You have reached a collection of archived material.

The content available is no longer being updated and may no longer be applicable as a result of changes in law, regulation and/or administration. If you wish to see the latest content, please visit the current version of the site.

For persons with disabilities experiencing difficulties accessing content on, please use the DoD Section 508 Form. In this form, please indicate the nature of your accessibility issue/problem and your contact information so we can address your issue or question.

U.S. Department of Defense Header Image (click to return to U.S. Department of Defense homepage)
Department of Homeland Security Threat Advisory NoticeDHS Threat & Protection Advisory Level - Yellow: Significant Risk of Terrorist Attacks
Aug. 05, 2015  War on Terror   Transformation   News Products   Press Resources   Images   Websites   Contact Us 
Into Afghanistan: Rooting Out Terrorists: Operation Enduring Freedom Marks 3 Years
U.S. Army Sgt. Brandon Cross directs soldiers to take up a defensive positions, as they arrive in the town of Gangikhel, located in Malikasay Province, Afghanistan, during an August 2002 mission to seek out enemy forces and locate weapon caches, during Operation Enduring Freedom. Cross is assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The 505th has returned to Afghanistan for a second tour to provide security during the presidential election. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sean A. Terry
82nd Airborne Div. Paratroopers Witness Afghan Transformation

By U.S. Army Sgt. Stephanie L. Carl 17th Public Affairs Detachment

82nd Airborne Flag. Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Stephanie L. Carl BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan — Paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, including 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, deployed to Afghanistan in July 2002 to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
   During their six-month deployment, they conducted combat operations, eliminating significant numbers of Taliban, al-Qaida and other anti-Coalition militants from Afghanistan.
   Now, paratroopers from 1st Bn., 505th Para. Inf. Rgt., are back in Afghanistan, this time to maintain a stable environment throughout the presidential election process.
   "The last time we were here, we were air-assaulting into mountain villages," said Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Lacortiglia, Company B, 1st Bn., 505th Para. Inf. Rgt., squad leader. "They were just starting to conduct (village) assessments."
     "We initially provided base security and a (quick reaction force)," said Spc. Joshua Rogers. Both of those missions helped to weed out anti-Coalition militants, laying the groundwork for reconstruction and development in Afghanistan.
   Now, with an Afghanistan deployment and an eight-month deployment to Iraq under their belts, the paratroopers will be able to witness the changes their hard work produced.
  Since they left Afghanistan, millions of dollars have been spent on educational improvements throughout the country. Since January alone, the Coalition has helped with construction or repair of more than 100 schools for both girls and boys.
   "It will be nice to see improvements in their education system," said Staff Sgt. Tim Wehner, another Co. B, 1st Bn., 505th Para. Inf. Rgt., squad leader.
   More important, however, are the improvements in stability that led up to the election.
   "We rarely get to see the big picture at our level," said Lacortiglia. "Now we're getting to see how everything we did the first time around built up to this."
   Two years ago, Afghanistan was a long way from a democratic society.
A C-130 (Army Cargo Plane) drops supplies for the soldiers of B Co. 2nd of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR) White Devils out of Kandahar Army Airfield, during Operation Viper, Feb. 19, 2003. Members of the 82nd Airborne Division have returned to Afghanistan this month to provide security during presidential elections.U.S. Army photo by Spc. Preston Cheeks        With the help of the Coalition, both the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police have taken active roles in providing security throughout the country.This has allowed the Coalition to put a greater focus on reconstruction. Together, the security and reconstruction efforts helped the country progress to the point of its first democratic election.
   "Hopefully, the example we've set here in Afghanistan will help to stabilize other countries like Iraq who are facing the same issues Afghanistan used to face," said Wehner.
   "What we've accomplished here can provide credibility to others," said Lacortiglia. "We've shown that we are doing good and helping this country."
Last Updated:
12/01/2005, Eastern Daylight Time
The Pentagon Channel offers  live DoD programming and on-demand video of Pentagon and Baghdad briefings, Capitol Hill hearings, presidential addresses and more.
Live DoD Programming
Video On-Demand
Special Reports
VA on Data Security
Leaving Lebanon Photos
Travels With Rumsfeld
Guantanamo Bay
Web Watch
Top Leaders
News Products
Press Articles
Press Resources
Pentagon Press Passes
Today in DoD
Press Advisories
Photo Essays
Briefing Slides
Casualty Reports
Civilian Jobs
Commanders Page
Detainee Affairs
DoD Websites
Freedom of Information
Military Homefront
Military Pay & Benefits
Multinational Force Iraq
My Pay
DoD Updates
 Site Map   Privacy & Security Notice   About DoD   External Link Disclaimer   Web Policy   About DefenseLINK