News: Alabama native deploys, conducts counterinsurgency, stability operations in Afghanistan
KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Air Force Staff Sgt. Kyle Norris, a Grove Hill, Ala., native, is deployed to Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kapisa province.
Norris is stationed with the 50th Space Communications Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo., but will serve a six-month tour with the PRT.
The Kapisa PRT covers an area of approximately 1,840 square kilometers of mountainous terrain, home to nearly 365,000 Afghans. Located just North of Kabul, Kapisa is the smallest province in the country, but has the one of the highest populations per capita spread throughout seven districts.
The PRT has been conducting counterinsurgency and stability operations in the province for more than six years, but this team will be the last.
Mentors on the team have been working with leaders of Kapisa, at the provincial and district level, to bolster the capacity and credibility of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, or GIRoA.
With the help of an Army security force, PRT Kapisa traverses not only its own province but also the surrounding provinces of Parwan and Kabul participating in key leader engagements, scouting areas for new projects and performing quality checks and site visits on existing projects. They work closely with the Afghans, mentoring them on how GIRoA can work for them.
Norris is the non-commissioned officer in charge of three communications specialists for the PRT. The four of them are responsible for all communication equipment for the 65-member PRT. His team also controls the radio communications at the Tactical Operations Center while the PRT is outside the wire on missions.
“We do maintenance for all the communication equipment in the trucks, the handheld radios, the computers and all the network programming,” Norris said.
At Schriever, Norris is a quality assurance technician, so he says his responsibilities on this deployment are very different.
“Back home I’m pretty hands off, doing paperwork,” he said. “Here, I get to work on the equipment more. The thing that motivates me is that I work with the equipment that will get these guys help if something were to happen. It’s important to me to keep the equipment running so they can call for help if they need it.”
Norris and his team keep the PRT in constant contact with each other and the base, so they can continue on their mission safely to prepare Kapisa for transition to Afghan control. Only time will reflect the success of the PRT in Kapisa, but one thing that is for sure is the current successful operations in Kapisa reflect the hard work that has been done by Norris now and the PRT throughout the years.
Date Posted:05.29.2012 01:09
Location:KAPISA PROVINCE, AF
Hometown:GROVE HILL, AL, US
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