Afghan governor hosts lunch for ‘Tropic Lightning’

| October 6, 2011 | 0 Comments
25th ID

25th ID

Story and Photo by
Staff Sgt. Luke Graziani
7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

 

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Weapons of war may win battles, but much can be said for winning the trust and confidence of local people, as well.

Recently, Soldiers from 1st Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, “Task Force Bronco,” 25th Infantry Division, were able to forge those important bonds and confidence with Afghan key leaders and the district governor, here.

A key leader engagement was coordinated to maintain open channels of communication and to discuss current and future projects for the village.

“I’ve got a pretty good relationship with Gov. Shamamood and the line directors out there,” said 1st Lt. Emmanuel Batara, platoon leader, 1st Platoon. “In a sense, we’re just trying to do positive things for the community.”

Open channels of communication are essential to keeping a solid bond with the local people in the area.

The “Tropic Lightning” team, the Afghani leaders and the governor discussed a variety of topics, including a drinking water well project and acquiring an AC/DC converter to augment the village’s medical facility to eliminate power problems.

Although talking through a translator was difficult, the team managed to elicit smiles from the governor and his people, which made things that much easier.

“I think it’s an excellent way to continue to develop relationships,” said 1st Lt. Brent Whitehead, Co. B. “The opportunity to share a meal and talk about things outside of the normal, everyday business of running the district and the concerns they’re facing, and getting more on a personal level, helps.”

The aroma of Afghan cuisine cut through the beginning tension like a well-honed saber. Soon, all those present were talking and laughing amicably.

“It’s good hospitality all around; those guys understand that we’re here to help,” Batara said. “It’s really humbling to have the local nationals embrace us.

“Here, in the Sarkani area (and) especially with Gov. Shamamood, it’s like an open embrace to coalition forces,” Batara added.

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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