Story and photos by Capt. Juan Garcia
MAIWAND, Afghanistan – The Wolfpack is on the hunt again. This time the 3rd Squadron, 2d Stryker Cavalry Regiment is building a Wolfpack wall which is a key step in ISAF’s fight against the Taliban in the Maiwand District. Ghostrider Company is leading the way by clearing the area of IEDs, insurgents and Taliban sympathizers. The local villagers have been harassed by the Taliban for a long time and they are happy to see Afghan National Army and American forces building a foothold in the area. The wall is a preventative measure against winter flooding demonstrating partnership and our commitment for local Afghan villagers.
“It’s great to see the smiles on the villagers faces as we patrol the area and know we are really making a difference,” said Sgt. John Lincoln of Ghostrider Company.
Lincoln said, without Taliban influence in the region, the villagers will be free from the oppressive taxes and violence that the insurgency has brought with it. We have also raised the standard of living in the region by handing out small radios, bags of rice and flour for the villagers to eat.
The Wolfpack Wall is located in an area affectionately coined “the Super Wadi.” Wadi is Arabic for dry riverbed or valley and the first step was to clear this area of IEDs to make sure it was safe. The Wolfpack team got some extra help for this task in the form of canine friends named Grief and Kitty. Dogs work in packs and these working dogs were able to sniff for bombs in the area and check any compounds where the Taliban might be making these weapons. The Soldiers appreciated the dogs’ help and it was great to have man’s best friend out on a walk.
In addition to Grief and Kitty, the partnership with the Afghan National Security Forces provides crucial assistance in fighting against the Taliban. The enduring task of guarding the wall falls on Ghostrider Company and Afghan National Army.
“The Afghan Soldiers fight side by side with Wolfpack Soldiers and are doing a great job of patrolling, defending the area and talking to the people,” said Pfc. Daniel Deluca of 1st PLT. “I love working with the Afghans because you get to learn so much about their culture and have somebody who really understands the region on your side.”
There is no telling what mission and new set of challenges the Wolfpack will tackle tomorrow. But for now, the Wolfpack Wall is an example of the perseverance and cooperation for which the 2nd Stryker Calvary Regiment Dragoons are known. The mission has not been without setbacks and challenges, but the Dragoon fighting spirit prevailed once again and the wall remains a symbol of ISAF partnership in Afghanistan.