Nearly twenty years and over 7,000 miles from IUP, Lt. Col. Wendy Graham Leland ’84 and Major Mark Martin ’85 met again at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, where they are stationed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Leland’s unit arrived at the end of June, 2002, and Martin arrived in mid-September.
Leland is deputy director of information warfare (IW) for Combined/Joint Task Force 180 (CJTF-180), ensuring that IW conducted by the command is synchronized with strategic guidance from Central Command (CENTCOM), the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She develops IW plans, ensuring integration with tactical combat, civil-military operations, and psychological operations of the subordinate elements of CJTF-180 in order to accomplish operational objectives.
Leland also provides for reach-back support from 1st Information Operations Command, U.S. Space Command, the Joint Information Operations Center, and other IW agencies, and coordinates with other major theater organizations including the International Security Assistance Force and the United Nations Assistance Mission–Afghanistan. Her unit is scheduled to return to the States in mid-December, and she hopes they will be home in time for Christmas with their families.
Martin is a police officer for the Upper Allen Township Police Department, near Mechanicsburg, and a civil affairs officer in the Army Reserves. After volunteering for active duty in January, 2002, he was sent to CENTCOM headquarters in Tampa, finally arriving in Afghanistan as liaison officer from CENTCOM J5 section to CJTF-180.
“Over 90 percent of civil affairs officers are in the Army reserve,” said Martin. “They’re very active over here trying to help the people and government of Afghanistan re-establish themselves into functioning, self-sufficient entities again after so many years of foreign occupation and civil unrest.”
Martin is due to go back to CENTCOM in mid-December, then report back to Fort Bragg and “demobilize” in January, returning to civilian life.