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Entries in Camp Joyce (1)

Monday
Dec062010

Remote Afghan Base Camp Joyce Sees Constant Enemy Fire

Photo Courtesy - U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment(KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan) -- About 700 U.S. soldiers live at Camp Joyce, nestled along the Pakistan border.  As one of 140 U.S. combat outposts and forward operating bases in eastern Afghanistan, it comes under constant fire by unseen enemies.

Army Major Gen. John Campbell has 30,000 U.S. soldiers in the region trying to find them.

"We're killing a lot of bad guys, but they are still regenerating here," said Campbell, who leads the 101st Airborne Division.  He estimates his soldiers have killed or captured 3,500 insurgents in the last four months, but says there are probably 7,000 or more still operating there.

The remote mountains that divide Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal area is some of the deadliest terrain in the world.

According to a counterinsurgency strategy where "clear, hold and build" formulates the recipe for success, areas in this part of the country are still very much in the first stage.

"We have pockets, unlike other parts of Afghanistan where you can go clear, hold and build, pretty symmetrically.  Here it's different.  We have pockets of goodness.  What we're trying to do is get all of those pockets of goodness together," Campbell said.

Countrywide, the number of airstrikes is up 172 percent from the same period last year, with more than 4,600 bombs and Hellfire missiles launched.  Special operations raids have increased as well -- more than 1,500 night raids in a 90-day period, with daytime raids numbering 17 a day.

But the Taliban is fighting back hard, and the soldiers at Camp Joyce see it every day.

"Lots of ambushes, things along those lines, a lot indirect fire, they stage themselves throughout the mountains here," Sgt. Christian Gatison told ABC News. 

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