Mountain View Magazine May .pdf

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Meet the
man on KAF

Page 4


Spc. Kamarr Evans, driver for the Regional Command
South chief of staff, poses for a picture outside the
Morale Welfare and Recreation gym where he recently
was named the strongest man on Kandahar Airfield.



Regional Command South
Commanding General
Maj. Gen. James L. Terry
Command Sergeant Major
Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Greca

Around RC-South
Page 14
Latest LOLs
Page 16

The Mountain View is an authorized
publication for members of coalition
forces. Contents of The Mountain View
are not necessarily official views of,
or endorsed by, coalition governments.
All editorial content of The Mountain
View is prepared, edited, provided and
approved by the Regional Command South
Public Affairs Office.

Top Shots
Page 8


Command Column
Page 13
The Don says
Page 12

On the cover

spotlight on support
Page 10

Photo by Sgt. Matthew Diaz

Table Of Contents SMA visits Kandahar

Editorial Staff
RC-South PAO Lt. Col. Web Wright
Master Sgt. Tami Hillis
Command Information OIC
Lt. j.g. Haraz N. Ghanbari
Managing Editor Sgt. Matthew Diaz


Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III receives a demonstration
of Explosive Ordnance Disposal equipment while on a tour of the Regional
Command South battlespace, May 25, at Forward Operating Base Pasab
in Kandahar province. (Photo by Sgt. Matthew Diaz)
See more photos from his trip on page 8

Media queries please contact RC-South
Public Affairs at
Contributing Units
TF Kandahar
TF Lightning
TF Raider
TF Spartan
TF Thunder
CT Uruzgan
CT Zabul
16th MPAD

Heavy Weights

The Morale Welfare and
Recreation gym on Kandahar
Afghanistan – affectionately
referred to as the prison gym
– is where the hardest of
hard bodies go to sculpt their

Big Dreams

Story and photos by Sgt. Matthew Diaz
Regional Command South Photojournalist

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - People a little discipline, then the Army popped its head out,” Evans
spend time in a gym for very different reasons. Some are reflected. “When I stopped playing football I lost the need to
looking to sculpt the perfect body, others may want to lose push myself to the next level, The Army gave me the venture
weight but a few devote time to their body to chase a dream. to be able to do that. I kept using each challenge to better

Spc. Kamarr J. Evans pushes his body to the limit six myself. Eventually I got to the point where I decided I want
days a week with the dream of playing college football again to get back in the gym.”
motivating him every step of the way.

Evans said he can pinpoint the exact moment his

Plenty of people have dreams and ambitions. What football dreams were reawakened.
makes Evans unique is that working toward his goal is
“The day that it happened, it was a company sports
paying off in unexpected ways. Evans was recently named day – we were playing football, I went out and afterward
the strongest man on Kandahar Airfield.
somebody came up to me and said, ‘wow you’re pretty good,

The Tacoma, Wash., native heard about the “1,000 you should think about playing semi-pro.’ I respectfully said,
Pound Club” promotion at the MWR gym, and decided to ‘no thank you’,” Evans said with a laugh. “But that kind of
give it a shot. To join the club, you must participate in three put a little birdie in my ear as to thinking maybe I still got
lifting events - bench press, dead lift and squat. The total it. So from that point forward I’ve been training tirelessly.
weight lifted for all three events must combine to a total Anybody who knows me, they know I’m in that gym.
more than 1,000 pounds. Currently serving as the Regional
Working in the gym showed its payoff through
Command South chief of staff’s driver, Evans spends most Evans’ recent showing at the 1,000-pound club. Evans
of his free time training in the
benched 315 pounds, dead
“You need to follow your dreams. If there is something lifted 555 pounds and

“The training I was you want bad enough you can attain it, you just have to squatted 605 pounds for a
doing was to get stronger
total of 1,475 pounds. His
put the work in.”
for an outside venture,” said
nearest competitor put up a
Evans. “Once my time in the
total of 1,250 pounds.
military is up I plan on going
back to school and using my
cements the fact that I’ve
last few years of eligibility to play some football.”
been putting in the work to be where I want to be,” remarked

The future health science major has an important Evans. “Do I really believe I’m the strongest man on KAF?
choice to make, which school to attend and play for. Evans I don’t know, there weren’t 1,000 people out there. But
has narrowed the list down to Texas schools after a lot of definitely out of the people who did compete, I came out top

Evans is by no means averse to hard choices. One
The end-state goal for Evans is one day playing in
hard choice led him to the military. As a young Central the NFL. But winning the competition hasn’t given him any
Washington University athlete on a half scholarship, he delusions of grandeur. He remains grounded.
had to find ways to support himself while maintaining his
“The pipe dream is to go to school, get my degree
school performance on and off the field. Three years into his and play professional football,” he said. “For a 28-year-old
education, push came to shove.
man to go back and play college football is rare, even more

“Going into my redshirt sophomore year, I ran into rare for him to compete at a really high level. If that’s in
some financial problems – paying for my school, room and my future I’m all for it, but I just want to go out there and
board – so I took out a few student loans and things were compete. If I’m the best guy out there I would love to play
going good for the first two years but I was falling a couple for any team that will have me.”
hundred dollars short each quarter,” Evans said. “I asked for
Evans said he owes his success to his character and
a little bit more scholarship money, got denied, and I had the Army helping develop that character.
a decision to make. Are you going to continue to fall into
“Trying to find motivation can be hard, especially in
debt or are your services needed elsewhere?” So 19-year- a combat zone,” he said. “I’m the type of person who tries to
old Evans decided to go elsewhere – it’s a decision I don’t take it on a day-to-day basis. Believe it or not, the couple of
necessarily regret, but it kind of changed my path.”
hours of free time you have, you can improve yourself. Why

Evans entered the workforce, working not take advantage of the opportunity I have to make myself
multiple jobs to get by.

“I was working a couple of jobs but
Evans has advice for anyone chasing a goal.
I was completely miserable. I was making
“You need to follow your dreams. If there is
good money (but) just miserable. Time came something you want bad enough you can attain it, you just
for a lifestyle change and I probably needed have to put the work in.”






TF ‘Packhorse’ supplies Kandahar Province,
one combat outpost at a time

10 and photos by Sgt. Breanne Pye
Task Force Raider Photojournalist

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – History has a way of
memorializing the image of the American Soldier as the brawny, sweatsoaked grunt, securing his bayonet and loading his rifle before fearlessly
charging into battle.

A private living off prepackaged meals in the jungles of Vietnam,
a formation of armored vehicles storming across the desert in Iraq and a
Special Forces team moving through the lush Arghandab River Valley in
Kandahar province, Afghanistan, radios mounted on their backs are all
brought to mind.

Each of these images has left lasting impressions in the minds
of generations of Americans. But behind the food rations, behind the
sharpened bayonets and loaded rifles, behind every vehicle and every
radio, is a combat support unit who has what may be the most challenging
and overlooked job in the Army - that of a logistical support battalion.

The Soldiers of 4th Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force
‘Packhorse’, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, came to
Kandahar province ready to do whatever it took to make sure the men
and women of 1st BCT, Task Force ‘Raider’, had everything they needed
to successfully execute their mission.

What TF Packhorse found, when they arrived to establish their
base camp at Forward Operating Base Walton in Kandahar City, was a
piece of land that was cramped, overflowing with sewage, and vulnerable
to attack due to insufficient security measures, said Lt. Col. Gregory S.
Applegate, commander, 4th BSB.

Despite the challenges the battalion was faced with, Applegate
said he envisioned a thriving support and supply hub for all the outlying
combat outposts and forward operating bases in Kandahar province.

“Thirty-two men and women from TF Packhorse came to FOB
Walton and got right to work,” said Applegate. “They worked tirelessly,
emptying septic tanks, improving security measures and expanding troop
facilities on FOB Walton, while completing their supply and support
missions for TF Raider.”

Applegate said he worked on gathering funds that would allow
the task force to bring in local contractors to help with expanding FOB
Walton in order to improve mission capability and allow for even more
supplies and services on site.

“We have essentially made FOB Walton an oasis for units
and patrols passing through,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Tatem,
4th BSB. “It is now a place that Soldiers can take a knee, rest, refuel,
resupply and relax before going back to their own outposts.”

But beyond being an oasis, TF Packhorse has molded FOB
Walton into a well-oiled machine, reliable, capable and able to support
each and every Soldier assigned or attached to Raider Brigade.

“All of the work done to expand and improve FOB Walton
was in order to make it a logistical jumping point for all the task forces
in Kandahar province,” said Tatem. “Our goal was to provide food,
medicine, fuel, ammunition and repairs for combat logistical patrols
passing through, as well as traveling throughout the province, to provide
those services to outlying combat outposts and forward operating bases.”

Ranging from as far south as Kandahar City, to as far north
as Shah Wali Kot, TF Packhorse has completed more than 320 combat
logistical patrols to deliver supplies and services throughout the province,
said Tatem.

In addition to the impressive number of combat logistical patrols
the task force has completed, Tatem said they have also sent professionals
trained in physical therapy, preventative medicine, behavioral health and
numerous other specialties out on more than 40 battlefield circulations
– or tours of combat outposts and forward operating bases - to treat
Soldiers and Afghans alike.

Combat logistical patrols and battlefield circulations are not
the only support provided by the Soldiers of TF Packhorse. Since they
arrived in country, the task force has also supported nearly 500 air
missions, which helped sustain operations everywhere from Kandahar
province to Herat in western Afghanistan, said Tatem.

Despite all the missions they have completed, TF Packhorse is
still working tirelessly to improve living conditions, security and troop
facilities on FOB Walton.

“We are working on adding additional guard towers and
enhancing security measures on FOB Walton,” said Sgt. Eric Cassity,
assistant mayor’s cell noncommissioned officer in charge, assigned to
Company B, 4th BSB. “In addition to that, we are constantly working on
projects to improve living conditions and boost morale.”

Cassity said those projects include construction of a new
morale, welfare and recreation pavilion, expansion of the post exchange
and the addition of several resident-run shops, which provide Soldiers
with products they would find back in the U.S.

“Despite working long hours for days on end, morale around
FOB Walton has remained impressively high,” said Cassity. “Soldiers
can see the progress they are making through their hard work and they
continue to stay motivated.”

From waking at dawn to refuel generators to spending long,
hot hours in the sun loading trucks with supplies, Packhorse Soldiers are
always ready to provide support and services to the next line of trucks
coming in, or supply the next logistical patrol rolling out.

Like the packhorses of old, which carried supplies to kings,
queens, knights and peasants alike, TF Packhorse has demonstrated
their strength by carrying the burden of supplying thousands of Soldiers
spread across hundreds of miles of battle space, for nearly 12 months.

With all they have accomplished, Packhorse Soldiers have
shown yet again, that they bring one of the most powerful and important
aspects to the fight; ‘strength through support.’

Spc. Melisha Mitchener, supply specialist assigned to Company A, 4th
Brigade Support Battalion, Task Force ‘Packhorse’, 1st Brigade Combat
Team, 4th Infantry Division, takes inventory of a field freezer May 16 at
Forward Operating Base Walton, in Kandahar City. Mitchener, a native
of Fleetwood, N.Y., inventories the food prior to its delivery to one of the
many outlying combat outposts supplied by FOB Walton. Mitchener is
part of TF Packhorse’s efforts to expand and improve security, services
and troop facilities on FOB Walton.

The sun is out on Kandahar Airfield, and many people are not prepared for the damaging effects that being
out in the sun for long hours can cause. Skin unprotected to sun exposure can lead to wrinkles, skin cancer, as well
as other health problems. Using personal protective equipment can help protect the skin from such risk. Use of the
“boonie” hat and sunglasses can all help cover exposed skin.
Many people do not use sunscreen as recommended. Some major points to remember are:
· Use sunscreens with a sun protection factor of 15 or more.
· Apply it 30 minutes before going outside so that it can be absorbed by the skin.
· Reapply every two to three hours, more if sweating.

· Major areas to protect include the back of your hands, neck, face and the tips of your ears.
· Everyone needs to wear sunscreen.

Make sure to keep an eye on your own body. If you notice a mole, or birthmark change in size, color,
appearance, or sensitivity stop by the aid station to let us take a look at it. The aid station also carries sunscreen lotion
for you to pick up if you run out. Do not forget that some kinds of medication can also make the skin more sensitive to
the light. Be aware of any side effects your medication may have. If you have any questions please feel free to stop by
the aid station, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions.


Buzkashi, which literally translated means “goat
grabbing” is the national sport of Afghanistan. Many
historians believe that Buzkashi began with the TurkicMongol people, and it is indigenously shared by the
people of northern Afghanistan. There are two main
types of Buzkashi, Tudabarai and Qarajai. Tudabarai is
relatively simple compared with Qarajai, even though they
share similar objectives.In Buzkashi, a headless carcass
is placed in the center of a circle and surrounded by the
players of two opposing teams. The object of the game
is to get control of the carcass and bring it to the scoring
area. Although it seems like a simple task, it is not. Only
the most masterful players, called chapandaz, ever even
get close to the carcass. The competition
is fierce, and the winner of a match
receives prizes that have been donated
by a sponsor. These prizes range from
money, to fine turbans and clothes.


Soldier In The Spotlight
Name: Sgt. Arthur A. Vargas
Unit: Co. D, 1-22 IN, 1BCT, 4th ID
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.

Sgt. Arthur A. Vargas led his squad and Afghan partners
through numerous orchards during a tremendously successful
clearance operation. The mission was successful because Vargas,
his squad and Afghan partners conducted searches of multiple
orchards and compounds in a manner that caused little to no damage
to Afghans’ homes or property. Vargas ensured his Afghan partners
received credit for and were thanked for their performance during
and after the mission in order to continue building their confidence
in conducting clearance and COIN operations. Vargas’ exceptional
interpersonal skills, calm demeanor and understanding of the local
culture has earned him the respect of his Afghan partners and the
locals within the areas he and his squad patrols daily.

I recently had the opportunity to visit some of our wounded
warriors and their families at both Brooke Army Medical Center
and Walter Reed Medical Center. These were Soldiers who didn’t
necessarily wear the 10th Mountain Division patch, but are certainly
part of our family in Regional Command South. I want to share a
couple of stories about our warriors.

Sgt. Jamie Jarboe and his wife Melissa is a story of love,
devotion and faith. Jamie was assigned to A Troop, 4th Squadron,
4th Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Riley Kan., working for Task Force
Spartan when he was shot in the neck on April 10, 2011. Jamie has a
tough recovery ahead of him, but his and Melissa’s strength and love
is incredible. Melissa told me that her faith is what continues to carry
her and God will get her and Jamie through this. She was absolutely
one of the most genuine, positive and loving people I have ever met
and the looks she and Jamie exchanged were priceless!

I had the pleasure of meeting Cpl. Griffin Fitzgerald, assigned
to 3rd BCT, 10th Mountain, when we presented his Purple Heart here
in KAF on Apr 12, 2011. Griffin had just recently lost his right leg in
an improvised explosive device event and it is rare to see them alert
and smiling with this serious of a wound. During this ceremony, he
mentioned he was 20 years old, that this was his second Purple Heart,
and that his wife was expecting their first child in July. His smile
during our meeting told me his recovery would be quick and I left
absolutely inspired.

I met Griffin and his family again on May 9, to include his
wife, father, mother and the unborn child who will be born to a man
he/she can proudly call Dad His attitude was even more upbeat than
our previous meeting as he looked forward to his future as a husband,
father and Soldier!

I am humbled to serve alongside Soldiers and families of
this caliber. Please continue to keep them and all our Soldiers in your
thoughts and prayers.
Climb to Glory!
Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Greca




Spc. Don W. Ellen

The Don Says ...sunscreen!


Military Marriage: Killers and Stressors
CH (Maj.) Herman B Cheatham
We are half way through the deployment.
Some are even more than half way through. We need
to start planning to reintegrate with our spouse. I was
reading an article from an organization called Focus on
the Family. The article’s title was “Military MarriageKillers and Stressors.” I would like to pull out a few
points from this article that may help some couples
during this time of deployment.
Stressor: Difficulty communicating. The task of
keeping in touch while deployed can be extremely daunting.
When you can’t communicate via computer or phone, write
letters to your spouse. The steady flow of mail alone is very
reassuring. Be sure to pray, asking God to let your spouse know
he or she is loved and cared about when you can’t communicate
the message personally.
Stressor: Long work hours. Fight Back: Service
members are often required to work late, train in the field during
odd/extended hours or take work home – all of which hinder
family time. When possible, build flexibility into your personal
plans. If your husband returns from work early, reschedule your
shopping trip in favor of time together. Or, take him with you.
If he’s pulling late-night duty and visitors are allowed, stop by
with his favorite snack or soda and a quick kiss.
Killer: Dishonesty. Fight Back: Being honest with
your spouse in the little matters makes honesty in major
matters easier. Telling “white lies” only builds a foundation of
dishonesty. Did you slightly overspend your monthly budget
or ding your husband’s truck while he’s away? Fess up; you
might find his reaction to be better than anticipated. Regardless,
you’re investing in your relationship by building trust.
Killer: Infidelity. Fight Back: Both spouses will be
tempted during time apart, be it with an emotional affair,
physical affair or pornography. Have a plan of action:
Memorize a temptation-fighting Bible verse, recruit a readily
available accountability partner and install filtering software
on your computer. Shy away from excessively sensual movies
and romance novels that will only tease you with what you
can’t have at the moment. Entertaining romantic thoughts is
extremely healthy for a marriage as long as those thoughts are
about your spouse.
Killer: Excessive emotional spending. Fight Back: It’s
easy to use spending as an emotional Band-Aid, especially
while your service member is away. Budgeting for a reasonably
priced “splurge” now and then will prevent you from blowing
your budget with impulse buys. If you’re planning to order
new checks, customize them with pictures of your spouse or
family as a reminder to keep their financial well-being in mind.
Emotional spending is the source of temporary warm and fuzzy
feelings, but money is one of the top causes of marital discord.
You could probably think of more stressors and killers
of marriages in the military. As you think about the ones that
may be affecting your relationship, do something about them
before they become too overwhelming. The Chaplain Corps is
here for you as well as many other concerned organizations.

Trade Training School graduates 22 students
Story and photos by 1st Lt. Matt Schroff
Provincial Reconstruction Team Uruzgan Public Affairs

URUZGAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Twentytwo students became the newest members of the Uruzgan
workforce following a graduation ceremony at the Provincial
Reconstruction Team’s Trade Training School here May 7.

“What’s going to happen next is they’ll go back to
their families, but we’ve introduced them to the contractors in
the local area,” said Capt. Ryan Orders, a PRT senior project
engineer. “This will give them an opportunity to establish
a connection with the construction industry. Those who are
interested, I’m confident will be able to secure jobs.”

They’re also literally handed the tools for success
upon receiving their diplomas,=. The students are given a
bag full of the most common tools they can expect to use
on the typical construction site, where they’ll continue to
learn. This serves multiple purposes; students continue their
trade education, local contractors have a supply of skilled
workers, and graduates can have a job opportunity.

“It gives the students an immediate opportunity for
employment, which is a major concern in the area for the
young people,” Orders said. “It also develops the basic trade
industry … the construction industry is very important in

Ismatullah Ismat, a recent graduate of the school,
said he came to improve his carpentry skills, but ended up
learning a lot more.

“I really like the carpentry,” Ismat said. “I’m going
to keep going with carpentry. I’ll do some work in town or
on the base and do some work with contractors in roofing or

Ismat was a carpenter before arriving at the school,
but had been out of work for a few months. He spoke with
some of the instructors at the school, and he decided to enroll
at their urging.

“Since (Royal Task Force 1 have been here), I have
known there is a school inside the base, teaching carpentry
and stuff like that. The instructors told me to come to the
school; they said if you’re doing nothing, you should learn
some skills,” he said.

In addition to teaching students trade skills, the
school also maintains contacts with many of the local
construction companies and contracting firms. Each time a
class graduates there are typically three or four contractors
who participate in the ceremony and stay to
talk with the graduates afterward. Mohammad
Akbar, who works with a local construction
company, said that the trade school is a good
source of workers.

“As an engineer for one of the
construction companies, I’d really like to get


some of these students to work with me. We have problems
on jobs because there is not skilled labor in town,” he said.
“We need guys for the roofing jobs, concrete, plumbing and
steel fixing.”

Akbar has worked with coalition forces before, and
he is no stranger to recruiting graduates from the school.

“A couple of months ago I had a contract from the
PRT, so I hired some of the students from previous courses,”
he said.

He said that the training school is a good thing in
regards to the trade industry in Uruzgan.

“As long as the people can come here and learn some
more they will be doing good things by working and making
money,” Akbar said.

The skills learned will likely carry students like Ismat
into a good job, and the trade school will be a fond memory.

“I really liked working here in the school,” Ismat
said. “I wish I could stay longer to learn more.”

A graduate of the Provincial Reconstruction Team’s Trade Training
School receives his graduation diplomas from Australian Lance Cpl.
Shawn James, TTS instructor, during a commencement ceremony here
May 7. A total of 22 students completed the three-month curriculum
in order to prepare them for trade and construction jobs in Uruzgan.
The graduation was attended by local construction contractors, who
participate in the ceremony and also discuss job opportunities with the


Soldier’s Board

10 Mile Combat Relay
July 17 at the Bazaar Lake
Five Soldier team event (within same

What does CBRN stand for?

Each leg runs two miles (3.2k)
Each team member will hand off a weapon
and 30-pound rucksack to the next leg
Awards given to the top five relay teams
Register at the Boardwalk Tuesday,
Thursday and Saturday 7p.m. to 9p.m.

Radiological, Nuclear

Point of contact is Sgt. Costas at gregory.

Developing a sustainable EOD Capability
By Canadian Capt. A.P. Poirier
Task Force Kandahar, Regional Command South

on their own.

One critical concern prior to the start of the validation
process was how to ensure open lines of communications
between the Canadian EOD teams, mostly French-Canadian,
and the ANA EOD team all of whom speak Dari. This divide
was resolved through the effective use of language assistants
as well as the working relationships and friendship developed
between the teams.

Currently in Regional Command South, the TFK
EOD Squadron is one of the only organizations actively
conducting mentorship and partnership with ANA EOD
teams and just recently validated the first ANA EOD team
in Afghanistan to conduct independent operations. The TFK
EOD Squadron will continue to apply this process to as
many other ANA teams prior to the end of Canada’s combat
mission and ensure that a seamless hand-over to other ISAF
partners is conducted so they too will continue to develop
the ANA EOD capability.

As improvised explosive devices remain the weapon
of choice for insurgents, a critical Afghan National Army
capability requirement recognized by all coalition forces in
Afghanistan is the need to develop and maintain a sustainable
Afghan-led Explosive Ordnance Disposal capability.

The growth of this capability will allow for the ANA
to maintain their freedom of movement and protect the
civilian populace from this threat. Although the growth of
this specialty has been slow, significant progress has recently
been made across the country with an extensive recruiting
campaign to find keen individuals who understand the risks
associated with this field.

Once recruited and placed into a unit these soldiers
must complete lengthy training to qualify as an EOD operator.
Once the qualified personnel return from training courses
they become part of an ANA EOD team and commence
further training and mentorship with CF in order to become
better prepared to conduct independent operations.

The Task Force Kandahar EOD Squadron, along
with other coalition partners, has transitioned its duties
from training to training and validation, which is primarily
conducted outside the wire. Aside from their typical duties
of disposing IEDs, the Canadian EOD teams are now also
heavily relied upon to mentor these ANA EOD teams
to ensure that their tactical and technical skills are to an
acceptable standard in one of the most dangerous parts of
the country.

The training ANA EOD teams conduct is challenging
and compares to the validation standards that Canadian EOD
operators are expected to achieve prior to their deployment.
With the ANA EOD teams being used to working in a training
environment for so long, it is necessary to prepare them for
live operations. The ANA have found this very challenging, Afghan National Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal team members,
however, they have also realized that it is necessary to gain under Canadian EOD team supervision, carry out counter-EOD training
real-time experience as they will be soon dealing with IEDs near Kandahar. (Courtesy photo)
Become a friend and check in often for the latest news, pictures and video from RC-South.
The Mountain View Magazine wants your input!
We are looking for cartoonists, columnists,
sports fanatics and many more to contribute.
If interested, contact the RC-South Public AfYOUTUBE
fairs Office at

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