19 March 2008

Fighting the terrain and the elements in Nuristan Province

Paratroopers from Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne), recover a vehicle out of a river during the summer near Forward Operating Base Keating in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan 2007. The road gave way during a patrol causing the vehicle to roll over. (Photo provided by unit)

NURISTAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Mechanics from Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment (Airborne), complete numerous odd jobs beside their average nuts and bolts mechanic work in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.

The mechanics are stationed at Forward Operating Base Keating located in a valley between a junction of two snow-melt fed rivers in the Hindu Kush Mountain Range. Vehicle roll overs, flash floods, road wash outs, rock and snow avalanches are just a few of the hazards that make maintaining vehicles a challenge.

During the winter months, both Taliban extremist and Coalition forces are forced to stay near their homes and bases, or face battling the elements.

“One of the things about the snow, when it fell, it made things very difficult around here,” said Spc. Larry Gonzales, a 33-year-old construction and vehicle repair mechanic from East Los Angeles, Calif.

During winter more than four feet of snow fell in the valley. Combat Outpost Warheit, which over looks FOB Keating, had over eight feet of snow. The snow made movement extremely difficult.

“Mobile wise, air wise, water wise- everything was freezing up,” explained Gonzales. “The fuel even started to gel.”

And here's another cool pic from Parwan Province.

A Soldier mans an M-249 light-machine gun while maintaining a perimeter during a Village Medical Outreach March 12 in Gadaykhel, Kohe Safi District, Parwan Province. Coalition and International Security Assistance Forces treated nearly 400 Afghan in Gadaykhel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman James Bolinger)

Click here for more 173rd ABCT Afghanistan posts.

No comments: