Troops from the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan delivered gifts to a primary school March 15 near Bagram Airfield. The troops dropped in to present the children with clothing, toys and school supplies. "Ours is an enduring relationship established in 2002 ... our rotations have occurred back-to-back with a sister unit, allowing us to maintain our friendship with the school since then," said Army Lt. Col. Ken Watson, support battalion commander for CJSOTF-A.
The gifts delivered by CJSOTF-A troops had been sent to Afghanistan from American citizens spread throughout the 50 states. The gathering and shipment of the items was facilitated by members of the Headquarters, Air Force Directorate of Intelligence in Washington, D.C. On hand from the unit was Air Force Col. Victor Kuchar, who flew from the Pentagon to help deliver the items himself. "My relationship here is to try to get the supply side to the demand side. There are a lot of pieces in that dotted line, from the American home to the kids' feet over here," Kuchar said. Kuchar literally jumped right into the distribution of care items, going neck-deep into a giant box of toys and stuffed animals. Hundreds of tiny hands surrounded the colonel as he passed out furry friends and playthings of all shapes and sizes.
Other troops manned the boxes of clothing and shoes, lining up children and holding shirts and pants up against their bodies to determine correct sizes. Many young boys gathered up tiny pink and purple outfits, telling nearby interpreters the clothes were for their baby sisters at home. "We are in Afghanistan to rebuild the country and, in my opinion, we need more than bombs and bullets. We need blankets, clothes and textbooks. So many wonderful, caring and loving Americans from kindergarten age to senior citizens want to help us with this," Kuchar said.
The extended outreach of the CJSOTF-A troops will ensure the items facilitated by Kuchar and his team will reach not just the Bagram school, but also the tiniest village in the furthest corner of Afghanistan. "We are in touch with the people across Afghanistan because we've got multiple firebases. We're everywhere. We are able to touch the people and distribute right down to the smallest village in the country," Watson said.
United States Forces Afghanistan's mission, in coordination with NATO's International Security Assistance Force, is to conduct operations to defeat terrorist networks and insurgents by developing effective governance and building the Afghan National Security Force. Effective security throughout the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan facilitates continued regional stability and increases economic development for the people of Afghanistan.
Contact Information - US Forces Afghanistan Public Affairs Office Primary: Tel +93 (0) 799 51 2919 Alternate: Tel +93 (0) 707 355 965 USFOR-A-MediaRelations@afghan.swa.army.mil