PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (June 20, 2012) -- Afghan
National Army soldiers recently conducted several route
repair missions in Paktika Province along essential roads
damaged by insurgent-placed roadside bombs.
One recent effort, led by the ANA's 4th Kandak, 2nd
Brigade, 203rd Corps, Engineer Coy, with advisory support
from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry
Division, cleared a major Paktika thoroughfare for the local
The routes cleared by the Afghan soldiers run the entire
length of western Paktika Province and are important trade
roads. An improvised explosive device embedded in a culvert
that ran beneath the road had caused substantial damage and
made it impassable.
With the Afghans in the lead, 203 Corps and 1st Infantry
Division Soldiers travelled together to the site and began
Coalition Forces were there to provide guidance and equipment
for the more complex work.
While repairs were being made, large amounts of traffic had
to be redirected. The population had the opportunity to see
firsthand the tremendous efforts of the ANA to keep peace and
build a greater Afghanistan.
To deter insurgents from placing another device, a culvert
denial system was put in place. This system blocks the
outsides of the culvert to prevent insurgents from planting
IED's within the tunnels.
The mission was a great example of the enormous strides the
ANA is making towards taking charge of the security mission
"ANA Soldiers are incredibly competent and
hardworking," said 1st Lt. Preston Pham. "With the
right supplies and a little more technical knowledge, they
will be able to function independently."
Staff Sgt. Shawn Torgerson echoed his lieutenant's
enthusiasm about the Afghan soldiers' capabilities.
"I was impressed with the hard manual labor the Afghan
soldiers were doing and their resourcefulness in completing
the repairs," he said.