By DoD News
Through more than three feet of snow, Soldiers assigned to Company D, 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division’s Task Force Storm and Afghan National Army soldiers conducted foot patrols to show an Afghan government presence in Kharwar district, Afghanistan, Feb. 10 and 12.
The crisp, crunching sound of snow compacting under boots reverberated through the chilled, thin air. The mountain infantrymen trekked feverishly to break the trail for those who followed.
During most routine foot patrols, coalition forces conduct key leader engagements. Village elders and prominent Afghan locals are encouraged to speak with coalition leaders to discuss issues and discover what can be done to better the villagers’ lives. For these patrols, coalition Soldiers and Afghan residents had a little assistance.
“The ANA came out to help secure the areas and to speak to the populace,” said Sgt. John D. Martek, a weapons team leader assigned to Company D.
Although few locals were available to discuss economic or security matters due to the continuing snow storm, Afghan soldiers found other ways to make a difference.
“[ANA] observed villagers struggling to keep their roofs clear of snow and climbed up to help them shovel,” said Martek about the Feb. 12 patrol.
The patrol moved to the village of Jawzi Kalai and set up security while leaders surveyed the surroundings.
“We set up area security to prevent the enemy from having freedom of movement in Kharwar,” said Staff Sgt. Brian J. Pierce, a squad leader assigned to Company D.
As snow-shoed Soldiers broke trail back to their combat outpost, local villagers looked on from atop their snow-covered homes at the relentless efforts of Afghan and U.S. Soldiers to accomplish their goal of making Kharwar district more secure.