News: Army Chief of Staff meets with CTF 4-2 leaders
Story by Sgt. Kimberly Lessmeister
FORWARD OPERATING BASE MASUM GHAR, Afghanistan – On his recent visit to Afghanistan, Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raymond Odierno, met with leaders from Combined Task Force 4-2 Feb. 22, here.
Odierno travelled to Afghanistan to view first-hand 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 (4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division).
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 being in Afghanistan.
Nicolas provided the intelligence portion of the operations and intelligence update.
She gave an overview of the enemy situation in Panjwa’i in the winter season and explained what the unit can expect over the next couple of months, both in Panjwa’i and the outer areas of CTF 4-2’s area of operations.
“(Odierno’s) at a point where he’s able to make strategic decisions in the Army, and so when he’s informed on the tactical level of what we’re seeing on the ground, we’re 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 Medal) presentations for some of the soldiers injured in (improvised explosive device attacks) in grape rows and we’re 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 we’re dealing with in Panjwa’i,” she said.
Odierno awarded four soldiers Purple Heart Medals, 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.
In his speech, Odierno highlighted the soldiers who reenlisted and said that service members will witness a lot of changes over the next several years in the Army.
“It’s important for us to continue to have those who have the experience to re-enlist in this great Army of ours,” Odierno said. “We need soldiers that are seasoned soldiers, that are dedicated, and soldiers that 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.