Award of Excellence
A detained Taliban fighter is interrogated by Afghan National Army soldiers of the 4th Brigade, 201st Corps during a large clearance operation in the district of Pachir Wa Agam, Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, Wednesday, May 21, 2014. The soldiers found the man with a parcel containing a 9mm pistol, radio, video camera, binoculars, multiple mobile phones, and cash.
Over 500 soldiers from 4th Brigade participated in the operation to clear areas of insurgent control in this district that lies along the border with Pakistan. The operation was planned and executed entirely by Afghan officers with minimal input and oversight by their US counterparts. After 13 years of US fighting in Afghanistan, the ANA is now operating unilaterally, with advising and mentoring only at the brigade level and above. Nangarhar as seen one of the steepest increases in violent attacks since a year ago, and is a focus of US efforts to solidify gains by the Afghan security forces before the scheduled end of their combat mission this year.