A U.S. soldier patrols through a blossoming orchard field during a Route Clearance Package mission in search for IEDs in the Nerkh Valley in Afghanistan's Wardak province Friday April 10, 2009. The goal of the RCP mission, made up of various specialized units from the 3rd Combat Brigade, 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, NY, was to clear roads of IEDs and insurgent activity deep into the Nerkh Valley to secure the area for the installation of a new outpost. The 3/10 were originally slated to deploy to Iraq but were re-routed to Afghanistan. They are the U.S. forces' first major push into the Wardak region that saw a heavy anti-coalition resurgence last year marking the worst since the war began in 2001 for deaths among NATO forces. In an attempt to secure Kabul from falling back into the hands of the Taliban, the U.S. bolstered the number of forces with the deployment of the 3/10 in nearby Wardak Province, less than 30 minutes from the capital, from approximately 150 troops last year to 1500 this year. The brigade is the first substantial illustration of the U.S.'s new military focus in Afghanistan.  (image by David Goldman)
A U.S. soldier patrols through a blossoming orchard field during a Route Clearance Package mission in search for IEDs in the Nerkh Valley in Afghanistan's Wardak province Friday April 10, 2009. The goal of the RCP mission, made up of various specialized units from the 3rd Combat Brigade, 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum, NY, was to clear roads of IEDs and insurgent activity deep into the Nerkh Valley to secure the area for the installation of a new outpost. The 3/10 were originally slated to deploy to Iraq but were re-routed to Afghanistan. They are the U.S. forces' first major push into the Wardak region that saw a heavy anti-coalition resurgence last year marking the worst since the war began in 2001 for deaths among NATO forces. In an attempt to secure Kabul from falling back into the hands of the Taliban, the U.S. bolstered the number of forces with the deployment of the 3/10 in nearby Wardak Province, less than 30 minutes from the capital, from approximately 150 troops last year to 1500 this year. The brigade is the first substantial illustration of the U.S.'s new military focus in Afghanistan.
┬ęDavid Goldman
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