By Spc. Melissa Stewart, 3rd Brigade Combat Team Journalist June 9, 2011
COMBAT OUTPOST SANJARAY, Afghanistan " The Honorable Denis McDonough, deputy national security adviser to the president of the United States, visited 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment’s Combat Outpost Sanjaray on May 31 to get a better understanding of the counterinsurgency fight in Kandahar Province, Af-ghanistan.
Accompanying McDonough was the Honorable Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador to Afghan-istan, who, as former commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and current senior United States diplomat in the country, was looking for an operational update on conditions in the area as well.
McDonough’s duties include assessing the progress ISAF Soldiers and Afghan National Security Forces are making in Afghanistan.
“They came to see how the surge is doing, how the civilian part is going and how the combat part is going,” said Richard Pacheco, district support team lead and a political adviser for the Zhari District government.
While visiting the Catamounts’ COP, McDonough received a briefing from Lt. Col. Gregory Anderson, 2-87 Infantry commander, about the progress his Soldiers have made in their area of Kandahar Province since they deployed in March.
“He (and 2-87 Infantry) is showing great success here,” said Col. Patrick D. Frank, commander of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, of the battalion’s progress in the area of operations.
After informing his guests about the challenges and victories his Soldiers are experiencing in Afghanistan, Anderson led everyone to the Sanjaray “crows nest.” The COP is built on a hill and the center of the COP is at the peak of the hill, providing a good view of the Catamounts’ area of operations. By taking McDonough to the “crows nest,” he got a visual of the battlefield to go along with the information he just received.
Having observed the Catamounts’ area of operations and the progress that has been made thus far, McDonough left the COP to assess other units operating in Afghanistan.
During their deployment, Catamount Soldiers will continue to work in the Sanjaray area helping the Afghan people.