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News stories tagged with "afghanistan"

North Country soldier orients military leaders in Afghanistan

A major reorganization of NATO's southern command in Afghanistan is underway as thousands of fresh US troops arrive in Kandahar. The units are part of President Obama's surge strategy and will play a key role in securing the Taliban stronghold.

Members of the 10th Mountain Division are among the new soldiers to arrive there. The green arrivals need to get oriented, especially those higher up in the chain of command. That task falls to people like Army Captain Sean Kane of Lake Placid. Kane's with Fort Drum's 1st Brigade.

He returned from Afghanistan last week. He told reporter Chris Morris he's enjoying a couple weeks of relaxation with his fiancée after his deployment.  Go to full article
Specialist William Seo (center) with local staff
Specialist William Seo (center) with local staff

Drum soldier helps poor Afghans

The life of a deployed soldier is usually a mix of grueling activity and mind-numbing waiting. There's very little free time for individual pursuits. That's why Fort Drum specialist William Seo's actions are so remarkable. The medic with the 3rd Brigade founded a not-for-profit while he was serving in Afghanistan last year. Some Afghan colleagues are running it while he is back at Fort Drum. Project Help Afghanistan sends things like shoes and school supplies to the war torn country. And it's teaching Afghans how to read and write. The group has raised more than a $100,000 in donations. Seo told David Sommerstein the idea occurred to him as he met a lot of needy people at his clinic in Afghanistan.  Go to full article
Sgt. Jason Goodman of Morristown
Sgt. Jason Goodman of Morristown

Behind the scenes in a well-equipped Army troop

At a media briefing last Friday, Fort Drum commander James Terry updated the status of the 1st Brigade. The brigade based at the Army base near Watertown deployed to Afghanistan earlier this spring as a part of President Obama's troop surge in the country. Terry says the brigade is split in three. He says the 2-22nd is first cohesive battalion to spend all their time training the Afghan Army. Another group of soldiers is training army and local police in northern Afghanistan. And the 1-71st Cavalry is in Kandahar, the country's Taliban hotbed, attached to a Canadian battle unit. Before the 1-71st Cavalry left Fort Drum, David Sommerstein visited with a St. Lawrence County man in the unit. He's in charge of keeping his troop well-equipped. Here's his profile.  Go to full article
Maj. Gen. James Terry, Fort Drum's commander
Maj. Gen. James Terry, Fort Drum's commander

Ft. Drum commander discusses strategy & mental health, in Afghanistan and on post

Fort Drum's commander says the Army post near Watertown is the busiest he's ever seen it. Major General James Terry told reporters at a media briefing Friday that the 10th Mountain Division's headquarters is training to take control of the Kandahar region of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, most Fort Drum soldiers are either in, returning from, or preparing to go to Afghanistan or Iraq. General Terry highlighted efforts to address mental health as the Army continues to struggle with combat trauma and the stress of repeat deployments. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
<em>NY Times</em> correspondent Jim Dao
NY Times correspondent Jim Dao

Fort Drum troops have key role in Afghanistan surge

4,500 soldiers with Fort Drum's 1st Brigade are in the process of shipping out to Afghanistan. They'll be stationed in the northern part of the country for a year. They'll train Afghan police and soldiers and work with local governments. The 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade is a key part of President Obama's surge of 30,000 additional troops.

New York Times military correspondent Jim Dao is embedding with the brigade's 1-87th battalion. He spoke with David Sommerstein from Fort Drum a couple days before the unit deployed. He says the unit represents a new mission in Afghanistan.  Go to full article

Conversation from Kabul: Capt. Sean Kane

About 3,500 troops from the Army's 10th Mountain Division's First Brigade Combat Team are in Afghanistan, part of the Obama Administration's strategy sending tens of thousands of troops, as well as trainers, diplomats, and economic aid to the region. Lake Placid native Sean Kane is among them. Kane is a captain with the Second Battalion 22nd Infantry Regiment.

Chris Morris of WNBZ in Saranac Lake checked in with Kane this week. The last time they spoke, Kane was just getting ready to leave Ft. Drum for Afghanistan. At the time he couldn't say where he was going or what he'd be doing; he's settling, at what he calls a critical time.  Go to full article
Greg Mortenson with school children who raised $8,000 in a Pennies for Peace program
Greg Mortenson with school children who raised $8,000 in a Pennies for Peace program

"Three Cups of Tea" brings hope to Fort Drum

This month, planes are leaving Fort Drum's Wheeler-Sack airfield with soldiers bound for Afghanistan. About 4,000 troops of the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade are a part of President Obama's surge announced late last year. With roadside attacks and bombings up in Afghanistan, the departure is a painful one for many Fort Drum families. But recently, the author of the best-selling book, Three Cups of Tea, paid a visit to the spouses of Fort Drum's officers. Greg Mortenson builds schools in Afghanistan. As David Sommerstein reports, he brought a sense of hope and purpose to an Army base that's been ground down by repeat deployments.  Go to full article

Rep. Murphy says Afghanistan mission is on track

Congressman Scott Murphy returned from a two-day trip to Afghanistan saying a plan is in place to win the war there. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

Lake Placid soldier arrives in Afghanistan

More soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division are arriving in Afghanistan this week, as part of the surge ordered by President Barack Obama. Army Captain Sean Kane from Lake Placid checked in by phone just before heading overseas. He told reporter Chris Morris that the transition from home to the front lines can be tricky.  Go to full article
Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)
Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh)

Owens in Afghanistan: "A plan in place"

2010 will be the year of President Obama's surge in the war in Afghanistan. The first units of the 30,000 additional troops are already settling in the war-torn country. Fort Drum's 1st brigade will begin sending 3500 soldiers this month. Violence in Afghanistan continues to escalate with last week's suicide bombing that killed seven CIA operatives. Congressman Bill Owens made a two-day trip to Afghanistan just before Christmas. Owens sits on the House Armed Services committee. He and other committee members met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Army General Stanley McChrystal, and visited with U.S. soldiers in Kabul and Kandahar. Owens told David Sommerstein the soldiers are facing a dangerous situation, but they're comfortable with the new mission they've been given by President Obama.  Go to full article

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