Afghanistan III

Civilian Surge, February 2010

President Obama’s administration has announced that a “civilian surge”, is to accompany a fresh build-up of US troops throughout Afghanistan. In the Arghandab Valley, north of Kandahar, 2- 508 battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division has secured it’s headquarters next to the Governor of Arghandab’s Office. Working alongside the governor two Americans have arrived in Arghandab to help out: 27-year-old Kevin Melton and 35-year-old Christopher Harich.

This unlikely trio aims to turn the tide of opinion in the district. They must do it before spring, when the valley will come into leaf and the Taliban fighters return from Pakistan in time for fighting season.

  • An Afghan Policeman stands guard while Chris Harich, (L) a US State Department Officer, and Kevin Melton (R) from USAID. Kate Holt.
  • An Afghan Government Soldier sits guard outside of the office of the District Governor in Arghandab. Kate Holt.
  • A newly trained Afghan police officer from the Afghan National Police Force (ANP) poses for a photograph. Kate Holt.
  • An elderly Afghan man puts his thumb print on a form to claim compensation for damage done to his property. Kate Holt.
  • A newly trained Afghan policeman stands on the roof of the police station. Kate Holt.
  • A newly trained Afghan policeman stands on the roof of the police station at the new administrative compound. Kate Holt.
  • A view from the window of an armored personnel carrier driven by soldiers of 2 - 508, 82nd Airborne Division. Kate Holt.
  • Locally employed workmen help to build an administrative base that is being secured by 2-508 of the 82nd Airborne Division. Kate Holt.
  • MRAPS, the new armored vehicles for the US army, line up at the base. Kate Holt.
  • Tents are lined up at the base of 2-508 of the 82nd Airborne Division. Kate Holt.
  • An ISAF (International Securitisation Assistance Force) gunner keeps watch out the side of a helicopter. Kate Holt.
  • Armored vehicles leave for a night patrol from the base of the 2-508, 82nd Airborne Division of the US army. Kate Holt.
  • A helicopter lands in a cloud of dust at the base of 2-508, 82nd Airborne Division of the US army. Kate Holt.
  • A view from the window of an armored personnel carrier driven by soldiers of 2 - 508, 82nd Airborne Division. Kate Holt.
  • Private First Class Peterson of 2-508 of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US army. Kate Holt.
  • Members of the Afghan National Police (ANP) undergo training by Canadian Forces. Kate Holt.
  • Soldiers from 2-508, of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US army walk down a hill at their base. Kate Holt.
  • A soldier from 2-508, of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US army walks down the road to the base. Kate Holt.
  • Captain Patrick Heime, (R) a soldier from 2-508, of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US army. Kate Holt.
  • An Afghan Police Officer stands guard at a religious monument while taking part in a joint foot patrol. Kate Holt.
  • Kevin Melton (L) from USAID, discuss plans with the District Governor of Arghandab. Kate Holt.
  • Kevin Melton (R) from USAID, discuss plans with the District Governor of Arghandab, Jaji Abdul Jabar (L). Kate Holt.
  • A soldier from the 82nd Airborne Division of the US army pass by the passes by a market stall. Kate Holt.
  • Staff Sgt Donny Kuehner from 2-508 of the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army has tea with Haji Jhapor. Kate Holt.