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News stories tagged with "afghanistan"

Fort Drum general says progress made in Afghanistan

A high-ranking officer with the Army's 10th Mountain Division says the U.S. has made significant progress in its war in Afghanistan.

Brig. Gen. Richard D. Clark spoke about the war in Afghanistan during a ceremony at Whiteface Mountain last week. He says soldiers and their families have weathered difficult circumstances since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, but those sacrifices have made a difference.  Go to full article
Sergeant First Class Bobby L. Estle (left) and Private First Class Jose O. Belmontes. Photos: courtesy Fort Drum Public Affairs
Sergeant First Class Bobby L. Estle (left) and Private First Class Jose O. Belmontes. Photos: courtesy Fort Drum Public Affairs

Two Fort Drum soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two Fort Drum Soldiers were killed this Saturday in Afghanistan. The two soldiers died of wounds sustained when their unit was attacked by small arms fire.

Sergeant First Class Bobby L. Estle was from Lebanon Ohio, and was 38 years old. He was a combat engineer who'd joined the Army in March 1993. Estle is survived by his wife, three children, mother and stepfather.

Private First Class Jose O. Belmontes of LaVerne, Canlifornia, was also killed. He was 28 and a construction engineer. Belmontes joined the army in February of last year. He's survived by his wife, mother and father.  Go to full article
Maryam Laly of Kabul, Afghanistan, is finishing her first year at St. Lawrence University.  (Photo: Julie Grant)
Maryam Laly of Kabul, Afghanistan, is finishing her first year at St. Lawrence University. (Photo: Julie Grant)

Afghani SLU student thankful for safety of the north country

A suicide bomber killed at least 10 people, including three American soldiers, at a park in Afghanistan this week. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, in what's usually a relatively peaceful region north of Kabul.

Such violence is one big reason 20-year old Maryam Laly wanted to leave Kabul, and attend school in the north country. She's currently a first year student at St. Lawrence University. Julie Grant spoke with Laly, and files this report...  Go to full article
Col. Patrick D. Frank, Brigade Commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Photo: drum.army.mil
Col. Patrick D. Frank, Brigade Commander, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. Photo: drum.army.mil

Fort Drum brigade commander says deployment has been tough, but successful

Fort Drum's 3rd Brigade Combat Team is beginning to come home after a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. The brigade, about 3,500 soldiers, was sent to an area just west of Kandahar City in southern Afghanistan, where few troops had been before.

They were deployed as part of President Obama's troop surge in the country. As the mission winds down, brigade commander Colonel Patrick Frank says his unit did a good job in a difficult setting. He spoke from Afghanistan with reporter Joanna Richards.
(CORRECTION: We originally reported that these troops were the first US soldiers in that region. Many comments on our story have challenged that assertion. We've contacted our sources at Ft. Drum for clarification and are still waiting for a reply. To the best of our understanding now, Col. Frank's unit was the first brigade level force to deploy there.)  Go to full article
President Obama arrives at Ft. Drum Thursday
President Obama arrives at Ft. Drum Thursday

Obama thanks Fort Drum troops

A day after addressing the nation about his plans for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, President Barack Obama came to visit Fort Drum.

The Army post has carried a heavy burden of the fighting in that country and in Iraq. The 10th Mountain Division's headquarters, including its commander, General James Terry, are currently leading coalition forces in southern Afghanistan. Todd Moe reports.  Go to full article
Sgt. Shadrach Miller watches President Obama's speech from Maggie's in Watertown.
Sgt. Shadrach Miller watches President Obama's speech from Maggie's in Watertown.

At Ft. Drum, little change despite drawdown

Last night, President Obama unveiled a plan to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the summer, and another 20,000 soldiers by the end of next summer. That accounts for the troop surge Obama began two years ago.

Obama's first stop to sell his new Afghanistan strategy is this afternoon at Fort Drum near Watertown. The President will meet with soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division and with families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Fort Drum's been involved in Iraq and Afghanistan since the beginning. And as David Sommerstein reports, soldiers don't see their roles changing much yet.  Go to full article
General James Terry faces the press.
General James Terry faces the press.

Drum commander cites progress in Afghanistan

The war in Libya, unrest through the Middle East, and the nuclear crisis in Japan have pushed America's war in Afghanistan down the news agenda.

Fully half of Fort Drum's soldier population is on the ground in Afghanistan. The Army base's commander is in charge of coalition troops in the most dangerous part of the country. General James Terry briefed the media while on leave from Afghanistan last week. David Sommerstein was there and has out report.  Go to full article
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Gillibrand wants combat forces out of Afghanistan by 2014

The 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum has spent much of the last decade in Afghanistan, fighting Al Quaeda and the Taliban.

More than five hundred soldiers and reservists from the North Country are currently serving in that country.

But New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the time has come for President Barack Obama to set a clear time-table for bringing the troops home. Todd Moe has details.  Go to full article
Reporter Jim Dao
Reporter Jim Dao

New York Times documents 'A Year at War'

This year, a reporter and a photojournalist from the New York Times have been following soldiers from Fort Drum during their deployment to Afghanistan. Through print, photos, videos, and readers' submissions, they've tried to capture the everyday reality of combat in northern Afghanistan for the 1-87th Infantry Battalion.

We've been checking in with reporter Jim Dao throughout the year. He's told us the stories of troops experiencing live fire combat for the first time and of families living through the pain of separation. Today we hear about the everyday stress of the young leaders on the ground in this war, the junior officers. Dao spoke with David Sommerstein.  Go to full article
{credit: Damon Winter, NYT]
{credit: Damon Winter, NYT]

Ft. Drum soldiers fight insurgents and boredom

The first troops of President Obama's surge in Afghanistan have returned home. Some 50 soldiers from the 10th Mountain's 1st Brigade touched down at Fort Drum Wednesday. Over the coming months, the rest of the 3500 member brigade will come home after training the Afghan army and police in the northern part of the country.

According to the Watertown Daily Times, the brigade commander Colonel Willard Burleson says he's seeing signs of progress, including some Taliban insurgents giving up their fight.

Still, the Pentagon reports security gains as "slow" in Afghanistan, with members of the Afghan army also deserting. This as the U.S. military enters a four-year scheduled withdrawl from the country.

The New York Times has been taking a deep look at a teeny slice of the war effort. Through articles, photos, and video, the Times is reporting on one unit of Fort Drum's 1st Brigade, the 1-87th Infantry Battalion. Readers can submit their own photos and videos. Many come from fellow troops and family members.

The latest installment in the Times series came out earlier this week. The article told the story of Delta Company's six day mission against insurgents in the village of Nahr-i-Sufi, near Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. In a nutshell, the article invokes oft-quoted truism of war - that war is abject boredom sprinkled with brief moments of intense action and terror. Reporter Jim Dao says that was the pervading reality on the ground.  Go to full article

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