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'Diligent' Battalion focuses on Afghan partnership

June 17, 2012

By 2nd Lt. McKinsey Hulen

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (June 16, 2012) -- The 701st Brigade Support Battalion, a support unit for 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, officially assumed responsibility for support operations in eastern Afghanistan's Paktika Province June 11 from the 172D Support Battalion.

The 701st BSB's deployment to Afghanistan will be just under a year, in accordance with a directive signed by the Secretary of the Army last August. The unit's primary focus will be its partnership with its Afghan National Army counterparts, the 5th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 203rd Corps.

On June 13, staff from the 701st BSB, also known as the "Diligent" Battalion, went to Forward Operating Base Thunder, an Afghan operating base in Paktika, in order to meet with their Afghan counterparts. FOB Thunder is home to their partnered Afghan Kandak, as well as an expansive Afghan-run training program for Afghan National Army troops.

The 701st BSB will advise their Afghan counterparts on training and sustainment operations, who will in turn conduct Afghan cultural awareness training with 701st personnel in order to develop a successful partnership in Team Paktika.

A close relationship with the ANA is critical at this stage in the advisory mission, as Coalition Forces step up drawdown procedures and Afghan National Security Forces continue to take lead in major operations.

The Diligent Battalion will also provide logistical support for U.S. Army operations, including running resupply convoys, providing equipment maintenance, and operating a medical treatment facility with extensive trauma capabilities.

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