Thursday, November 29, 2012

Afghanistan Supply

Network Provides Economic Opportunity
11/28/2012 04:12 PM CST
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill., Nov. 28, 2012 - The Northern Distribution Network that U.S. Transportation Command helped establish three years ago to supply U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan laid the foundations for strong U.S. partnerships in Central Asia and Russia and for the region's long-term economic security, the Transcom commander said.
Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III traveled through the region last month, thanking the governments for their support for the network's multiple truck, water, rail and air routes used to transport about 40 percent of all military cargo destined for Afghanistan.
The routes have been particularly critical during the past year, Fraser noted, because the Pakistani government closed logistical routes known as the Pakistan ground lines of communication in November 2011 after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed during a border incident with U.S. troops. Pakistan announced in July that it would reopen the route, but Transcom is still working to break the logjam created by thousands of shipping containers that had been stranded for months.
Relying heavily on the Northern Distribution Network since the closure, Transcom ensured that warfighters in Afghanistan never went without the logistical support they needed, Fraser said during an interview with American Forces Press Service.
"They had the sustainment they needed because we had developed these relationships and had multiple lanes [of supply] to use," he said.
Now, as the United States lays plans to draw down in Afghanistan, Fraser said he's found support for strengthening those relationships and improving the processes behind the transportation network -- not just for the duration of the Afghanistan mission and redeployment, but beyond.
Recognizing that U.S. shipments will diminish over time, leaders in nations supporting the NDN see the routes established to support the war effort in Afghanistan as a path to economic progress, Fraser noted. "I think the NDN is opening up opportunities for the future that these countries can capitalize on," he said.
Nations are working together in unprecedented ways as a result of NDN agreements and exploring ways to streamline their import and export procedures to encourage cross-border commerce.
"We are already seeing some of that," Fraser said. "As they look forward to the future, these countries know that the military is not going to be doing things at the same level that we have been for a long time. So they are looking for ways to capitalize on what has happened as a result of the Northern Distribution Network."
Ambassador Dennise Mathieu, Fraser's foreign policy advisor who accompanied him on the trip, said these efforts fit into the State Department's vision of a "New Silk Road" that offers new potential in one of the least economically integrated areas of the world.
The goal is to reconnect economies that had been torn apart by decades of war and rivalry, helping restore commercial bonds among some of the world's fastest-growing economies that sit at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
"The idea is that you can build on the links that have already been established in an economic way," Mathieu said.
Those efforts are bearing fruit in infrastructure improvements to support this vision, she reported. Azerbaijan is building a new port with hopes of becoming a transportation hub. Rail connections are being built between Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, and a recently completed rail line runs from the Uzbek border to Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan.
"Eventually, with continued cooperation, they will be able to go all the way from China into Europe," Mathieu said. "You will have a whole new economic network, built upon the foundation of this military logistics supply network."
By integrating economically, regional nations will have a lasting impact that supports U.S. national interests in the region, she said.
"We believe that when you have economic prosperity, then that helps bring about stability and security," Mathieu said. "So therefore, the region is going to be more secure. You will have less conflict. It provides opportunities for people to prosper and for their children to go to school and provides the conditions to start to build a democratic base and institutions."
"All of that is good for the United States," she said, opening new economic markets and strengthening partnerships across the region.
"This is something that has brought people together," Mathieu said. "It's something that enables them to put any differences or difficulties aside so they can work together toward something that benefits everyone."
Air Force Gen. William M. Fraser III
Related Sites:
U.S. Transportation Command

Monday, November 26, 2012

“Do not forget me Istanbul”

The Director of film Trace, M. Tayfur, Aydin Huseyin Karabey (Director), Aysun Gizem Soysaldi (Actor) film “Do not forget me Istanbul” at a press conference, during the 43rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI-2012), in Panaji, Goa on November 26, 2012.  (PIB)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guard Duty

11/23/2012 12:45 PM CST
U.S. Army Spc. David White provides security as he stands guard during a key leader engagement in Farah City in Afghanistan's western Farah province, Nov. 18, 2012. White is assigned to Provincial Reconstruction Team Farah.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Combined Force Arrests Taliban Leader

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release
KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 23, 2012 - An Afghan and coalition security force arrested a Taliban leader in Afghanistan's Kandahar province yesterday, military officials reported.

The arrested Taliban leader coordinated improvised explosive device emplacements and ambushes against Afghan and coalition forces, officials said.

The security force detained two other suspected insurgents.

In Nov. 21 Afghanistan operations:
-- Three Taliban senior leaders, including the No. 1 Taliban leader in western Logar province, were killed Nov. 21 during a security operation in Logar province. At the time of his death, Abu Baker was the top Taliban leader in western Logar province. Abu Baker facilitated weapons to insurgents, planned attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and was directly involved in foreign fighter facilitation. Deceased Taliban leader Bashir was involved in the Aug. 7 suicide-vehicle IED attack on Forward Operating Base Shank, and directly linked to the final, pre-execution stages of planning for an impending vehicle-borne IED attack targeting Afghan and coalition forces in Logar province, officials said. Deceased Taliban leader Zarqawi facilitated weapons to execute IED as well as direct- and indirect-fire attacks on Afghan and coalition forces. A number of additional insurgents were also killed. One suspect was detained and several rocket-propelled grenades and multiple assault rifles were confiscated.
-- A combined force arrested a Taliban facilitator in Kunduz province. The arrested facilitator is suspected of being directly involved in the purchasing and distribution of weapons to Taliban fighters. The security force also detained one other suspect and seized rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, hand grenades, assault rifles and ammunition.
-- Combined forces arrested a Taliban senior leader in Nimroz province. The arrested insurgent leader is suspected of being involved in the purchasing and movement of weapons and providing intelligence to other Taliban senior leaders. The security force also detained a number of other suspects. 
Related Sites:
NATO International Security Assistance Force

Thursday, November 22, 2012

All-Hands Handshake

11/21/2012 02:19 PM CST
U.S. Navy Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, chief of naval operations, shakes hands with Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Rollinson during an all-hands call aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore in the 5th Fleet area of responsibililty, Nov. 20, 2012. The Rushmore, part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group with the embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Uniit, is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts. Rollinson is a hull technician.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Combined Force Kills Several Insurgents

11/21/2012 06:47 AM CST
From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release
KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 21, 2012 - An Afghan and coalition security force killed several insurgents during a search for a high-ranking Taliban leader and weapons facilitator in Afghanistan's Logar province today, military officials reported.

As the security force approached the Taliban leader's location, multiple insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms attacked the force, officials said.

The security force returned fire, killing several insurgents and defeating the attack. The security force also detained one suspect and seized several RPGs and a large quantity of assault rifles as a result of the operation.

In other Afghanistan operations today:

-- A combined force arrested five insurgents during a search for a Taliban weapons and lethal aid facilitator in Nimroz province.

-- In Khost province, a combined force arrested a Haqqani leader and weapons supplier, detained three other suspects and seized improvised explosive device-making materials, RPG equipment, ammunition, and firearms. The detained Haqqani leader is believed to be responsible for conducting convoy and IED attacks against Afghan and coalition forces.

In operations yesterday:

-- A combined force killed Taliban leader Saifullah in Ghazni province. Saifullah, also known as Allah Dad, was responsible for ensuring freedom of movement for Taliban fighters to gather intelligence and conduct indirect-fire and IED attacks against Afghan and coalition personnel. Prior to his death, Saifullah was involved in an IED attack against Afghan National Security Forces.

In Nov. 19 operations:

-- In Kandahar province, a combined force killed several insurgents, detained one suspect and seized weapons, ammunition and equipment including several AK-47 rifles.

-- A combined force seized 660 pounds of wet opium and detained one insurgent in Daykundi province.

Related Sites:
NATO International Security Assistance Force