FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - With an Afghanistan deployment
looming, soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division are trying out
new roles that reinforce their jobs as advisers working to build up
and train Afghan troops.
Members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team recently played the parts
of Taliban commanders, recruits and detainees as well as Afghan
National Army soldiers. The exercise at Fort Campbell on Thursday
involved an assault by helicopter into a Taliban recruiting camp
where soldiers found a cache of weapons hidden in a cave.
"Most Army people are type A people. We want to do everything
ourselves," said Lt. Col. Stephen Lutsky, commander for 1st
Squadron, 33rd Cavalry. "It's forcing us to take the Afghan
security forces, the police and the army, train them and show them
how to do it, because they want to do it."
As leader of the group portraying the Taliban forces, 2nd Lt.
Frankie Shy had more than two dozen fighters spread out in a
clearing amid woods at Fort Campbell. But the group was quickly
overtaken by U.S. and Afghan forces who dropped in from a Chinook
"My job is to fight to the death. But I was taken out. You are
speaking with a ghost," he joked.
All around him, other soldiers clad in long robes and turbans
were being searched for weapons or being questioned. Back in the
woods, soldiers discovered two men hiding in a cave near a trove of
rifles, ammunition and boxes of cash.