American Forces Press Service
July 23, 2009 - U.S. Forces Afghanistan's Facebook page logged its 20,000th fan today, passing the milestone a little more than two months after going public, making it the fastest-growing official military Facebook page, military officials here said. The fan page at http://www.facebook.com/usforcesafghanistan is one of the main tools used by the U.S. military in Afghanistan to disseminate news and imagery from its operations, and counter and pre-empt extremist propaganda, officials said.
In June, for example, command officials posted video on the page to quickly counter terrorist claims that U.S. troops had attacked civilians in the city of Asadabad. The video, captured by Combined Joint Task Force 82, exonerated U.S. troops and shifted blame for the attack to insurgents, who threw a grenade into a crowd gathered near a disabled American truck.
The command used the site in May to display a series of videos taken from the biggest drug interdiction operation of the war. More recently, officials shared videos of U.S. air strikes, illustrating the care forces take to ensure civilian safety when using close-air support.
As subscribers to the page, fans receive regular updates from the U.S. headquarters here. Roughly 2,000 people, including fans, visit the page daily. Fans also have full access to post their own comments, links, photos and videos.
To date, the page has fans from at least 18 countries, and is followed by major U.S. and Western media organizations and celebrities. The page's fan base has expanded rapidly, adding more than 250 followers per day, on average, since the launch. Nearly 250 news releases, 19 videos and hundreds of photos have been added to the site.
(From a U.S. Forces Afghanistan news release.)