Security Force Team

Supports Afghan High School

 

By Lt. Col. Paul Fanning

CJTF-Phoenix VII PAO

 

Published December 10, 2008

 

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Afghan National Army Soldiers unload supplies sent from Idaho, Utah, Texas and New York for the Pol-e-charki School in Kabul Province.

Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Jared Jensen

Afghan National Army Soldiers unload supplies sent from Idaho, Utah, Texas and New York for the Pol-e-charki School in Kabul Province.

POL-E-CHARKI, Kabul Province, Afghanistan Soldiers from the New York National Guard delivered supplies to an Afghan school that family and friends had sent them. The school is located in a Kabul Province village east of the Afghani capital.

Members of SECFOR Charlie, comprised mostly of members of Company B, 1st Battalion 69th Infantry, from Bayshore, Long Island, delivered more than 500 pounds of donations to the Pol-e-charki High School Nov. 17. Supplies were organized into student packs that included paper, notebooks, pens and pencils, crayons and markers. These were assem-bled by SECFOR Soldiers from the many shipments they received. Candy, bookmarks, stuffed animals, adult clothing for teachers, soccerballs and volleyballs were also handed out.

Utah National Guardsman 1st Lt. William Biesinger, of Springville, Utah, with a young student at the Pol-e-charki School Nov. 17.

Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Jared Jensen

Utah National Guardsman 1st Lt. William Biesinger, of Springville,

Utah, with a young student at the Pol-e-charki School Nov. 17.

Donations were shipped to Soldiers based at Camp Blackhorse, which is co-located with the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) Pol-e-charki garrison nearby. The troops are part of Afghan Regional Security Integration Command-Central. This command provides advisors and mentors to the ANA and the Afghan National Police in this area as part of the Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix mission to grow and develop Afghanistan’s National Security Forces. SECFOR troops provide security for trainers and mentors during operations and convoys.

During the humanitarian support mission to the school, Afghan Soldiers helped unload and distribute the supplies to the children. This is part of the plan to build bonds of trust at the local level among the people and their army and police forces.  While the SECFOR Soldiers received and packaged the donations, members of the Embedded Training Teams coordinated with the ANA and the school principal and staff.

1st Lt. Jared Jensen, left, meets with Pol-e-charki School principal and assistant principal.

Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Jared Jensen

1st Lt. Jared Jensen, left, meets with Pol-e-charki

School principal and assistant principal.

Several SECFOR members received considerable quantities of supplies from family, friends and community groups back in New York. Private 1st Class John Gallup from Mechanicville, Spc. Christyan Valentine from the Bronx, 1st Lt. Christopher Terian from Buffalo, 1st Lt. Jared Jensen from Ballston Spa, and Spc. Cody Davis from Syracuse received many packages from home. The sports equipment was donated by Herkimer Community College.  Other soldiers handed out items they purchased on their own.

 “This is the last big project SECFOR Charlie has planned before returning home,” said Jensen.  “This was a project we have been working on for three months.”

Jensen took in the largest quantity of donations mostly from family members in Idaho, Utah, Texas, and New York.

“My sister also coordinated a service project with the Kingwood (Texas) Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They sent about 150 pounds of school supplies and candy,” he said. “Her youth group pulled this together.” 

Members of the New York National Guard's 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry, pose with students of the Pol-e-charki School.

Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Jared Jensen

Members of the New York National Guard's 1st Battalion,

69th Infantry, pose with students of the Pol-e-charki School.

Youth from the Kingston (Tex.) Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent school supplies and candy to Afghanistan.

Photo courtesy of Emily Jensen

Youth from the Kingston (Tex.) Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ

of Latter-day Saints sent school supplies and candy to Afghanistan.