FORWARD OPERATING BASE RAMROD, Afghanistan — Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment, have spent the first months of their deployment introducing themselves to the people of the Kandahar region and its terrain.
2/1 Soldiers, part of the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, are patrolling along Afghanistan's Highway 1 to prevent the insurgent flow of men, weapons and equipment.
The mission has seen success in its early stages, said Capt. Matt Quiggle, commander of Alpha Troop, on loan from the 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment of 5th SBCT.
"Along the highway there have been a reduced number of attacks. We've had success partnering with the Afghan national army and [Afghan] national police, and meeting the local leaders," said Quiggle.
Quiggle's troops and other units have been pushing north into areas that haven't seen ISAF forces in a long time. The introduction of Strykers to the region has allowed ISAF forces to disrupt what traditionally has been an insurgent stronghold.
"The terrain here is very challenging," he said. "Getting to the villages is stage one. I think that's our biggest challenge right now."
Once there, Quiggle has been meeting with village leaders in an effort to make the Coalition presence known and to find out who's doing what in those towns.
"[We'll] continue pushing north into the mountains as long as it disrupts the [insurgents] and gets the locals involved in that process. We're here to stay, and we're here to provide them security."