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Topic: Task Force Iron

Task Force Iron selects Soldier, NCO of the Year

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek
Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansGhazni Province, Afghanistan – Soldiers and noncommissioned officers with 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team took part in an annual NCO and Soldier of the Year competition January 4th-5th at Forward Operating Base Andar.

“This is really a great honor,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Britt Cantrell from Walker, LA, with Company A, 3rd Bn. 187th Inf. “I was proud to represent A Company in this competition, and now I have the opportunity to represent the Battalion. I’m grateful to all of the NCOs and officers who motivated me throughout my career.”

U.S. Army Sgt. Shelton Woolever from Stevenville, Texas, with A Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, completes in a hands-on portion of the Task Force Iron Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competition. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt R.J. Peek, Task Force Rakkasan)

U.S. Army Sgt. Shelton Woolever from Stevenville, Texas, with A Company, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, completes in a hands-on portion of the Task Force Iron Noncommissioned Officer of the Year competition. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt R.J. Peek, Task Force Rakkasan)

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Task Force Iron eliminates insurgent IED team

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek
Task Force Rakkasan

187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionGhazni Province, Afghanistan – Soldiers form Task Force Iron Rakkasan and members of the Afghan Uniformed police, using the Precision Threat Detection System blimp at Forward Operating Base Andar, identified a group of insurgents with weapons and explosives January 3rd.

Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, first identified four insurgents acting in a suspicious manner at a road intersection.

As the insurgents began to move, TF Iron Rakkasan took quick actions to prevent the insurgents from emplacing an improvised explosive device and escaping. A combination of hellfire missiles and 30 mm machine gun fire killed one insurgent and drove the second one to seek refuge in a nearby qalat.  «Read the rest of this article»

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Awards ceremony marks start of Task Force Iron’s road home

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek
Task Force Rakkasan

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansGhazni Province, Afghanistan – The first Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, will be heading home soon after spending the last 11 months in eastern Afghanistan.

Task Force Iron held a ceremony to award the departing Soldiers with their end of tour awards. Five Bronze Stars and 21 Army Commendation Medals were awarded at the ceremony.

Soldiers who arrived early in Afghanistan, such as company executive officers and supply sergeants, are the first to redeploy home and set the conditions for the rest of the battalion. 

U.S. Army Capt. Edward Hoogland (left), battalion supply officer; U.S. Army 1st Lt. Austin Bass (center), Company B, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, executive officer; and U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Kirk Hines, battalion operations sergeant major, receive Bronze Stars on Forward Operating Base Andar Dec. 29th. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek, Task Force Rakkasan)

U.S. Army Capt. Edward Hoogland (left), battalion supply officer; U.S. Army 1st Lt. Austin Bass (center), Company B, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, executive officer; and U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Kirk Hines, battalion operations sergeant major, receive Bronze Stars on Forward Operating Base Andar Dec. 29th. (Photo by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek, Task Force Rakkasan)

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Task Force Iron launches blimp over FOB Andar

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek
Task Force Rakkasan Public Affairs

187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionGhazni Province, Afghanistan – Task Force Iron Rakkasan launched the first flight of the blimp over Forward Operating Base Andar November 17th.

The blimp, properly known as a Persistent Threat Detection System, allows a 360 degree, all-weather, birds’-eye view of the surrounding area, with very little restrictions.

The PTDS, a Lockheed Martin system, requires two people to operate it at any given time. Alfred Henderson, a PTDS crew member from Portsmouth, VA, specializes in the maintenance of the system’s platform but, like all of the operators, is well trained on the entire system.

The Precision Threat Decision System blimp inflates in preparation for first flight at Forward Operating Base Andar Nov. 17th. The PTDS system will increase security in the district by preventing enemy freedom of movement.  (U.S. Army courtesy photo)

The Precision Threat Decision System blimp inflates in preparation for first flight at Forward Operating Base Andar Nov. 17th. The PTDS system will increase security in the district by preventing enemy freedom of movement. (U.S. Army courtesy photo)

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TF Iron joins Polish Independence Day celebration

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R.J. Peek
Task Force Rakkasan, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division

187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionGhazni Province, Afghanistan – Task Force Iron Rakkasan joined their Polish partners in celebrating the Polish Independence Day November 10th. Key leaders from 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry and their Afghan counterparts attended the Task Force White Eagle ceremony and later sat down for a traditional Polish meal.

Polish Brigade Commanding General Brig. Gen. Andrezej Reudowicz began with a speech to everyone gathered for the occasion at Forward Operating Base Ghazni. He expressed the importance of the Polish Independence Day and the freedoms the Polish people enjoy because of it. Reudowicz also commented that the Polish Army is honored to fight in Afghanistan and help the Afghan people achieve the same freedoms.

Brig. Gen. Andrezej Reudowica, Polish Brigade commander, shakes hands with Ghazni 3rd Brigade Afghan National Army Commander Col. Daoud Shah Wafadar at the Polish Independence Day ceremony Nov. 10th. Afghan partners attended the ceremony as a sign of respect for their Polish partners working to help the Afghan people attain their independence as well. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Derek Dosedel, Task Force Iron Rakkasan)

Brig. Gen. Andrezej Reudowica, Polish Brigade commander, shakes hands with Ghazni 3rd Brigade Afghan National Army Commander Col. Daoud Shah Wafadar at the Polish Independence Day ceremony Nov. 10th. Afghan partners attended the ceremony as a sign of respect for their Polish partners working to help the Afghan people attain their independence as well. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Derek Dosedel, Task Force Iron Rakkasan)

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Task Force Iron moves to Ghazni Province

 

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

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division Patch187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansPaktika Province, Afghanistan – As the U.S. troop surge begins to swell throughout Afghanistan, several units find themselves in transition.

Among those is Task Force Iron’s 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment, whose Soldiers have conducted operations in and throughout Paktika Province for the past several months.

Recently, they turned over responsibility of the province and took on a new challenge themselves.

The Iron Rakkasans passed the responsibility for Paktika to the incoming Soldiers of 4th Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, also known as Task Force Currahee, said U.S. Army 1st Lt. R. J. Peek, information operations officer, 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Reg., from Clarksville, Tennessee.

Task Force Iron is moving from Paktika to Ghazni Province.

One of the first challenges facing the Rakkasans was simply getting all their troops and equipment across nearly 30-miles of treacherous Afghan roads to reach their new home.

A U.S. Army Soldier with 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, watches over an area in the Waza Kwah District here during dismounted operations. The Iron Rakkasans passed the responsibility for Paktika Province to Task Force Currahee Sept. 9th, and will now be headquartered in Ghazni Province. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Jeffrey Alexander, Combined Joint Task Force-101 Combat Camera)

A U.S. Army Soldier with 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, watches over an area in the Waza Kwah District here during dismounted operations. The Iron Rakkasans passed the responsibility for Paktika Province to Task Force Currahee Sept. 9th, and will now be headquartered in Ghazni Province. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Jeffrey Alexander, Combined Joint Task Force-101 Combat Camera)

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Task Force Iron Soldiers relocate to Ghazni Province; kill insurgents, recover weapons

 

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

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division Patch187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansPaktika Province, Afghanistan – For the past several months, Task Force Iron Soldiers have worked tirelessly throughout Paktika Province, conducting numerous combat patrols, clearing miles of roadway and building relationships with local village leaders and elders to pave the way ahead.

Recently the Soldiers moved their new area of responsibility in the Andar District of Ghazni Province to join Task Force White Eagle. Although the battalion does not assume official responsibility of the area until mid-September, several platoons are already patrolling the district to prepare for the battalion’s arrival.

It didn’t take the Iron Rakkasans long to make their presence known.

Soldiers from Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, patrol to clear a village in West Paktika Province, Afghanistan.  The Rakkasan Soldiers are part of Task Force Iron who recently relocated to East Ghazni province to join Task Force White Eagle.  In the first few weeks in their new area of operations, TF Iron has killed numerous insurgents and captures caches of weapons and explosive. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Lorenzo Ware, 982nd Combat Camera Co.)

Soldiers from Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, patrol to clear a village in West Paktika Province, Afghanistan. The Rakkasan Soldiers are part of Task Force Iron who recently relocated to East Ghazni province to join Task Force White Eagle. In the first few weeks in their new area of operations, TF Iron has killed numerous insurgents and captures caches of weapons and explosive. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Lorenzo Ware, 982nd Combat Camera Co.)

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ANSF, TF Iron Soldiers hunt down, capture elusive Taliban commander

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R. J. Peek
3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division Patch187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansPaktika Province, Afghanistan – After months of relentless pursuit and numerous combat operations, security forces in Ghazni Province finally tracked down and captured an elusive insurgent commander, responsible for dozens of attacks on coalition forces and local Afghans.

U.S. and Afghan security forces worked together in a joint operation and captured the Taliban commander, known only as Attullah, in the early morning hours of August 31st. The powerful leader was discovered cowering in the wall of a house.

Attullah has a long history of insurgency. He has conducted a variety of insurgent operations throughout Paktika Province, and is believed to be responsible for the attack that killed U.S. Army Sgt. Vincent Owens in March 2010.

Soldiers from Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division patrol the Sharana Bazaar Aug. 21 st in West Paktika Province. The Rakkasan Soldiers are part of Task Force Iron who recently caught a Taliban commander responsible for dozens of attacks on coalition forces and local Afghans. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Lorenzo Ware, 982nd Combat Camera Co.)

Soldiers from Company C, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division patrol the Sharana Bazaar Aug. 21 st in West Paktika Province. The Rakkasan Soldiers are part of Task Force Iron who recently caught a Taliban commander responsible for dozens of attacks on coalition forces and local Afghans. (Photo by U.S. Army Spc. Lorenzo Ware, 982nd Combat Camera Co.)

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25 Task Force Iron Soldiers learn to ASIST Soldiers in need

 

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division Patch187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansPaktika Province, Afghanistan – In the last two-years, an alarming threat has become more and more prevalent through the ranks of the U.S. Army – suicide.

According to military reports, the number of U.S. Army Soldiers who committed suicide in 2009 was a record-breaking 245. The first half of 2010 has exceeded that pace with 145 suicides in only six-months.

Last month was the highest single month of suicides of the year, claiming the lives of 32 servicemembers.  Fortunately, Task Force Iron Rakkasan has had none, thanks in part to great hands-on leadership and well-resourced training, said U.S. Army Capt. Erik Alfsen, chaplain for 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment.

Soldiers from Task Force Iron, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment listen to a recent suicide prevention class as part of a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training course.  The Iron Rakkasans have not had a single suicide in their task force this year, and they are hoping the training will help them continue that trend.

Soldiers from Task Force Iron, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment listen to a recent suicide prevention class as part of a two-day Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training course. The Iron Rakkasans have not had a single suicide in their task force this year, and they are hoping the training will help them continue that trend.

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Afghan Uniform Police, Task Force Iron Soldiers conduct air-assault mission in Jarkana

 

Written by U.S. Army 1st Lt. R. J. Peek Company D, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment

187th Infantry Regiment - Iron RakkasansFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division PatchPaktika Province, Sar Hawza District, Afghanistan –– Task Force Iron Soldiers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, recently conducted a joint air-assault mission with members of the Afghan Uniform Police.

The mission was conducted to provide security to the Jarkana Village located in western Paktika province, Afghanistan. According to intelligence sources, the village is known to be one of several safe havens used by local insurgents to facilitate insurgent operations.

“Upon landing near the village, we were able to identify possible insurgents fleeing from the suspected home of an [insurgent] commander,” said U.S. Army Capt. Vance Gonzales, a native of Weddington, NC, executive officer for Co. A, 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Reg. “Soldiers from 1st Platoon quickly moved to isolate the objective and prevent anyone else from fleeing or reinforcing the village.”

Task Force Iron Soldiers speak with local tribal elders in the village of Jarkana at a "shura" or town meeting following a recent joint air-assault mission with members of the Afghan Uniform Police.  The village, located in Paktika Province, has historically been a Taliban safehaven.  Task Force Iron Soldiers hope to change that and help increase security for the village with assistance from the AUP.

Task Force Iron Soldiers speak with local tribal elders in the village of Jarkana at a "shura" or town meeting following a recent joint air-assault mission with members of the Afghan Uniform Police. The village, located in Paktika Province, has historically been a Taliban safehaven. Task Force Iron Soldiers hope to change that and help increase security for the village with assistance from the AUP.

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