Story by Sgt. Adrian Schulte, CJTF-76 Public
Soldiers from 1st
Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry
(Airborne), patrol the small town of Naka during a
mission there March 24, 2005. (Click photo to launch PDF
file with 7 pages of 608th news)
ORGUN-E, Afghanistan -- Lt. Col. Tim McGuire, commander,
1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 173rd
Airborne Brigade, and Task Force Fury, is noticeably excited
when he talks about his battalion’s new mission in Afghanistan.
have settled into their new home at Forward Operating Base
Orgun-E, outside the town of Orgune in the Paktika province
of southeastern Afghanistan.
who began arriving at the FOB March 1 and took over responsibility
March 12, will be stationed at the forward operating base
for the next year as part of Task Force Fury.
along with other elements from the 173rd, fell in on the
position occupied by elements of the Hawaian-based 2nd Battalion,
27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.
really pleased with the living conditions here,” McGuire
said. “Our predecessors did a great job of building up the
FOB for us.”
piece of cake compared to Iraq,” said Pfc. Robert Beall,
a forward observer for Alpha Company, 1/508, who spent time
in northern Iraq with the battalion. “This place is nice.
We have power constantly, the phones work, we have the Internet
and we have running water so you can take a shower everyday.
The living quarters are pretty good. We have a lot of guys
in there, but if you can’t live in close quarters for a
year, how can you expect to work with them? It’s a little
crowded, but nothing we can’t work with.”
a notch above what we left in Iraq,” said Sgt. 1st Class
Thomas Holland, platoon leader, Co. A, 1/508th. “[The 25th]
left it in good order so we moved right in, it was really
easy. All we are doing is improving on something that they
have already made great for us, so it’s a great place.”
[web site and photo no longer
Sgt. Adrian Schulte
Soldiers from Delta Battery, 173rd
Airborne Brigade, sling load a M119 105mm howitzer to a
CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Forward Operating Base Orgun-E
in southeastern Afghanistan March 12. The paratroops, along
with the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment
and other elements of the 173rd, are a part of Task Force
Fury and will be responsible for the Paktika province for
the next year.
next year, the Red Devils of the battalion will be responsible
for the Paktika Province. The province is approximately
the size of Vermont and shares a 600-kilometer border with
extremely prepared,” McGuire said. “We have spent the last
year preparing for this mission. A large percentage of the
battalion was in Iraq and those Soldiers who have joined
us since our return from Iraq, many of them come with experience
from Iraq and Afghanistan. So we are ready, well-equipped
and very eager to get out and build upon the success of
the units that have preceded us here.”
of the 1/508th will be working hand-in-hand with the Afghan
government, the Afghan National Army, the Afghan Police
and most importantly with the Afghan people to ensure the
long-term peace and prosperity of the region, McGuire said.
has been very smooth for the Red Devils as they adjust to
their new environment and responsibilities.
been the best relief-in-place transition I have taken part
of,” McGuire said. “The Wolfhounds from the 25th Infantry
Division did a great job. They have really done a great
job getting us out among the people so we can learn from
their year’s worth of experience.”
are prepared and looking forward to the adventures that
lay ahead, McGuire said.
are excited by the mission. They realize the importance
of Afghanistan on the Global War on Terror. We have a chance
here to show this entire region that democracy and rule
of law works, and that the people benefit.”
Fury’s area of responsibility is a large one that will keep
the Soldiers of the 1/508 busy and engaged for the next
next year, I’m looking forward to going out there and seeing
my whole sector,” Holland said. “I’ve already been out there
for eight days and I haven’t seen enough. I want to go out
there and I want to be able to see every town and check
it out. There will be a lot of good experiences for my Soldiers
and myself. Morale is really high. The Soldiers are new
in sector and they are pumped to get out there and start
doing things and seeing what is around.”
troops are excited about what lies ahead, they are aware
of the challenges as well.
is an enemy out there and we are fighting an insurgency,”
McGuire said. “We are going to fight and win this insurgency
because we are focusing on the people. The A
people are committed to peace and they are committed to
working together for prosperity. We are going to work hand
and hand with the government. One of our challenges will
be helping to empower and enable the government and the
Afghan security forces. It’s just continuing to extend the
reach of the central government and show the Afghan people
that their future lives are better with the rule of law,
democracy and freedom by working closely with the international
of the Paktika province is an unforgiving one and will continue
to pose a challenge through the next year. It has been an
especially harsh winter for the Afghan people and the weather
is wreaking havoc on the countryside. For troops who rely
on large, brawny humvees to get around, the lack of roads
will pose a challenge in a country that often relies on
alternate modes of transportation such as mules.
our challenges will be the lack of infrastructure here,”
McGuire said. “Some of the roads right now are more rivers
or tar pits of mud, so we will put a lot of effort into
working with the Afghan officials to improve crossing sites
and roads throughout the area.”
is going to be a big challenge,” Holland said. “The terrain
out there… there aren’t any real roads, except for actually
in Orgune itself and some of the other major places in our
sector. But down south, there really aren’t a lot of roads.
You drive down wadis and you drive over large rocks so you
go out there with your maintenance team and you're fixing
Devils are in place, settled and ready for the year ahead.
They will be working with the Afghan people to help improve
this war-torn country.
are committed to close relations with the U.S. and improving
their life,” McGuire said. “They have had 25 years of war
here. They are ready for peace and they are ready to work
hard to achieve it.”
Copyright and all other rights reserved by the Family and Friends
of The 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association or by those who are
For problems or questions regarding this web site, please contact