Operation Afghanistan: The Spartan Brigade

Channel 2's Blake Essig and Photojournalist Albert Lutan travel to Afghanistan with soldiers of JBER's 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, and tell the stories of Alaska's deployed soldiers.

Reporter's Notebook: Reporting from the front lines

Channel 2's Blake Essig describes what it was like for he and photojournalist Albert Lutan to report from Afghanistan alongside JBER's 4-25 Brigade.





MULTIMEDIA MAP: Alaska's Spartan Brigade

Through mapped stories and photos, experience a rare behind-the-headlines look at the deployment, mission and sacrifice of the nearly 2,100 members of the Alaska's 425 Spartan Brigade.



Part 1: The Role of JBER's Spartan Brigade

Less than a year after being spared from the federal chopping block, 2,100 soldiers in JBER's 4-25 Spartan Brigade are deployed in Afghanistan



Part 2: Forward Operating Base Fenty Memorial

At the entrance of Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 274 names of those who have given their all are engraved in perpetuity.



Part 3 : A Day in the Life of the Spartan Brigade

Soldiers of the 4-25 Spartan Brigade have to be ready for anything, around the clock





Part 4 : Serving with your spouse during deployment

We meet a married couple, serving together at the same airbase in Afghanistan, who had to leave their children behind with family.



Part 5 : A day on Afghanistan's front line

Channel 2's Blake Essig describes the 24 hours he and photojournalist Albert Lutan spent on Afghanistan's front line at Outpost Mad Dog in the Mohmand Valley with soldiers from Alaska's 4-25 Brigade.



Part 6 : Finding a suit at Tactical Base Gamberi

On many U.S. military installations in the Middle East, locals set up an outdoor bazaar, which gives American soldiers a taste of the area they're serving in, and sometimes, an overlooked necessity.



Part 7 : Soccer bridges the cultural gap

A simple game of soccer can bridge the cultural gap, even in a warzone





Part 8: The changing role of Alaska's Spartan Brigade

The role of Alaska's Spartan Brigade has changed a lot during the 16-year old war in Afghanistan



Part 9 : Afghan translators risk their lives to work with American troops

Afghan translators risk their lives, and the safety of their families, to work with American troops to rid their country of Isis and the Taliban



Part 10 :Soldier puts musical dreams on rest to answer call to duty

A member of Alaska's Spartan Brigade puts his musical dreams on hold to serve in uniform