National Guard Special Forces Soldiers leave Afghanistan a better place

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http://news.soc.mil/releases/News Archive/2008/April/080429-02.html

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (Courtesy of CJTF-101Public Affairs, April 29, 2008) – More than 80 soldiers from Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, were honored for their accomplishments, during their six-month deployment to southern Afghanistan, by the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan Commander Col. Christopher K. Haas during a ceremony at Kandahar Air Field, April 23.

Charlie Company is made up of National Guardsmen, most from New England, but they were supplemented by Guardsmen from Alabama, North Carolina, New Mexico, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland and many other states. Gathering after redeployment is nearly impossible; this ceremony is an excellent opportunity to honor these individuals for their valuable contributions in the Global War on Terror.

“The importance of today was that it’s the last time, in country, that we will all be together,” said Philip H. Macchi, Charlie Co., Commander, a lawyer from Mass. “In doing what we did today, the guys who fought together and served overseas together were able to see each other and get recognized together. We also had Col. Haas there, the man we fought under presenting the awards, which would not have been a possibility at all, at home.”

Members of Charlie Co. were very active in establishing and maintaining security in Southern Afghanistan. According to their citations they conducted more than 150 combined and joint combat operations, resulting in the deaths of more than 350 insurgents. Macchi said the company participated in more than 200 combat reconnaissance patrols, 60 medcaps and were involved in more than 50 fire fights.

“In all of these events the guys performed very well,” said Macchi. “I think the results were felt throughout the battlefield.”

The team at Firebase Ripley their most memorable accomplishment was the opening of a main supply route that was blocked by the Taliban, according to the Special Forces Team Leader, there. His team, along with the Afghan National Security Forces, established and maintained checkpoints along the route, breaking the Talibans hold on it. This enabled the locals to resume trade and commerce in the region, he said.

“In Herat, they conducted at least 15 medcaps, which were directly responsible for the ceasing of rocket attacks on Herat airfield,” said Macchi.
“Out at Camp Victory they set the conditions for the Cutu Bridge project, over the Helmand River,” he said. The area around the Cutu Bridge was very violent, but the C. Co. teams there were able to secure the area for construction crews to come in and begin construction on the bridge.

The Farah team secured their area by driving the insurgents out of Gulistan. They also built rapport with the people in the district by successfully maintaining the firebase clinic, which treated more than 500 Afghans a week, said Macchi.

“This deployment was everything I thought it could be and more,” said the team leader from Ripley. “Given the area we were in, we really had an opportunity to do everything we were trained to do.” The team leader and his men are from Alabama and were augmented to C. Co. for this deployment.

“We could not have functioned as a unit with out them,” said Macchi. Who also added that he feels his team made a valuable impact on the lives to the Afghans they touched, during this deployment.

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KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan- Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-AFghanistan Commander Col. Christopher K. Haas awards Charlie Co., 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group Commander, Maj. Philip H. Macchi, the Bronze Star for his service over the last six months in Afghanistan, during a ceremony on Kandahar Airfield, April 23. Charlie Co., was deployed to southern Afghanistan, supporting Combined Joint Spe080423-A-6160S-017.jpg KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan- Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan Commander Col. Christopher K. Haas awards Charlie Co., 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group Commander, Maj. Philip H. Macchi, the Bronze Star for his service over the last six months in Afghanistan, during a ceremony on Kandahar Airfield, April 23. Charlie Co., was deployed to southern Afghanistan, supporting Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan since November, conducting combat reconnaissance patrols, humanitarian and medical aid missions as well as cleared Taliban safe havens in Delaram, Gulistan, Ghoziney and several other villages. Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan photo by SSG Marie Schult.cial Operations Task Force-Afghanistan since November, conducting combat reconnaissance patrols, humanitarian and medical aid missions as well as cleared Taliban safe havens in Delaram, Gulistan, Ghoziney and several other villages. (Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan photo by SSG Marie Schult)
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KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan-Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan Commander Col. Christopher K. Haas address soldiers from Charlie Co., 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, during their end of tour award ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, April 23. Charlie Co., was deployed to southern Afghanistan, supporting Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan since November, conducting combat reconnaissance patrols, humanitarian and medical aid missions as well as cleared Taliban safe havens in Delaram, Gulistan, Ghoziney and several other villages. Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan photo by SSG Marie Schult.
 
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