Support our mission

The 120-day extension of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, has left U.S. military commanders in eastern Afghanistan “scrambling to accommodate the sudden influx of soldiers” as new units rotate into the area, officials said Tuesday.

The new troops are largely from the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, which has been taking over operations in the area.

Many of the 10th Mountain troops are now being pushed northeast, U.S. military officials said, giving the troops a wider reach but also altering areas of responsibility and adding challenges to logistical support efforts at bases such as Jalalabad.

“It was overwhelming at first. The amount of people on the forward operating base and the amount of billeting didn’t coincide, so it took some patience and ingenuity,” Army Sgt. 1st Class Lance Trevathan was quoted as saying in a news release.

The bases in and around Jalalabad are also undergoing expansion, officials said. According to the news release, the number of U.S. military bases in the area — of varying sizes — has grown from 17 to 30 over the past year, with three more under construction.

Jalalabad itself will expand even more and include expanded facilities for a combat aviation unit that will “become larger and more stationary,” the release reads.

“Rearranging the former facilities for incoming soldiers is a big piece right now,” Sgt. 1st Class Steve Bantin, the engineer in charge of the Jalalabad extension, was quoted as saying.

“We are building at a rapid pace, but soldiers are currently living in a variety of different living conditions. Everyone is still remaining flexible and motivated.”

When the 10th Mountain leaves at the end of its extended tour, officials said, its bases will likely be taken over by the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which is scheduled to deploy in the coming months.


Stripes in 7

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up