Memorial Day 2012 – on duty in Afghanistan

Combined Task Force Arrowhead Stryker soldiers celebrated Memorial Day 2012 with 5K run and a solemn memorial service at their outpost in southern Afghanistan.

The Memorial Service … and then a 5K ruin through the surrounding hillside

(‘Thank you’ to the soldiers of the public affairs team of the Arrowhead Brigade for the photos!)

A patrol mission with Afghan soldiers

2LT Matthew Domenech getting ready for a mission

2LT Matthew Domenech getting ready for a mission

2nd Lt. Matthew Domenech, 3rd Platoon Leader, Battle Company, 5th Battalion 20th Infantry Regiment, Task Force 1st Squadron 14th Cavalry Regiment, discusses the mission plan with an Afghan National Army officer prior to departure on May 9, 2012.

In current and future operations, Afghan National Army units are taking more responsibility for planning and executing missions as they take greater responsibility for the security of their country.

On patrol

On patrol

Soldiers from Battle Company, 5th Battalion 20th Infantry Regiment, Task Force 1st Squadron 14th Cavalry Regiment, pull security outside the village of Samogay, Afghanistan, May 7, 2012.

(U.S. Army photos by Sgt. Chris McCullough, Combined Task Force Arrowhead Public Affairs)

Female Engagement Team at work

Spc. Heather Ray and Pfc. Jacqueline Vaughn Buschman, 1st Squadron 14th Cavalry Regiment, and their female interpreter, return from a meeting with some Afghan women in the village of Akhvond Qalay, Afghanistan, on May 8, 2012.

Women account for nearly half the population of Afghanistan and have considerable influence on Afghan society so it is important for Female Engagement Teams, such as the one Ray and Buschman make up, to develop trust-based and enduring relationships with the Afghan women they encounter on patrols.

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chris McCullough,

Heather Ray (left), their interpreter and Jacqueline Vaugh Buschman

Combined Task Force Arrowhead Public Affairs)

Pulling security with kids

Spc. Gabino Villareal, 3rd platoon, 5th Battalion 20th Infantry Regiment, Task Force 1st Squadron 14th Cavalry Regiment, pulls security while two Afghan children look on in the village of Sowkray Tangay, Afghanistan, on May 7, 2012.

SPC Gabino Villareal and Afghan kids 5-7-12 at village of Sowkray Tangay

SPC Gabino Villareal and Afghan kids 5-7-12 at village of Sowkray Tangay

(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chris McCullough, Combined Task Force Arrowhead Public Affairs)

Soldiers search for weapons cache

Staff Sgt. Antonio Barajas, 2nd platoon team leader, Battle Company, Battle Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment,Task Force 1-14 CAVALRY “WARHORSE”, left, and Spc. Nikko Williams, 2nd platoon, B Co., 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, TF 1-14 Cav., stand guard during a partnered mission to the village of Sowkray Tangay, Afghanistan, May 7, 2012.

They were participating in a partnered missions help the Afghan National Army and their U.S. partners assess what needs a remote village, such as this one, may have. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chris McCullough, Combined Task Force Arrowhead Public Affairs)

Also during this patrol mission . . .

Spc. Peter Churchill, left, and Sgt. Grant Short, 3rd platoon, Battle Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, Task Force 1st Squadron 14th Cavalry Regiment, provide security for Afghan National Army Soldiers searching for weapons cache in an orchard outside the village of Sawkray Tangray, Afghanistan, May 7, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chris McCullough, Combined Task Force Arrowhead Public Affairs)

Winning friends one patch at a time

SPC Kyle Poteat of C Troop at Wolverine with Afghan National Army commander after trading shoulder patches (note them)

SPC Kyle Poteat of C Troop at Wolverine with Afghan National Army commander after trading shoulder patches (note them)

SPC Kyle Poteat, (left) of C Troop at FOB Wolverine took a moment during a recent patrol to trade shoulder patches with the Afghan National Army commander serving with him.

“I figured he would take it off after I left, but he wore it for the next 2 days lol. He’s a cool dude,” Kyle said later.

Atta Boy, soldier! Keep on winning friends one patch at a time.

— PS, please note the patches now proudly displayed on new shoulders.

Here a few photos from that patrol …

SSG Thomas Babbit of C Troop and his high-speed squad soldiers

SSG Thomas Babbit of C Troop and his high-speed squad soldiers

Afghan National Army and C Troop soldiers on patrol

Afghan National Army and C Troop soldiers on patrol

… and something you don’t usually see on a Afghanistan mountaintop:

Something you don't often see in Afghanistan - from 1-14 Cavalry Warhorse

Something you don't often see in Afghanistan - from 1-14 Cavalry Warhorse

Several days out on patrol

One of our soldier/sons, PFC Perry Williams shared some photos taken during a recent 6-day patrol mission in the mountains of southern Afghanistan. Showers never were more welcome than the day they returned to their base. No one hurt so it was a good mission. Great job, guys