Firebase California is located in the Pech Valley, along the Pech River in Kunar Province. California was established sometime in late 2006 early 2007 during Operation Mountain Lion by 10th Mountain Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment. They were replaced by Able Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team in June of 2007 and were due to stay fifteen months. The objective of of the 2-503rd at Firebase California was to interact and establish good relationships with seven villages in their area of operations and protect the Pech River Road. The road is critical to economic development in this isolated part of Afghanistan and is the key to linking all the population centers in the area as well as facilitating future control for the Afghan National Army.
Villages in this area were said to be neutral at best so it was important to the A Company, 2-503rd to establish a lasting presence and demonstrate a commitment to this area by taking on the Taliban directly whenever possible.
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