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Rakkasan leaders bring Christmas dinner to remote base in Khowst province

 

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna 
3rd Brigade Combat Team

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansKhowst Province, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Soldiers eat Christmas dinner in Bak, Afghanistan, December 25th. The food was brought to the remote location by helicopter and served to the Soldeirs by the 3rd Brigade Combat Team command team.  Flying in Christmas dinner helped to brighten holiday spirits while the Soldiers are separated from friends and family during the holidays.

The unit recently began operations in the new facility, requiring the Christmas meal to be flow from a larger installation near Khowst, Afghanistan to the remote location.

Two U.S. Army Soldiers eat Christmas dinner in Bak, Afghanistan, December 25th. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Chris McKenna)

Two U.S. Army Soldiers eat Christmas dinner in Bak, Afghanistan, December 25th. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Chris McKenna)

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Casey awards Leader Rakkasan Soldier Silver Star for combat heroism

 

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna
Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs

187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionKhowst Province, Afghanistan – Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey presented a Task Force Leader Rakkasan Soldier with a Silver Star Medal for combat heroism at a brief ceremony at Forward Operating Base Salerno December 23rd.

“I feel honored to receive this medal,” said U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas Robinson, M240B machine gunner with Company D, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be able to represent my battalion and the division, as well.”

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey pins a Silver Star Medal on U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas Robinson of Tacoma, WA, Company D, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Salerno Dec. 23rd. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Christopher McKenna, Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs)

Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey pins a Silver Star Medal on U.S. Army Spc. Nicholas Robinson of Tacoma, WA, Company D, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Salerno Dec. 23rd. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Christopher McKenna, Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs)

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Rakkasans eclipse retention goal in record time

 

Written by By U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna
Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs

187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionKhowst Province, Afghanistan – Just a month and a half into the new fiscal year, the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, has reached its retention goals, shattering records in the process.

Within 50 days, Task Force Rakkasan exceeded its fiscal year 2011 retention goal of 362 Soldiers.
   
“We were able to complete this goal due to the outstanding career counselors, leaders and Soldiers of the Rakkasans,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Ron Yancey of Batesville, MS, 3rd BCT senior career counselor. “All levels of command got involved with the Soldiers and helped them get the options they desired.” «Read the rest of this article»

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236 Rakkasans reenlist in combat zone

 

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansKhost Province, Afghanistan – A total of 236 Task Force Rakkasan Soldiers gathered at various combat outposts and forward operating bases across Afghanistan to take the oath of re-enlistment October 10th.

While stress in a combat zone is abundant, these Rakkasan Soldiers chose to add to their time with the Army, with many stabilizing to remain with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

“Doing this in a combat zone means that I get to stay out here with all of my brothers and continue to serve,” said U.S. Army Spc. Alex Masteller, Troop A., 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, from Marion, OH. “Being a Rakkasan out here means being as hard as a Soldier can be.”

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Campbell, 101st Airborne Division commander, and U.S. Army Col. Viet Luong, Task Force Rakkasan commander, stand with the 77 Soldiers who re-enlisted at Forward Operating Base Salerno Oct. 10th. A total of 236 Soldiers re-enlisted, with the rest doing so via video teleconference from 13 remote locations in TF Rakkasan’s Area of Operations. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. John Campbell, 101st Airborne Division commander, and U.S. Army Col. Viet Luong, Task Force Rakkasan commander, stand with the 77 Soldiers who re-enlisted at Forward Operating Base Salerno Oct. 10th. A total of 236 Soldiers re-enlisted, with the rest doing so via video teleconference from 13 remote locations in TF Rakkasan’s Area of Operations. (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

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Coalition forces repel attack at COP Spera, at least 27 insurgents killed

 

Written by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jimmy Norris
Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs 
 
187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionKhowst Province, Afghanistan – Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team repelled an attack on Combat Outpost Spera September 21st resulting in the death of at least 27 insurgents.

Both remotely piloted aircraft and strategically placed surveillance cameras identified the insurgent forces preparing to open fire with a mixture of small arms and rocket propelled grenades.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. George Shelton, a senior scout with Troop A, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, provides over watch security on the Spera District Center, Khowst Province, Afghanistan, as a provincial key leader engagement is about to take place inside. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. George Shelton, a senior scout with Troop A, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, provides over watch security on the Spera District Center, Khowst Province, Afghanistan, as a provincial key leader engagement is about to take place inside. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)

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Rakkasan DDOC makes deployment possible

 

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna
3rd Brigade Combat Team

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionBagram Airfield, Afghanistan – Without the Soldiers of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division’s Deployment and Distribution Operations Center at Bagram Airfield, members located at the various combat outposts and forward operating bases would never receive their mission essential equipment. In addition, servicemembers would not be able to get transportation for leave.

Soldiers at the DDOC ensure troops in the fight are equipped properly and set up for success.

U.S. Army Spc. Cornelius Miller, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment supply clerk, from Miami, and U.S. Army Spc. Anthony De Leon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, communications specialist from Harlington, Texas, inventory radios to be sent out to their battalion’s companies Sept. 16th on Bagram Airfield. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team)

U.S. Army Spc. Cornelius Miller, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment supply clerk, from Miami, and U.S. Army Spc. Anthony De Leon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, communications specialist from Harlington, Texas, inventory radios to be sent out to their battalion’s companies Sept. 16th on Bagram Airfield. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team)

 
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Rakkasans remember 9/11

 

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna
3rd Brigade Combat Team

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division Patch187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansKhowst Province, Afghanistan — U.S. Army Lt. Col. Richard Ullian, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment commander, address a formation of Soldiers about 9/11 in front of the Task Force Rakkasan Tactical Operations Center at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Khost Province, September 11th.

“We all have a personal connection to what happened that morning … as the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon burned; our very way of life was threatened,” said Ullian, from Fort Campbell, KY “Osama Bin Laden and his fanatics mistakenly predicted the attacks of downtown New York and the Pentagon would lead to a collapse in the American way of life, but we have proven that [they] couldn’t have been more wrong.”

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Richard Ullian. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team)

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Richard Ullian. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team)

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FTF detains 6 insurgents, captures weapons in Khost province

 

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna
3rd Brigade Combat Team

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division PatchKhost Province, Afghanistan – Combined forces with 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s Focused Tactical Force conducted an air assault operation in the Momad Kalay District, Khost Province, September 6th.

During the operation, the FTF detained six insurgents and a captured multiple munitions. One of the individuals captured was considered a high-value target who had been leading an insurgent direct action cell responsible for assaults on collation forces travelling on Route Alaska, a main road throughout the Khost Province.

Recently attacks on the private security guards on Route Alaska have occurred almost daily and the capture of an entire direct action cell will seriously hamper insurgent actions in the area said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Richard Ullian, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment commander, from Fort Campbell, KY.

Afghan Uniform Police and U.S. Army Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s Focused Tactical Force search a building during dismounted operations in Khost Province. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)

Afghan Uniform Police and U.S. Army Soldiers with the 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team’s Focused Tactical Force search a building during dismounted operations in Khost Province. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)

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Task Force Red Knight captures 3, locates weapons cache

 

Written by U.S. Army Sgt. Brent C. Powell 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division PatchKhowst Province, Afghanistan – The combination of weapons, ammunition, improvised explosive devices and enemy insurgents spell danger for any coalition forces facing them.

Fortunately, a highly-skilled group of Soldiers here make it their mission to locate, capture or destroy insurgents and their weapons before they can be used against friendly forces.

The Soldiers are from Task Force Red Knight’s Focused Targeting Force, a specialized team including members of Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, as well as a group of Afghan National Army Soldiers, a team of Explosive Ordinance Device personnel, U.S. law enforcement personnel, a Counter IED team and a Human Intelligence Team.

In all, the FTF is comprised of more than 60 specialized personnel.  Together they have conducted more than 40 successful missions, capturing 15 joint priority targets as well as weapons, ammunition and IED parts.

U.S. Army Soldiers with the Focused Tactical Force, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, run towards a CH-47 helicopter following an air-assault operation in Bak, Khost Province, Afghanistan July 7th.  (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team)

U.S. Army Soldiers with the Focused Tactical Force, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, run towards a CH-47 helicopter following an air-assault operation in Bak, Khost Province, Afghanistan July 7th. (Photo by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team)

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Combined forces rescue nearly 100 from flood

 

Written by U.S. Army Pfc. Chris McKenna, 3rd Brigade Combat Team

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division Patch187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansKhost Province, Afghanistan – U.S. and Afghan forces struggled against the elements to rescue almost 100 Afghans trapped in the flooded river beds of Khost Province August 4th.

Rising waters, the result from a week’s worth of unseasonal rain in the province, left Afghan travelers stranded amongst the dry river beds frequently used for travel in the area.

With dozens of people trapped, combined forces sprung into action, loading onto UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and flying into the difficult terrain.

While the helicopters hovered roughly three to four feet over the muddy ground, U.S. Soldiers snap-linked and fast-roped out to recover people before they drowned.

Afghan man looking out of helicopter (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sean Wright, Task force Red Knight)

A local resident looks outside a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter after being rescued from flood waters after multiple days of heavy rain. The man was among a group of 95 residents rescued by combined forces from Task Force Rakkasan and Afghan National Security Forces. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sean Wright, Task force Red Knight)

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