The commander of an aviation brigade from Fort Campbell that is currently deployed said the Afghan security forces are becoming more capable both on the ground and in the air.
Col. Paul Bontrager, commander of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, briefed the media by teleconference on Monday on the brigade's first 100 days of its Afghanistan deployment.
Less combat means more school for soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division as the Army's only helicopter-based assault force intensifies training for the kind of fast air-led deployment of troops and equipment that helped launch the Iraq war.
Soldiers from Fort Campbell are returning home to the installation in southern Kentucky Friday after a nine-month long deployment to Afghanistan. The soldiers are from the 887th Engineer Support Company, 326th Engineer Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
Fort Campbell is holding suicide prevention training and other events this week as part of the Army's Suicide Prevention Month to educate soldiers, their families and civilians on how to spot the warning signs of suicide.
After years of taking the lead on the battlefield, Army leaders from Fort Campbell are learning how to take a backseat role when they return to Afghanistan this fall to serve as military advisers. About 1,900 troops from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, will serve as a Security Force Assistance Brigade with a mission to prepare the Afghan security forces for the coming withdrawal of NATO troops.
Female soldiers from Fort Campbell deploying to Afghanistan will field test the first Army body armor that is shorter and better tailored specifically to fit women's physiques. Members of a female engagement team from the 101st Airborne Division, who will be directly interacting with Afghan women during the coming deployment, have been equipped with the female prototypes of the newest generation of Army tactical vests.
A federal judge Friday morning sentenced Ft. Campbell Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo to two consecutive life sentences, plus 60 years in prison for plotting to bomb and shoot Fort Hood soldiers in 2011. Abdo, who represented himself at the sentencing hearing after dismissing his court-appointed lawyers last month, told U.S. District Judge Walter Smith that he remains committed to “jihad,” an Arabic word meaning struggle, that in some Islamic contexts can mean holy war.