Local News

82nd Aviation Brigade moves closer to Pakistani border

Posted October 11, 2011 3:00 p.m. EDT
Updated October 11, 2011 6:03 p.m. EDT

— The 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade is officially taking over duties in Afghanistan this week.

More than 2,000 Fort Bragg troops are replacing the 10th Mountain Division out of Fort Drum.

For the next year, more than 350 members of the 82nd Airborne will be stationed at Forward Operating Base Salerno near the town of Khost,  along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

A WRAL News crew embedded with the 82nd Aviation Brigade traveled alongside troops to Salerno on Tuesday. 

One challenge for troops has been the weather. 

"The weather here has probably been the biggest surprise. We've had some pretty severe thunderstorms. We had a hail storm that damaged a couple of aircrafts last week," 1st Battalion Commander Lt. Col. John Cyrulik said. "We have to respect not only the operating environment and the enemy but, in particular for Army aviators, the weather that we encounter at altitudes here."

Cyrulik says the 1st Battalion Aviation Regiment, Task Force Wolfpack, will not underestimate the weather or the enemy. 

At Salerno, troops will work and live in permanent housing. 

"The setup is nice. The showers – we got running water, latrines. I like it out here," Sgt. Monica Busanet said. 

Salerno is near the Pakistani border where insurgents have been active. The 82nd, though, have not encountered any attacks since they set up camp three weeks ago.