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U.S. soldiers secure a safe haven in Afghanistan


This news story was published on January 17, 2013.
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A 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team soldier patrols with the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan while U.S. leader meet with local Afghan leaders and assesses infrastructure projects Dec 30. – Jan. 7.

A 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team soldier patrols with the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan while U.S. leader meet with local Afghan leaders and assesses infrastructure projects Dec 30. – Jan. 7.

Story by Capt. Gina Goris –

TARIN KOT, Afghanistan – Soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team provide security and medical support for Australian and U.S. leaders from Combined Team Uruzgan, as they meet with local Afghan leaders and assesses infrastructure projects in the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan Dec 30. – Jan. 7.

The security team is comprised of Combat Engineers Private 1st Class Neil Studenski, Spc. Jonathan Baclasky, Staff Sgt. Paul Cheek, Sgt. Kyle Marshall from 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and Medic Sgt. James Skinner from the 26th Brigade Support Battalion.

During the missions there are limited numbers of U.S. personnel in the area. Soldiers like Sgt. Marshall live, eat, and sleep close to the areas they visit.

“I like going on these missions, because there is only me and my guys. We eat MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), sleep in built up areas left by the locals and do not have internet access, allowing us to be completely focused on the mission,” said Marshall.

Each time Staff Sgt. Cheek and his men have gone on patrol they have had the opportunity to meet with the local Afghan people. This experience has helped the soldiers develop a better appreciation for the culture.

“I have had the opportunity to meet the local people eat, Afghan food and attend the local bazaar during their patrols. We have found that many of the people speak English. They have explained local customs about the country and the people that live here, making me more culturally aware than when I arrived two months ago,” said Cheek.

The soldiers’ mission is important as they ensure the safety and security of the CTU team as they travel around Afghanistan. Each team member was chosen for this mission based on their ability to provide security and medical assistance as leaders conduct operations.

As the only medic on the team Staff Sgt. James Skinner has a significant role to play.

“I have provided assistance to some of the local Afghans. However I have not had to provide medical treatment for the guys during our mission. If called upon I have the capability and training to prevent deaths and to sustain life out here in this harsh environment,” Skinner said.

Soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team post security in the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan Dec. 30 – Jan. 7.

Soldiers from the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team post security in the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan Dec. 30 – Jan. 7.

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team provides specialized security and medical support for Australian and U.S. leaders from Combined Team Uruzgan, as they meet with local Afghan leaders and assesses infrastructure projects in the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan Dec. 30 – Jan. 7, 2013. The team was comprised of Combat Engineers Private 1st Class Neil Studenski, Spc. Jonathan Baclasky, Staff Sgt. Paul Cheek, Sgt. Kyle Marshall from 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and Medic Sgt. James Skinner from the 26th Brigade Support Battalion

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team provides specialized security and medical support for Australian and U.S. leaders from Combined Team Uruzgan, as they meet with local Afghan leaders and assesses infrastructure projects in the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan Dec. 30 – Jan. 7, 2013. The team was comprised of Combat Engineers Private 1st Class Neil Studenski, Spc. Jonathan Baclasky, Staff Sgt. Paul Cheek, Sgt. Kyle Marshall from 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and Medic Sgt. James Skinner from the 26th Brigade Support Battalion

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team provides specialized security and medical support for Australian and U.S. leaders from Combined Team Uruzgan, as they meet with local Afghan leaders and assesses infrastructure projects in the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan. The team was comprised of Combat Engineers Private 1st Class Neil Studenski, Spc. Jonathan Baclasky, Staff Sgt. Paul Cheek, Sgt. Kyle Marshall from 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and Medic Sgt. James Skinner from the 26th Brigade Support Battalion

The 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Security Team provides specialized security and medical support for Australian and U.S. leaders from Combined Team Uruzgan, as they meet with local Afghan leaders and assesses infrastructure projects in the province of Daykudi, Afghanistan. The team was comprised of Combat Engineers Private 1st Class Neil Studenski, Spc. Jonathan Baclasky, Staff Sgt. Paul Cheek, Sgt. Kyle Marshall from 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion and Medic Sgt. James Skinner from the 26th Brigade Support Battalion

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