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FORWARD OPERATING BASE MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan On his recent visit to Afghanistan, Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, met with leaders from Combined Task Force 4-2 Feb. 22, at FOB Masum Ghar, Afghanistan. The task force is comprised mainly of 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
Odierno traveled to Afghanistan to view firsthand how the Army is preparing for the reduction of forces in-country.
On one of the highest points surrounding the FOB, Odierno received briefs from Capt. Troy Yoho, the future operations officer, and Capt. Ashley Nicolas, the assistant intelligence officer, both with CTF 4-2.
The hill, named OP 6, overlooks the terrain that lies just outside the FOB, and gave the briefers a good vantage point of standard terrain on which operations in the brigade take place.
Yoho briefed operations in the area that the unit completed in their four months of duty in Afghanistan. Nicolas provided the intelligence portion of the operations and intelligence update.
She gave an overview of the enemy situation in Panjwai in the winter season and outlined what the unit can expect over the next couple of months, both in Panjwai and the outer areas of CTF 4-2s area of operations.
(Odiernos) at a point where hes able to make strategic decisions in the Army, and so when hes informed on the tactical level of what were seeing on the ground, were able to inform his decisions, Nicolas said.
Nicolas said she thinks briefs like that give Odierno an appreciation for what CTF 4-2 Soldiers are going through. He did the (Purple Heart) presentations for some of the Soldiers injured in IED attacks in grape rows and were able to show him from OP 6 what the terrain looks like and the kind of terrain, the kind of obstacles that Soldiers deal with and the complexity of the fight that were dealing with in Panjwai, she said.
Odierno awarded four Soldiers Purple Hearts, one Bronze Star Medal with a V-device, one Combat Infantryman Badge, two Combat Action badges, reenlisted five Soldiers and recognized several others.
Following the ceremony, he spoke to the group of CTF 4-2 Soldiers.
Afterward, Odierno highlighted the Soldiers who reenlisted and said service members will witness changes over the next several years in the Army.
Its important for us to continue to have those who have the experience to reenlist in this great Army of ours, Odierno said. We need Soldiers who are seasoned Soldiers, who are dedicated, and Soldiers who are willing to serve in the most difficult situations to help lead us into the future.
As CTF 4-2 Soldiers continue their deployment, they will work with their Afghan National Security Force partners and support them as they lead operations.