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‘Red Dragons’ accept new area of operation; 1st visit includes charitable donations

Email   Print   Share By Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
October 24, 2013 | News
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Soldiers with 3-82 FA Regt., 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. conduct a presence patrol in Qal’eh-ye Nasro, Afghanistan, Oct. 13. The town is a newly appointed area of operation Red Dragons will work throughout to build and solidify relationships with the local populace. Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
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Soldiers with 3-82 FA Regt., 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. unload donated goods to be given to residents of Qal’eh-ye Nasro, Afghanistan, Oct. 13. Sgt. Quentin Johnson, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Soldiers with the 3rd “Red Dragon” Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, let their presence be known in a new town outside of Bagram Air Field, Oct. 13.

The Red Dragons assumed responsibility for a new area of operation – the town of Qal’eh-ye Nasro – from the U.S. Air Force in order to continue assisting the Afghan National Security Forces with presence patrols and assisting with overall partnership security, said Lt. Col. Phil Brooks, the battalion commander.

The patrol was an opportunity to integrate with the population of a rather contested village and demonstrate goodwill to the people, Brooks added.

“We went in with good intentions, providing charitable donations and discussing future events with the village elders,” Brooks said.

The Afghan national police chief led as Brooks met with the Malik and village elder who were thankful for the donations, he said. They were welcoming and ready to discuss issues concerning each party.

“We (Brooks and village leaders) discussed the benefits Bagram Air Field provides for the townspeople, and overall security concerns in and around BAF,” Brooks explained. “Overall, the discussion went well.”

Although talks went well, Brooks cautioned that when entering a new area, especially one deemed dangerous, security and communication plays a large role in executing a successful patrol.

“The ANP leading us into the village (definitely) helped in our success as well as the training and experience coming from my Soldiers,” Brooks said.

Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Turegano, a platoon sergeant for Red Dragon’s Battery A, said that the Red Dragon Soldiers’ training and commitment to any mission helped lead them safely through a possibly hostile area.

“We expected the villagers to be reserved, and despite what incidents may have occurred; my men kept their composure,” Turegano said. “Regardless of any situation we are in, the Soldiers stay vigilant and ready to react, which is part of their training.”

The overall atmosphere during the patrol and meeting was smooth, he added. This was a good transition for a first-time meeting, and will bode well for future interactions between the Red Dragons and locals while conducting presence patrols in the area.
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