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Channel 3 crew now embedded with Vermont troops - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Channel 3 crew now embedded with Vermont troops

Charikar, Afghanistan - August 2, 2010

From the Green Mountains to the rugged terrain of Afghanistan. Our Channel 3 news crew is seeing first hand the landscape of this war-torn country.

"It is one large valley and it is pretty much mountains on three sides of us. North, West and East and they are intense. They are large, they are jagged. They are very impressive," said photographer, Lance MacKenzie.

Mackenzie and Channel 3 anchor Darren Perron are embeded with Vermont National Guard members. Channel 3 news spoke with the pair Tuesday morning.

"Right now we are at a police station in Charikar. The Vermont guard soldiers are training Afghan national police officers and how to do their jobs better. We have been out on patrols throughout a good portion of the day today walking around the city. Talking with some of the villagers here about what is actually going on and whether they agree with the presence of soldiers in here in Afghanistan and I can tell you first hand that talking with everyone we spoke to that is willing to go on camera they are pleased with the efforts that are going on here," said Perron.

Foot patrols are dangerous. Vermont guard members spread out on both sides of the road to prevent more injuries in case of a suicide attack. While they were on patrol with the Vermont guard locals helped apprehend four Taliban suspects.

"Now villagers are actually going out saying enough is enough we do not want the Taliban here anymore and they are taking action themselves. Once these Taliban fighters were subdued. The Afghan national police were called in to arrest them, detain them and were brought back here to the police station," said Perron.

Police and Vermont guard members found explosives on the four taliban suspects including homemade bomb making materials that could have become a road side bomb.

"Not only are they trying to create a presence in the city here but they are also talking to the villagers to gain information and to also give information. They are gaining information. For example, we heard three large explosions earlier today. So they thought by talking with the villagers. They could find out if where those explosions come from. What exactly it was," said Perron.

Darren and Lance also got a rare look at Afghan women and children being treated at a hospital at Bagram Airfield. That is where a team of women members of the Vermont National Guard are working to make connections.

"Through an interpretor what these women should be done in their country. This is really a first, finally women are being allowed and their viewpoints are being put out there in thanks to large part the Vermont National Guard women who are on this team," remarked Perron.

For more information on this trip to Afghanistan see Darren's blog which includes pictures of his travels.

Kristin Carlson - WCAX News

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