710 Brigade Support Battalion Kings bolster security around Forward Operating Base Shank

Combined Joint Task Force - 82 PAO
Story by Sgt. Matthew Thompson

Date: 07.25.2009
Posted: 08.02.2009 04:51
News ID: 37062
710 Brigade Support Battalion Kings bolster security around Forward Operating Base Shank

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — On a hot afternoon, Company A Soldiers with 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, had a two-fold mission, July 25, gather information from local Afghan citizens and provide a presence in the area to prevent attacks from insurgents outside Forward Operating Base Shank.<br /> <br /> In March, the platoon consisting of truckers, fuel specialists and water purification specialists switched roles from running convoys up to Bagram Air Field to going on patrols and interacting with locals.<br /> <br /> "Our biggest challenge was changing our mindset from convoys to doing the patrols," said Staff Sgt. Fred Crose, platoon sergeant, Co. A, "We're the first BSB to do this." <br /> <br /> The mine resistant ambush protected trucks rolled to a stop outside a small village five kilometers from FOB Shank and the Soldiers quickly dismounted. <br /> <br /> On foot, they spread out and searched the area for anything that may have indicated that insurgents had been in the area. <br /> <br /> "We're protecting the villages and the good people in the area," said 1st Lt. Alicia Morrison, the platoon leader. "Overall it's a sweet mission to improve the life of the people in this area and on the FOB."<br /> <br /> While on patrol, the platoon also tries to include counter-insurgency techniques, which help to build trust with the locals according to Morrison. <br /> <br /> "When they see us out here they know we're protecting them also," Morrison added. "When we came out here the other day, a man approached us and informed us of an improvised explosive device. Not only were we able to locate the IED, but we also caught the trigger man." <br /> <br /> With the change of missions came another set of challenges and expectations for the "Street Kings," interacting with Afghan citizens.<br /> <br /> The unit came up with the idea of a climate survey to gauge how the locals felt and if they knew about the International Security Assistance Forces in their area.<br /> <br /> "Most people know that ISAF is here to help," Morrison said.<br /> <br /> "Hopefully, some of them are sleeping better at night," added Crose. <br />