Rebuilding Bagram

They're heavily-armed, on patrol, and on guard. The 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army has begun its mission outside of Kabul at the Bagram air base -- the biggest and most important military airfield left behind by the Russians. Now, it's needed to save a nation. The army has two jobs, -secure this heavily-mined and booby-trapped base, and then turn it into the center of a huge, global relief effort.

"One, you have to secure it and two, you have to make the facilities ready for the humanitarian misson and that's what we're doing right now," said the division's Major Vic Harris.

And making the facilities ready is a huge task. Just a few days ago, a nearby bombed-out hangar was filled with tons of debris, including the remains of four Soviet Mig fighters. It's all been smashed to pieces and hauled out by 160 Afghans hired to help the military.

This small army contingent will soon have air force partners carrying in equipment and supplies to help the millions of people in need in the area. The young soldiers cannot be identified because of security concerns but they are allowed to talk about their unique mission.
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Perhaps the most unusual soldiers at Bagram are the ones who don't look like any American military you have ever seen. They are called civil affairs officers and their job is to try to get this work done with Afghans by becoming more like them. That includes growing a beard and donning traditional Afghan clothing.


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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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