News: Florida native deploys, supports counterinsurgency, stability operations in Afghanistan
KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Air Force Airman 1st Class Hector Martinez, a Jacksonville, Fla., native, is serving in Afghanistan with a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kapisa province.
Martinez, deployed from the 99th Communications Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., will complete a six-month tour with the last PRT in the area.
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.
Martinez is one of four communications specialists for the PRT. They are responsible for all communication equipment for the 65-member PRT. They also control the radio communications at the Tactical Operations Center while the PRT is outside the wire on missions.
“Missions stop if there is no communication,” Martinez said. “We’re an entire comm. squadron in this four-man team.”
Martinez says he enjoys working in the joint environment.
“It’s really interesting from a junior airman’s perspective to see the different leadership styles in the joint environment,” he said. “I really enjoy getting this experience and being molded by what I’ve learned here.”
Martinez 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 Martinez now and the PRT throughout the years.
Date Posted:06.16.2012 05:53
Location:KAPISA PROVINCE, AF
Hometown:JACKSONVILLE, FL, US
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