Thursday, December 8, 2011

Newnan Soldier Honored in Afghanistan


KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- A service member deployed to Afghanistan is often considered a hero in the United States.

While the average person might take their "hero" status and sit on their laurels, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Rainey Ragland, a native of Newnan, is making a difference in supporting the provincial reconstruction team (PRT) mission of connecting the Afghan people with their government.

Ragland, a reservist from Navy Operational Support Command Atlanta at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, was awarded the PRT Khost Warrior of the Week for Oct. 31-Nov. 5 and the PRT commanding officer and sergeant major's coin during a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan, on Nov. 6.

The contracting officer representative is serving as a member of PRT Khost in the Khost Province.

"It's an honor to receive this award," he said. "I'm glad they recognized what I've done."

According to his citation, Ragland "met with the commander's cultural advisor to solidify his 2011-2012 contract and corrected Afghan cultural advisor pay issues. He finalized the people's message radio contract and took the initiative to meet with the contractor to make sure he understood the new terms and conditions of his contract. Ever vigilant, he recognized a need for printer toner cartridges to facilitate continued operations and negotiated favorable terms with a local vendor to obtain the best price."

"Getting these contracts through was very important to completing our mission," said U.S. Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer James Center, Navy senior enlisted leader. "Petty Officer Ragland was the catalyst in getting them signed."

PRT Khost is made up of more than 85 sailors, soldiers, airmen and civilians. The PRT conducts counterinsurgency operations, partnering with provincial and district leadership in order to develop critical infrastructure, education, and economic initiatives, and increase the legitimacy and accountability of the Afghan government to the people, enabling reintegration and ultimately allowing transition to occur with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.