry, International Security Assistance Force’s Bagram PRT Kapisa Civil Affairs team leader, and Hatan, Afghan Ministry of Education representative, cut the ribbon on the eight-room, $122,000 school. “You can send your children to school now,” said Hatan. “Please send your children here for an Lt. Col. Lanza and the Badghis Governor cut ribbon officially opening clinic. (RC-W) education.”Improving Health Care The Zalmai Shahid Secondary School, which took more than 10 months to build, will houseReconstruction team and Afghan police approximately 240 boys, ages 10 – 15.inaugurate new medical facility in Badghis The ISAF PRT builds clinics and schools where there are existing programs that don’t haveBy Italian Captain Federico Collina for International Cooperation (Agencia adequate facilities.Regional Command West Española de Cooperación Internacional), Construction on the clinicPublic Affairs the Provincial Chief of the ANP, the Head began Feb. 3, 2007, and although Spanish soldiers of the Qala-e-Naw of the Provincial Public Health Department the province has officially openedProvincial Reconstruction Team, along and the Ab Kamari District Administrator the doors, some finishing work stillwith Afghanistan National Policemen, were among a large group of people who needs to be done.opened a new medical facility Feb. 10 in For his help rebuilding Kapisa gathered for the event.Quipcak village, Ab Kamari district of Province, Hatan presented Captain Governor Nasseri thanked membersBadghis Province. Berry with a turban, which he says of the PRT for contributing to the The clinic is a great benefit for Badghis is a great honor in Afghanistan. improvement of public health in the villagepeople, particularly women and children. “This is a new year … and we and province. Moreover, he encouraged all have many new projects plannedMembers of the Qala-e-Naw PRT were Afghan people to do their part to create a for Kapisa,” said the captain. “Iactively involved in the project from start stable and secure environment that makes would like to thank the people ofto finish. And the PRT remains committed the reconstruction and development Kapisa for giving us security andto helping residents enjoy safe, healthy easier. allowing us to put so many projectslives. Analysis made at Baltimore University here.” Lt. Col. Jesús Lanza Mollá, the and the Afghan Ministry of Health showed According to Captain Berry, thePRT deputy commander, and Badghis that Badghis public health care system PRT is looking to fund $30 millionGovernor Mohammed Ashraf Nasseri rose recently to second among all Afghan worth of development projects inchaired the clinic opening ceremony. provinces. The province has the lowest Kapisa this year.The coordinator for the Spanish Agency mortality indexes in the country. ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 7
  8. 8. Col. Mines and Tech. Sgt. Arsenault unveil sign dedicating Gillespie Way (Capt. Michael Meredith) New ‘Way’ Of RemembranceA Bagram road helps to continue the legacy of a fallen AirmanBy U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael him, Sergeant Arsenault found himself Commander, told the group gathered forMeridith deployed to Afghanistan. Following the ceremony. “As our trucks drive around455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public a conversation with another Sergeant this fuel farm the drivers will rememberAffairs Gillespie co-worker, Senior Master Sgt. one of their very own fuels specialists One U.S. Air Force Airman’s Dean Abbott, he had an idea. who gave his life in the service of hiscommitment to a fallen comrade came “After Sergeant Abbott and I talked, I country.”full circle with the dedication of a road in was walking down Disney Drive (named Sergeant Abbott, who knew Sergeanthis honor here Jan. 1. for Army Spc. Jason Disney) and I thought Gillespie for 14 years, said he would have The newly-named “Master Sgt. Randy about the road being named for a fallen appreciated the efforts on his behalf.Gillespie Way” owes its existence to the Soldier. I knew they were building a new “He would’ve loved it. He was aefforts of Tech. Sgt. Blaine Arsenault of the road (on base) and thought there was no people person,” said Sergeant Abbott.455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness better way to honor Sergeant Gillespie’s “We as a people, a profession and an AirSquadron here. Sergeant Arsenault once memory than naming it after him.” Force have lost a great human being. Heworked for Sergeant Gillespie, a career After weeks of research and was the whole package. He was all aboutfuels specialist who died July 9, 2007 coordination, Sergeant Arsenault’s efforts helping and he volunteered to come backfrom wounds sustained during small arms resulted in the naming of road, including to Afghanistan because he wanted to makefire near Herat. the Jan. 1 unveiling of a sign proclaiming a positive difference.” “Sergeant Gillespie was my first “Gillespie Way” during a ceremony in the Admiring the new road after thesupervisor,” said Sergeant Arsenault. fallen Airman’s honor. ceremony, Sergeant Arsenault summed“When I heard he died, I took it “Master Sergeant Gillespie’s memory up the legacy of his fallen comrade: “Hepersonally.” will live on,” Col. Barry Mines, 455th was a mentor, a wingman, a leader and a Shortly after the news reached Expeditionary Mission Support Group warrior. He will not be forgotten.”8 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  9. 9. Getting Off The GroundNew facilities and aircraft give new life to the Afghan Air Corps personnel. A total of 20 aircraft, consisting of eight Mi-17 Hip helicopters, six Mi-35 Hind helicopters and six fixed winged airplanes (two L-39 Albatrosses, two An- 32 Clines, and two An-26 Curls) stood proudly side by side during the meeting of task forces. The deputy commander of the helicopter squadron gave task force members a historical overview of the ANAACP, after which he guided members around the compound for a closer look at the helicopters. The Mi-35 Hind F attracted the largest group of spectators and caused a great stir among the visitors. Over the last year a remarkable increase of proficiency has been established by the ANAAC. It had 4,276 movements in Mi-17 (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch) 2007, proving of its full integration in air operations at KAIA.By Belgian Navy 1ste Meester-Chef demonstration. KAIA’s operations A complete move of the ANAACHenri Lateste center contained the organized chaos of facilities to the North Side Cantonment Devastated by years of war, the planning schedules, maps, GPS positions, Area is planned. This facility is underAfghan National Army Air Corps is being meteorological forecasts and aircrew life construction with completion due in midrejuvenated thanks to aircraft donations support equipment. 2008. It will house the command facilitiesfrom the international community, along With a hundred pilots for fixed wings, for the Afghan Air Corps, and includeswith the teamwork and dedication of some 62 helicopter pilots and an additional housing, administrative, operations,International Security Assistance Force 20 pilots for the Presidential Squadron, all maintenance and recreation facilities. Theand ANA personnel. supported by a logistical staff, engineers project includes two hangar complexes, In early 2006 the ANAAC had 14 and U.S. mentors, the ANAAC at Kabul a taxiway and ramps. It will be the newrotary-wing and 6 fixed-wing aircraft contains a coherent group of well trained core of the Air serviceable condition. The inventoryhas steadily increased to a viable state,through combined foreign infusions ofmoney, equipment and expertise. Due toAfghanistan’s degraded infrastructure, theuse of air transport capacity has provento be extremely useful to the Afghangovernment. Daily helicopter and fixed-wing flights now provide an extensivesupport for medical and logistic operationsall over the country. An official delegation of leaders atKabul Afghan International Airport,accompanied by key personnel fromFrench Task Force COUGAR andItalian Task Force PANTERA helicoptersquadrons gathered last December at theKAIA airfield for an ANAAC operational Antonov An-32 (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch) ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 9
  10. 10. Appreciation From AfghansReturnees Minister commends Baghlan Reconstruction Team’sassistance to displaced Afghans settling back into their homelandBy Camilla AlgarheimForward Media Team The Minister for Returnees,Mr. Sher Mohammad, andthe Baghlan ProvincialReconstruction TeamCommander, Hungarian Col.Tibor Rozsa, met Jan. 4 in Kabulto discuss support for Afghanreturnees. Mr. Mohammad beganthe meeting by expressing hisgratitude for the PRT’s effortsin ensuring people returningto Afghanistan had the supportnecessary to reintegrate. “Thank you very much foryour humanitarian assistance,your support was timely andeffective,” said the minister.“You saved the lives of the very Members of Baghlan PRT met with Mr. Mohammad (third from left) (Combine Joint Special Operations Task Force)young and the old amongst themost vulnerable in our society,and the people of Afghanistan The PRT has organized large scale distri-will never forget. I hope we cancontinue our cooperation.” bution of clothes and blankets to 900 fami- The PRT has organized largescale distribution of clothes and lies living in desperate conditions ...blankets to 900 families living in desperate the settlement. Etebari shed light on the fact that Pol-e-conditions two years in a row. “We will continue to support the khumri is the city gate to the north. It is a Upon hearing news of the desperate returnee settlement throughout the winter,” city that people pass by without noticingconditions last November, the PRT sprung said the colonel. “There aren’t enough that it has its own problems.into action. Every soldier in the camp was civilian organizations that can help such He is trying to convince non-involved in what can best be described large settlement, so we as a PRT tried to do governmental organizations to do more toas a humanitarian rescue mission. The the best we can. These people had to flee help the returnee population of Baghlan, indistribution was executed in collaboration from their homes due to war and returned hope that more national and internationalwith the Department for Returnees in to sometimes nothing, we are aware of assistance will arrive, with thousandsBaghlan, shura leaders from the camp and the many problems they are facing. They more returnees expected this spring.the Afghan National Police, who together have to start all over again and they need “The people in the camp are in awith the force protection team at the PRT all the support they can get. desperate situation and we are tryingsecured the distribution site. “The suicide blast at the sugar factory our best together with international The current rotation of soldiers led by in Baghlan hit us all hard and our focus organizations to alleviate their suffering,”Colonel Rozsa was eager to make a repeat now is to try to avoid other big tragedies said Naim Kakar, head of the departmentof last years distribution with the same by creating a secure environment for the for returnees in Baghlan. “The first step isdetermination before the cold set in. Every people of Baghlan,” he said. to provide emergency aid, which is whatsoldier who took part in the distribution After handing over a certificate of the PRT did today but we are also tryingwas touched by the people they met from appreciation to Colonel Rozsa, Minister to create jobs and housing.”10 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  11. 11. Patrolling the Skies Strike and Air Defense Variant, use similar airframes and the same engines and aircraft systems, but different radar, avionics software and weapon suites.German Tornados in the north storm to a The Tornado IDS attacks targets with high accuracy in all weather conditions.combat flying landmark in Afghanistan It carries a spectrum of weapons and defensive aids and is highly survivable by virtue of its automatic terrain-following and electronic counter-measure systems. The Tornado ADV provides autonomous, all-weather air defense. It can patrol for more than two hours at 350 nautical miles from base and can climb to 30,000 feet in under two minutes. Six Tornados arrived in Mazar-e Sharif April 5 of last year. Arrival of the aircraft marked the first time the German Air Force deployed Tornados to Afghanistan. Their task here is to ensure airspace reconnaissance over Afghanistan in support of ISAF operations. It is an important task which the air wing fulfils 470 personnel. Upon their landing and departure from the plane, the two pilots who completed the 1000th mission were celebrated for their part in the accomplishment made possible by many people. “On behalf of all soldiers of the wing I express my appreciation and my respect”, said the General Dammjacob. Lt. Col. Hübenthal, said, “You make an important contribution to the success of our mission; let me also express my gratitude for your performance – professional, at all times and always with the decisive bit of soldier’s luck.” “It is the teamwork of the entire operational wing, which made this success possible, since only as a team can we cope with our tasks,” said Col. Christoph Pliet, MeS commander. Brig. Gen. Dammjacob congratulates pilots of the 1000th flight. (Courtesy photo) The operational wing has other severalCourtesy Operational Wing Mazar-e and Lt. Col. Frank Hübenthal, Deputy other routine tasks such as passengerSharif Public Affairs Staff Reports Commander of the Operational Wing and freight handling, security for the Though the sun is shining bright, the Mazar-e Sharif, stand among those waiting Bundeswehr field camp Camp Marmal,air is bitter cold at the airport of Mazar-e the completion of the 1000th operational fire prevention, explosive ordnanceSharif in Northern Afghanistan. Several flight of the Tornado in Afghanistan. disposal, surveillance of the flight controlpeople gather on the apron awaiting Flown by the German Air Force, zone, and command and deploymentthe accomplishment of a milestone in among other European nations, the of six large army helicopters. The prideInternational Security Assistance Force Tornado is a twin engine air-to-ground of the personnel in their performanceoperations in Afghanistan. and air defense fighter capable of short is obvious as well as safety of action German Brig. Gen. Dieter Dammjacob, takeoff and landing performance. The and professionalism of servicemen andCommander of Regional Command North, two variants of the Tornado, Interdictor women. ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 11
  12. 12. By Albert de Hoon MSc this vegetation is hardly present any species struck the KDC-10, the volumeBird Strike Ecologist more due to over-grazing by goats and of birds and collision velocity wereFRoyal Netherlands Air Force sheep. Compared with the surroundings, enough to cause considerable damage. light operations at Kabul the airport was a real haven for many One option for preventing future Afghanistan International birds of different species, coming to feed strikes is to remove all vegetation. Airport present unique on insects and seeds. Because goats and sheep are not challenges as well as risks During my visit, just after summer, allowed at the airport for safety reasons,associated with any other busy airport. I found only 17 bird species present. it has to be done mechanically. At oneOne such common threat is one that few Since a one-week-visit is too short to part of the airport, the vegetation waspeople outside of the flying community get a feel for the bird population in a removed to create plots for hangars andthink of ... birds, specifically bird strikes. particular area, I interviewed as many aprons. This resulted in sand storms, and Last summer, a KDC-10 struck 130 people as possible to get information the so-called pioneer plants grew backsmall birds during landing. Striking about the bird situation year-round. Most quickly. These plants flower abundantlya small bird generally doesn’t cause valuable was the bird strike database. and produce a lot of seeds, attracting Crowed Airspace Graphic IllustrationBirds at Kabul’s airport are a hazard to aircraft and presenta unique challenge to those who try to eliminate the dangerdamage to aircraft, but when 130 birds Pilots had submitted only four bird-strike many birds.are struck simultaneously, that’s a forms. However, the FSO presented In recent years, the soil was disturbeddifferent story. As a result of the strike, data from January 2007 to the present at many plots of the airport due to de-the wind shield was covered in blood and that showed 98 bird strikes, involving mining activities, creating ideal growingthe tail engine had to be cleared. It took 475 dead birds. However, before the places for the pioneer species. For thisfour days to get the aircraft serviceable. August strike, information about the reason it is important not to disturb the Bird control at KAIA is one of the birds was limited to general names such soil. Eventually, the pioneer species willmany tasks of the flight safety office. as “sparrow” and “swallow.” That strike be taken over by plant species that attractAfter the incident last August, the resulted in visual evidence – frozen fewer birds. Since this process will takeFSO took steps to combat the threat of carcasses and photographs – that proved a few years, the pioneer plants will havebird strikes, including purchasing bird helpful in determining specific species, to be mowed in the meantime. By doingrepellent and distress calls. However, and therefore, developing a specific this just before they start flowering, thebirds are different and so are their defense plan. number of birds is expected to decrease.environments. Since January 2007, I determined that During my visit I spent a lot time The methods used may have been most of the bird strikes at KAIA occurred teaching the FSO personnel the basics ofeffective with other birds at different in the summer, during daylight hours. bird control, especially conducting birdlocations but failed at KAIA. With that I The birds involved were Bee-eaters and counts, expelling birds and determiningwent to Kabul Sep. 19-25 to help tailor a Barn Swallows (insect eaters), and Tree proper preventive measures. Whenprogram specific to the airport. and House sparrows (seed eaters). the FSO personnel will execute all The airport is covered with a The Barn Swallow, Tree and House recommendations properly (I am surevegetation that is typical for (the northern sparrow are all around 22 grams, the they will) the bird strike problem atpart of) Afghanistan. Outside the airport Bee-eater 60 grams. Regardless of which KAIA should be history.12 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  13. 13. Developing Skills, Building the FutureMulti-purpose training center under construction in FarahGina Gillespie Kabul cannot accommodateForward Media Team additional students, forcing Construction is many to seek a higher educationunderway on a $1.2 in Pakistan. Students oftenmillion center for fail to return to Afghanistanexcellence in Nan Gab, after graduation, sparking ain Farah Province. “brain drain” that benefitsNawi Arghawan foreign countries insteadConstruction Company of the student’s the contractor for the The curriculum taught in thecenter. Farah City native Pakistan centers of excellenceengineer Zulmi will is also not supportive ofoversee the year-long Afghan development, saidconstruction, which Mr. Atiqullah, Director ofis expected to employ Education for Farah.about 50 people. “The director of education When completed, has a good plan for the future ofthe complex will include education in the area, so we’re10 buildings, including trying to reward that forwardtwo dormitories, one planning by giving attentionhallway meeting to some of his projects,” saidroom, a dining room, Lieutenant Genta.10 classrooms, a The new center forvocational building excellence will facilitate awith a sewing training two-year, multi-disciplinaryarea, a carpentry area program. It will not onlyand a metal training encourage intellectualarea. There will also development that will remainbe a communications/ in Farah Province, but willlibrary room, a stimulate the economy throughlaboratory, a large, tuition requirements. Farahseparate latrine, and a Province will draw studentssecurity wall. from surrounding provinces. The dormitories Farah province is fastwill house 250 students becoming an educationalon site, but the center center with a number ofwill have the capacity Stock photo of ISAF-supported construction in Afghanistan (HQ ISAF) schools and educationalto teach three times that institutes under construction.many students. The mosque will rival the all furnishings for the facility. Each Besides the current construction of thegrand mosque in Farah City. dorm room will have two beds, a set of center for excellence and the funding of The project is being funded by the U.S. dressers, a cabinet, a desk, lights and a five high schools during the past year,Commander’s Emergency Relief Funds. small balcony area. The classrooms will Farah boasts an Agricultural High School, “This is a well thought out, well have desks, chairs and blackboards. There which draws students throughout theexecuted contract that should yield will be books and computers, sewing province.something that will be very productive machines, carpentry tools, electricity and There is also a women’s dormitoryfor the community,” said U.S. Navy Lt. running water. under construction at the Farah Hospital,John Genta, an engineer for International The center will be the first institution which will house 128 women for midwifeSecurity Assistance Force’s Farah PRT. of higher learning in Farah Province. The and nursing training programs and a The contract also includes but three operational centers of excellence in teacher’s training facility. ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 13
  14. 14. Members of the 755th ESFS case the squadron flag during a ceremony incativating the squadron. (U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Andriacco) MISSION COMPLETEBagram security forces squadron finish detainee support roleBy U.S. Air Force Capt. Michael the 123 members of his squadron, during brought to bear in the joint mission,” saidMeridith the ceremony. “These Airmen made the Col. Thomas Huizenga, commander of455 Air Expeditionary Wing Public mission happen without serious injury the 755th Air Expeditionary Group.Affairs and with dignified, respectful treatment of Following remarks from Colonel U.S. Air Force Airmen from a dozen detainees.” Howard and Colonel Huizenga, thebases across the United States stood Colonel Howard also noted that squadron guidon was cased, signifying thetogether here for the last time Jan. 11 current squadron members excelled in inactivation of the unit and the transfer ofto bid farewell to their squadron and to nearly every facet of their performances duties to the Sailors of Task Force Trident.honor the passing of a piece of Air Force during their eight-month deployment here. Although there was a sense of reliefhistory. Among the accomplishments he cited were among many squadron members as they The 755th Expeditionary Security the award of 130 individual decorations prepared to return home, there was also aForces Squadron, originally formed in May and more than 300 organizational bittersweet element to the proceedings as2006 in response to a U.S. Army request coins to squadron Airmen for superior a part of Air Force history passed.for support of its detainee operations performance, 40 squadron promotions “A squadron inactivation is always amission, was inactivated during a formal and the recognition of a dozen individuals time for reflection,” Colonel Huizenga toldceremony. at higher organizational levels. squadron members, adding a caveat. “The “It is probably the most challenging “The squadron showed just what squadron designation remains available.mission that I could ever envision taking can be achieved when we provide the If the call comes again, I pray that therepart in,” squadron commander Lt. Col. structure that allows the freedom for our will be Airmen equal to your mettle toFrank Howard told the audience, including Airmen’s talents and strengths to be fully answer.”14 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  15. 15. Show of Force ProtectionSuicide bombing inBaghlan Provinceforces security officialsto take a strong handBy Camilla AlgarheimForward Media Team Baghlan Province, in northernAfghanistan, was in the news headlines inrecent months for all the wrong reasonsafter a suicide bomber blew himself upat the sugar factory in Baghlan-e Jadid,killing 70 innocent children and severalsecurity personnel. In the wake of the terrorist attack,the Hungarian Provincial ReconstructionTeam in the province stepped up itssecurity presence. The PRT joined theANP in conducting security operationsin Baghlan-e Jadid and the vicinity of thesugar factory. During a three-day security exercise,the second phase of Operation Strong Afghan police perform a routine vehicle search. (Courtesy photo)Hand, they conducted vehicle and bodysearches at various checkpoints on the ANP had gone to such lengths in an effort 2006, the Hungarian contingent hasmain road between Pul-e Khumri and the to create a safer environment for residents focused their efforts on reconstruction,neighbouring Kunduz Province. shaken by the bomb blast. with a considerable CIMIC budget to During the operations they searched “They stopped my car and performed play with, and security through the ANP.more than 1,000 vehicles, giving a clear a search, but I am not involved in any They have been extremely pro-active, notsignal to smugglers and people involved kind of illegal activity,” says Saaduddin, leaving a single black spot in the insurgent activity that they are not a driver from Baghlan. “In spite of the By doing so they’ve prepared the groundwelcome in the province. Stopping the inconvenience I am happy that they are for not only their own CIMIC projects butflow of weapons “travelling” through taking measurers to clamp down on crime, also that of non governmental agencies.the province and ending up in the hands especially that of insurgents who are only Colonel Rozsa has led the PRT throughof criminals who could link up with causing death and destruction.” the harshest winter seen in 30 years andinsurgents is seen as a key to establishing Hungarian Col. Tibor Rozsa, the PRT his leadership has been characterisedlasting stability in this northern province. commander, also brought in his civil by a well planned and executed CIMIC “With Operation Strong Hand coming military cooperation and psychological projects and efforts to bolster the security,to an end, I am pleased to say that it was operations unit to bolster Operation Strong all with a humanitarian approach.a routine operation which left us with a Hand, making it more people friendly and “After being five months in thepositive impression of the current security thus not appearing as a hostile force. mission I feel a bit tired, but I also feelsituation,” said Lt. Col. Ghulam Haidar, “We were one the spot distributing satisfied,” said Col. Rosza. “Although wean operational officer with Baghlan blankets and toys to the many people who couldn’t meet all the requests put forwardPolice department. The colonel based were inconvenienced by the operations by people, I think we have completed ourhis comments on the fact that the teams and our PSYOPS unit conducted road main objectives in Baghlan province.didn’t recover any illegal drugs, weapons shows on various locations to inform “We had to keep people’s hope aliveor explosive materials during three days local residents about PRT activities,” said and somehow convince people to stayof operations. Warrant Officer Nadas Gabor, a CIMIC optimistic in regards to developments in Despite of causing interruptions to officer at the PRT. the security picture. I think more help ismany people’s travels, most people were Since taking over as a lead nation in needed in the near future to make a realappreciative of the fact that the PRT and Baghlan province from the Dutch October change in Baghlan province,” he said. ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 15
  16. 16. An Afghan man dresses his son in warm clothing received through ISAF humanitarian aid efforts. (RC-N)
  17. 17. Insufficient weather data leaves many to speculate aboutwhether this winter was the worst Afghanistan has seenin decades. It is clear that the bitter cold of the wintermonths cost many Afghans their lives and others theirlivelihoods. And the International Security AssistanceForce, working with local and national agencies, provid-ed humanitarian aid that helped countless people survive. When Weather Is The EnemyWBy Tech. Sgt. Todd WivellHQ ISAF Public Affairs hile ISAF personnel, along with Afghan forces, continued to hunt, capture and kill enemies of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan over the past few months, extreme weather proved to be the greatest threat to Afghans. In a year when suicidebombers and improvised explosive devices were still taking lives, thedeath toll from this years winter weather conditions was included 27 tons of coal, food and winter clothing in thewell above the 1,000 mark. Qeysar district and 50 tons of food, blankets, rain coats, boots Though numbers vary, this winter proved to be the and generators in the Badghis province. With the additionalworst in many years, costing many Afghans their lives, 13 tons of aid delivered throughout Afghanistan.while others lost limbs, homes and/or livestock. However On the morning of Feb. 25, a doctor from the Qatarthrough these harsh winter conditions, members of ISAF Red Crescent Organization, boarded a plane at the ISAFstill worked tirelessly to prevent even greater losses. Heart Airport. The plane was loaded with a flight cargo of In an ISAF press conference conducted here Feb. 6, the humanitarian aids to include 10,000 blankets, 6,000 jacketsISAF spokesperson, Lt. Col. Claudia Foss, U. S. Air Force, and 2,000 stoves ready to be transported and delivered incommented that ISAF forces working with the Afghan Heart. ISAF once again assisted by providing its airportNational Security Forces had distributed more than 90 tons as a safety point for humanitarian aid cargos during thisof humanitarian aid in a plan to help contrast the severe period of extreme weather.winter conditions for the people of Afghanistan. This aid As the many different nations come together to form ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 17
  18. 18. ISAF, they worked together as well toprovide humanitarian aid during the pastfew months. During the month of February, eightpallets of wheat, rice, school supplies andwinter coats were flown to Purchaman.Regional Command West provided thesupplies, Provincial Reconstruction TeamFarah prepared and loaded the pallets ontotwo Italian helicopters and two Americansoldiers accompanied the mission todocument the event. “The supplies were requested becauseof harsh winter weather,” said AdamKordish, PRT Farah. “While the districtcentre itself is snow clear, we know thatthis isn’t the highest occupied place inthe area, but there is still a need for thehumanitarian aid.” In addition to distribution ofhumanitarian aid, ISAF along with ANSFcontinues to provide assistance throughthe Medical Civilian Action Program. During the month of February, severalMEDCAP’s were conducted through outAfghanistan. In Regional Command Westand Regional Command Capitol, morethan 300 local nationals were screenedand treated during the week of Feb. 6.Much needed medical care was providedto those who had very little previous careor none at all. The next day doctors and nurses fromMazar-e-Sharif PRT worked intensivelyin the villages of Sorabi-Bain and Sorabi- Top: An ISAF Lithuanian soldier gives food to Afghans during a humanitarian aid mission in Chagcharan. (RC-W)Bala to provide the people there with Left: An ISAF Italian physician treats an Afghan child during a MEDCAP associated with Operation MALEK. (RC-treatment. Once again the team helped C) Right: An Afghan woman in Aliabad protects herself against the cold as she awaits an air drop of food andmore than 300 local nationals with blankets from ISAF helicopters. (RC-N)60 percent of those being women and air base, and very gratifying that we can “After we surveyed this area wechildren. help.” conducted this MEDCAP operation,” said On the same day the Afghan National Another way ISAF assisted Afghans Lt. Col. Dr. Dus, the director of GermanArmy and ISAF soldiers provided medical is with veterinary assistance provided to Field Hospital in Camp Marmal. “We wantcare to more than 70 villagers during a farmers living in remote areas. to help people here and provide them withmedial outreach patrol near the Kandahar During a VETCAP Feb. 18 in the health facilities. We are planning moreAir Field. RC North, more than 330 sheep’s and MEDCAPs in the near future to reach “We can offer only basic medical care goats were vaccinated. During another remote areas as well.”during these visits, but there were a couple VETCAP in RC-N, 680 patients were The rising temperatures have meltedof people whose conditions would have treated, with 15 animals cared for and an away the snow helping to start the processbecome quite serious had we not been additional 670 vaccinated. of renewal and rebirth in Afghanistan.there to intervene,” said one of the medial “Thanks to German and Norwegian Though the loses suffered this winterofficers who assisted. “Treating in these troops for this help,” said one local Afghan won’t soon be forgotten, neither will theconditions is very different to our normal woman. “I was sick and my children were spirit of cooperation between the Afghanssurgeries, even back at base where things sick. They helped me a lot. I hope they and members of ISAF that prevented evenare quite basic; it is humbling to see the continue to conduct such operations in the greater loses. It is this same teamworkconditions people live in outside of the future.” that is helping to defeat the Taliban.18 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  19. 19. The Farah RoadReconstruction team tests new, old road building techniquesGina Gillespie road is being built in the province,” he down from the mountain top.”Forward Media Team said. When I was in Iran as a refugee, the The engineers will test the completed There’s a little strip of road outside the Iranian engineers were working on this road for a two-month period, monitoringgates at Provincial Reconstruction Team kind of road construction.” the amount of traffic passing by. A detailedFarah that may revolutionize the Afghan The test road contains three separate inspection of the road will show the rutsroad building industry. Engineers at PRT base materials: gravel, cement and dirt or or surface wear, and they’ll break upFarah dug up a 30-meter stretch of road as sand, to a depth of 45 centimeters. Each sections to see how the road has held upa test bed for road construction bases and of these materials is tested using one of to tire traffic.surface materials. The test encompasses two stone surface materials, either round- The successful material will beeight different experiments. edged river rock, or the flatter mountain determined through evaluating a number The primary focus using cobblestone flagstone. Zalmai is an engineering of factors, including surface wear, costfor roads, an ancient road building practice assistant working with Lieutenant Genta and speed of construction, and efficiencynot commonly used in Afghanistan. on the project. He explains the positive and in terms of how many people employed. “The Romans were really good at negative aspects of each type of stone. The results of the project will form a stonebuilding roads that lasted a long time, and “The river rock is the most commonly road template for future road constructionthey were all cobblestone, so why can’t used locally because it is free and can be projects.we do it here?” says U.S. Navy Lt. John picked up from the river,” said Zalmai. “I don’t have a lot of experienceGenta, an engineer at PRT Farah. “There’s “But when you put river rock inside building roads, so with this base coursestone everywhere, and I’m frankly cement, the smooth corners do not hold I’m really interested to see which onesurprised they haven’t done it yet.” the cement very well. In contrast the works the best,” said Lieutenant Genta. Mohammad Aref, Chief of Bradaran mountain rocks have sides and corners, “It’s more to test my own little road theorySadiq Barak Construction Company, is so there is better contact with the cement. so I don’t build something that’s large, butoverseeing the experimental road project. However the mountain rocks must be dug ultimately fails in the end because we’ve “For the first time this kind of test out with picks and shovels, and carted never done it before.” An Afghan man lays stones for the section of test road. (Courtesy photo) ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 19
  20. 20. British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband and U.S. Secretary of State CondelezzaRice speak to troops during a February visit to HQ ISAF. (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch)
  21. 21. Gen. Dan K. McNeil, Commander ISAF, signs documents transferring authority RC-S from British to Canadian forces. Major Gen. Marc Lessard (left) assumed com-mand of the region from Maj. Gen. Jacko Page. (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch)
  22. 22. Maj. Gen. Hans-Lothar Domroese, HQ ISAF Chief of Staff, gets a operational brief from U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Damien Marsh, Chief of Operations, HQ ISAF CombinedJoint Operations Center. The general assumed his position in January. (U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Rodney Miranda) (Note: Photo manipulated for security reasons)
  23. 23. French gunners survey the area enroute to a Medical Civilain Assistance Program mission in Surobi. (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch)
  24. 24. Brig. Gen. Jim Hutton, Chief CJ3, cuts the haggis during Burns Supper festivities at HQ ISAF. Haggis is a traditional Scot-tish dish and the subject of one of Robert Burn’s most famous poems. (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch)
  25. 25. German forces provide security at a meeting of key ISAF and Afghan leaders in Kundoz Province (RC-N).
  26. 26. National PrideAustralian forces celebrate their country’s day of recognition Australian Maj. David Harris HQ ISAF Public Affairs A NATO medal parade was the centerpiece of 2008 Australia Day celebrations Jan. 26 for International Security Assistance Force, Australian Defence Force members serving on Op Slipper in Kabul. Australia Day is a national day for reflection and demonstration of pride in Australia’s accomplishments. Australia’s acting head of mission to Afghanistan, Angela Tierney, joined International Security Assistance Force Commander Gen. Dan McNeill in presenting NATO campaign medals to 20 Australian service members assigned to HQ Joint Task Force 633-Afghanistan and HQ ISAF. Many others representing contributing NATO nations looked attended the ceremony. Deputy Commander Joint Task Force 633-A Brigadier Stuart Smith told the gathering that Australia Day recognized the birth of our national identity represented by the qualities of love of country, courage despite adversity, self discipline, initiative, teamwork and adaptability. Brig. Smith reminded those present that that identity had been shaped by waves of migration from the same nations that had gathered to form the coalition force in Afghanistan. “As we stand together in Afghanistan, we are surrounded by the same countries that assisted us in developing pride and faith in our country,” Brig Smith said. “We join them in guidingCol. Alison Creagh, HQ ISAF Chief, CJ1 renders a salute during Australia Day ceremo- another country (Afghanistan) tony at HQ ISAF. (U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Lynch) a fresh start, a renewed identity.”26 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008
  27. 27. Members of the Afghan National Army’s 209 Corps form up at Camp Qeysar. (Courtesy photo) Out of the Elements Afghan army contingent gets new and improved base campBy Captain Rune Thomas Ege for our soldiers will be substantially Captain Reidun Haaland Vandvik, chiefNorwegian Armed Forces in improved,” said Commander Majid. ”In engineer of the Norwegian Armed ForcesAfghanistan addition, the soldiers will enjoy warm in Afghanistan. ”In that way, building International Security Assistance and comfortable surroundings between new camps not only leads to better ANAForce Norwegian members have helped missions.” presence it also provides employment forcreate a new home for the Afghan The camp will make the planning and local workers and generates income toNational Army’s 209 Corps. conducting of future operations in the the local community.” Camp Qeysar is a small, strategically area considerably easier. ”Our presence The new camp provides soldierspositioned compound. The Norwegian- in the Qeysar-area is important to prevent of 1st Kandak will have specificallyfunded camp is located in Qeysar, in hostile elements to gain foothold in the designed living quarters. They will havethe southern parts of the remote Faryab- region,” says Majid. toilet and shower facilities, guard posts,province of north-western Afghanistan, Representatives of the ISAF in a built-in kitchen, ammunition storagebordering Turkmenistan. A few miles to northern Afghanistan also welcome the facilities and different tents used asthe south, just over the border to Badghis new camp. command post, dining facility and placeprovince, are the areas where ANA and ”It is important both for afghan of worship.ISAF troops, amongst them Norwegian authorities, afghan national security ”On behalf of ISAF, I am pleased thatand German soldiers, fought insurgents forces and for ISAF to secure the Norway chose to finance the constructionin fierce battles this fall. permanent presence of ANA forces of the camp,” said Col. Morten ”The camp is of great importance to in this area,” said Lt. Col. Tore Ketil Kolbjoernsen, Deputy Commander ofus,” said Commander Majid, Lieutenant Staarvik, chief of staff for the Norwegian ISAF´s Regional Command North. ”TheKandak of the 209 Corps,” Qeysar gives Provincial Reconstruction Team camp will be an important contribution inus the opportunity for a permanent Meymaneh. ”The ANA presence leads increasing the cooperation between ANApresence in the areas in the southern parts to stability and the necessary security and ISAF.”of the Faryab province.” needed for development of this part of This is not a first time for Norway This winter the commander has seen Faryab province.” and the Norwegian-led PRT Meymanehhis soldiers living in tents in a temporary Construction of Camp Qeysar was in financing the construction of militarycamp, which would have served better performed by local contractors at a cost compounds in Afghanistan. Thefor mud wrestling than housing armed of $430,000. ANA-camp in the province capital offorces for most of the winter. ”For us it is of great importance Meymaneh is built with Norwegian ”With the new camp, the security to use local, afghan contractors,” said funding. ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008 27
  28. 28. Days after deploying here, U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Stephen Thackery sawfirst-hand the cost of the Taliban’s attacks, and responded as he was trained saving livesBy U.S. Air Force Capt. MichaelMeridith455th Air Expeditionary Wing PublicAffairs On Oct. 13, about a week after hisarrival, the 33rd Expeditionary RescueSquadron medic and Hamilton, Va., nativewas on alert when the call came. A suicidebombing had resulted in a large number ofcasualties. While two other squadron medics,Tech. Sgt. David Denton and Tech. Sgt.Nicholas Falcon, flew out to the sceneon Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters,Sergeant Thackery flew out alone on oneof the squadron’s HH-60 Pave Hawks. “I treated four patients in the course oftwo missions – all were critical,” he said.“We had everything from fractures andshrapnel wounds to cardiac arrests.” Since February, 2006, Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, like thoseassigned to the 33rd ERQS, have beenflying alongside Army aircraft to helpprovide medical evacuation throughoutAfghanistan. Although a new missionfor the Air Force, the skills of Airmenlike Sergeant Thackery have made themcritical to its success. “During a mission, my training sets inand I start doing triage in my head. I workon one patient, while I’m thinking abouthow I’ll treat the other. I don’t think aboutwhat I’ve been through until afterward,”said Sergeant Thackery, who deployedfrom the 43rd Aeromedical EvacuationSquadron at Pope Air Force Base, N.C.,in early October. For medics like Sergeant Thackery,whose experiences are with the Air Staff Sgt. Jason McDowell, 33rd ERS, inspects an HH-60 Pave Hawk. (Capt. Michael Meridith)Force’s aeromedical evacuation mission,MEDEVAC is something entirely new. fixed-wing aircraft from a medical facility burns or breathing trouble, a critical careWhile MEDEVAC missions move patients to a higher level of care. transport team is added to the flight. Thevia helicopter from the point of injury - Typical AE missions can have CCATT team usually consists of a doctor,where they are often in critical condition anywhere from one to three nurses and a nurse and a respiratory technician.- to a nearby medical facility, AE missions between two and four medical technicians. However, things are far different for theusually fly stabilized patients aboard If a patient is in critical condition, with MEDEVAC mission.28 ISAF MIRROR MARCH 2008