The 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion--a proud unit which, for over the past
20 years, has served with distinction in Iraq 2000 (Desert Storm) Bosnia,
Kosovo, Iraq 2003-2008, Africa and Afghanistan since June 2011.
The Afghanistan mission is unique in that once hitting the ground, it
was splintered into 11 different directions. The PRTs; Provincial
Reconstruction Teams, are spread out over an area that would extend from
Green Bay to Oklahoma. The basic mission is to foster relationships and
provide aid to every level of the local population, both civil and
governmental. The unit is supported by various National Guard Infantry
units; in the 432nds case, a unit from Rhode Island.
Don't mistake the fact that because they aren't considered infantry,
they are immune from the dangers inherent to working in a war zone.
That unfortunate fact was vividly reinforced when, in the summer of
2008, a beloved commander; Major Dwayne Kelly was killed by a suicide
bomber during a meeting with Iraqi officials in Sadar City, Baghdad.
Just recently a popular 432nd soldier; Sergeant Adam Alexander was
seriously wounded in an attack while working with local officials in the
Champkani District Center; Paktia Province, Afghanistan.
Civil Affairs Battalions do wear multiple hats. In one day this week,
members of the 432nd travelled deep into Kandahar City, a bustling city
of over one million residents...to meet with officials of the Sarpooa
Prison...the largest prison in Kandahar. It is home to both "regular"
criminal prisoners and suspected "political" Taliban prisoners.
The prison lies under the watchful eyes of Alexander the Greats mountain
Following the mission to Sarpooza, a different job, this time manning a
guard tower on the outskirts of the base perimeter. This would consist
of a four-hour shift scanning the countryside with night vision
scopes...searching for anything that might be lurking in the shadows
outside the walls.
If you put a clock on it, the shift for the day stretched out for
Justin Fransway of Green Bay and Alec Augustine of Marshall, WI heading
out for nighttime guard duty. DONE 701
Maino and prison warden share a cup of tea and discuss problems with the
432nd Mission statement
Alexander the Greats castle on top of the hill, daughters down below.