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U.S. Military Working for Peace in Former Enemy Land

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KAZAKSTAN — The Cold War ended with hammerblows asGermans punched holes through the Berlin wall, and with votes as theSoviet Union broke into pieces.

Now the United States military is working for peace in a land whereits presence would once have meant war. Troops from Fort Bragg's 82ndAirborne Division are in Kazakstan helping former Red Army troops.

WRAL-TV5'sTerri Grucawent alongon the trip. She talked to paratroopers and found that they understand whythey are there. The 82nd Airborne's 1LT Mike Olson says it is apeacekeeping mission.

Soldiers from Kasakstan and Uzbekistan are working closely with thosefrom the US, stopping traffic along Kasakstan streets, searching cars andpeople as part of their checkpoint training. It's the sort of training USsoldiers do all the time, but dealing with foreign soldiers creates extraobstacles for the Americans. Sgt. Tony Williams says the language barriercan create problems and slowdowns.

But in spite of language barriers and widely differing tactics, most ofthe soldiers believe in their military service, regardless of the country.They say that's why these peacekeeping missions are so successful. Capt.Dzhumakeer Almaz is in the Kazakstan Army. He says there are differences,but they are easily overcome.

With all the planning and training the soldiers expected to share, manyhave expressed surprise at the ease with which they can work togetherfor peace -- even with former enemies.

The 82nd is moving south to Uzbekistan where similar trainingexercises will continue through Saturday. The troops will return to FortBragg Monday evening.

Photographer:Rick Allen

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