Showing 1236 posts tagged US Army
Life and Death in the Korengal.
Baker Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in the Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, August 2009.
(Photos and article by Sergeant Matthew Moeller, 22 AUG 2009.)
KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — As bullets started to rain down on Baker Company’s position, a Soldier sighed, and said, annoyingly, “Well here we go.”
Over the next twenty minutes the service members fired everything from bullets to curse words at the invisible enemy attacking from the surrounding hills.
"Just once I’d like to come out here and not get shot at," said an exasperated U.S. Army Sgt. Graham Mullins, of Columbia, Mo., using a four-foot stone wall for cover. "Just once."
Near the end, two F-15 fighter jets pummeled the insurgent forces with 500-pound bombs, and an eerie silence fell across the battlefield. For the U.S. service members, it was just another morning in the notorious Korengal Valley.
Nicknamed “The Valley of Death,” the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Soldiers have called the isolated valley, in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, home, since arriving in June.
"This place is definitely its own monster; there are a lot of other dangerous places in Afghanistan, but I would say this place lives up to the hype," said U.S. Army Capt. Mark Moretti, Co. B. commander, and New Windsor, N.Y., native.
"It’s all just a waiting game," said a Co. B Soldier, during a ‘routine’ patrol. "We come out here, and wait for them to open fire on us."
Seeing some of the toughest fighting in Afghanistan on a daily basis, many Baker Co. Soldiers find humor in the idea that many of their fellow Soldiers are envious of their assignment, who often refer to the almost constant battle as the ‘infantryman’s dream.’
"I would tell them to seriously reconsider their thinking positions," U.S. Army Spc. Guadalupe Gardenias, a B Co. Soldier, said, laughing.
Living in conditions that rival the third-world villages they patrol, the tiny U.S outposts dotting the valley walls are in stark contrast to other American mega-bases in Afghanistan, such as Bagram Airfield, which offers everything from personal internet to American fast food restaurants.
Here, if a resupply helicopter gets cancelled, Soldiers miss not only letters from home, but risk having to ration their food.
At the Korengal Outpost, Soldiers use outhouses and hope to shower once a week to conserve water. At nearby Restrepo Outpost, Soldiers lack any running water, and eat field rations for every meal.
"The conditions out here are tough, and it’s a tough fight," said Moretti. "But given the chance, I don’t think anyone would want to leave."
Despite daily gun battles, poor hygiene and tortuous terrain, the men of Baker Co. seem content living their life in the “Valley of Death.” When asked if they would take an easier assignment, the answer was always the same. “Not unless everyone else came with me.”
To these Soldiers the debate back home about the war in Afghanistan means little. To them, it’s the brotherhood, born in combat, keeping these Soldiers motivated to stand shoulder to shoulder.
"Before I came into the Army a lot of people would talk about brothers in arms, and I thought it was kind of cheesy, but being out here, I can definitely say that it brings us a lot closer," said Gardanias. "Cause no matter what we say, or what we do, nobody besides us is going to know what we went through, and what it was like."
Ever Wonder Why U.S.Army Helicopters Have Native American Names (Mostly…)?
From Army Aviation Digest - March 1977 - Contest to Name the UH-60, Which Would Become the Blackhawk:
AR 70-28, dated 18 June 1976, specifies that Army aircraft should be given the names of American Indian tribes or chiefs or terms. The name should appeal to the imagination without sacrifice of dignity, and should suggest an aggressive spirit and confidence in the capabilities of the aircraft. The name also should suggest mobility, agility, flexibility, firepower and endurance.For brevity, it is suggested the name consist of only one word. The names given Army aircraft are primarily for use in public releases and other documents as a ready reference but have proven popular among Army personnel. In the past some Army aircraft, such as the 0-1 Bird Dog and OH-23 Ravenwere not given Indian names. In most cases, such aircraft were given their names before the present policy went into effect. These names have not been changed. The last aircraft introduced into the Army without an Indian name is the AH-1G HueyCobra. This aircraft, an outgrowth of the UH-1 Iroquois (Huey), was named by its maker before it was purchased by the Army. When the Army started buying the helicopter the name quickly was shortened by common usage to ” Cobra,” which is descriptive of its impressive fighting ability. The names of fixed and rotary wing Army aircraft are listed below.
Now you know… and knowing is half the battle.
via The Aviationist
OH-58 Kiowa thats all, they are Angels down range
[List is missing the newest sibling of the bunch: UH-72 Lakota.]
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Black and gold.
Crew chiefs of the 169th GSAB prepare a CH-47F Chinook before conducting the night portion of the sling load training with the 1569th Transportation Company.
(Photo by Sgt. Michael K. Selvage, 10th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs NCO, 30 JUN 2014.)
Antics arguing semantics.
U.S. Air Force airman from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron jump out of the back of a MH-47 Chinook helicopter at Wynnehaven Beach, Florida. The 23rd STS partnered with 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) to conduct personnel recovery training using alternate infiltration and exfiltration techniques.
The 160th SOAR, also known as “Night Stalkers,” is a special operations force of the U.S. Army that provides helicopter aviation support for general purpose and special operations forces. The 23rd STS performs austere airfield control, terminal attack control, personnel rescue and recovery, assault zone assessment, battlefield trauma care, direct action and special reconnaissance.
(U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Christopher Callaway, 9 APR 2013.)
U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 36th Combat Aviation Brigade train with the U.S. Navy to conduct a personnel recovery exercise. The 36th CAB is currently deployed to Kuwait and based out of Camp Buehring.
(U.S. Marine Corps motion media by Lance Cpl. Juanenrique Owings, 26th MEU Combat Camera, 10 JUN 2013.)
A US Army AH-64 Apache gunship provides close air support for Romanian Land Forces during a live fire exercise at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area as part of exercise Combined Resolve II.
The exercise is a U.S. Army Europe-directed multinational exercise; including more than 4,000 participants from 15 allied and partner countries. The intent of the exercise is to train and prepare an U.S.-led multinational brigade to interoperate with multiple partner nations and execute unified land operations against a complex threat while improving the combat readiness of all participants.
(U.S. Army photo by Visual Information Specialist Gertrud Zach, 27 JUN 2014 via DVIDS.)
Brothers in arms.
[1,2] A team of US Special Forces mounted in a MATV convoy with ANA Special Forces of 6th SOK mounted in a MASV through a mountain pass in Sarobi district, Kapisa province, Afghanistan. USSF and ANA forces drove to Tagab district, Kapisa province to capture known Taliban commanders in the area.
 A member of the US Special Forces provides security cover for the convoy while halted to address mechanical difficulties.
 6th SOK Commandos prepare to breach a compound in Tagab district.
[5,6] 6th SOK Commandos take cover after receiving hostile fire. ANASF and their US counterparts shelter behind the MASV while treating a casualty and requesting medevac.
[7,8] A team of Pedros respond to extract the wounded.
(US Army photos by Specialist Connor Mendez, 17 JUN 2014.)
Brothers fulfill the promise of one fallen.
(Article by Major George Chigi and Captain Kapualani Ampong-Duke. Photos courtesy of 3-1 AD Public Affairs Office, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, 7 JUN 2014.)
Soldiers dressed in full Army Dress Blues filled the front seats of Mountain View High School graduation ceremony on June 7, 2014; a unique sight, even for a city located just outside a military installation. As Lluvia Loeza’s name was called, the Soldiers rose to their feet and rendered a salute.
Lluvia’s brother, Staff Sgt. Roberto Loeza, Jr., was an Infantry Rifle Squad Leader and Headquarters Platoon Sergeant in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas. He deployed with the unit to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2011. Before leaving, he made a promise to his youngest sister, Lluvia, that he would be at her graduation to watch her walk the stage.
Roberto died of injuries sustained by indirect fire on May 25, 2012 while serving in Logar Province, Afghanistan.
Roberto’s brother, Esteban, wanted to surprise their sister. He sent out a message through Facebook to Roberto’s old unit asking for volunteers to stand in his place. The call was answered immediately.
Though the majority of the unit is deployed once again to Afghanistan, the Battalion’s rear detachment known as Task Force Stalwart West led by the Battalion Executive Officer, Maj. George Chigi, along with Maj. Christopher Penwarden and Sgt. 1st Class Bernie Brooks, organized a group of Soldiers to attend Lluvia’s graduation.
More than 30 Soldiers from 1-4 Infantry Battalion attended the graduation. Also in attendance were several Soldiers from the Fort Bliss area that knew Roberto well, including Penwarden and Sgt. 1st Class Jason Yeazel.
Lluvia was completely surprised by the Straight and Stalwart Battalion Soldiers who gathered in their Army Service Uniforms. Making the event even more special for her, Major Chigi received permission from the school district’s superintendent to present Lluvia with her high school diploma.
Staff Sgt. William Berry, a member of Charlie Company and a friend and comrade of Roberto, stated that, “Staff Sgt. Roberto Loeza, Jr. was a loving and caring father and family man. His Soldiers held him in very high regard and respected his leadership and presence.”
Lluvia was just as impressive as her older brother; her discipline and drive earned her the distinction of the 4th highest grade point average in her high school. Lluvia’s brother is sure to have been proud to know that Lluvia’s efforts earned her more than $100,000 in college scholarships.
The entire Loeza family was overwhelmed with emotion. They were happy to see so much support from the Straight and Stalwart Battalion for their son and Lluvia. The families of the other graduating students were awestruck by 1-41 Infantry Battalion as it rendered honors to Lluvia, the family, and Roberto.
“It was a very emotional and uplifting event for us and the family. All in all, we fulfilled a fallen Soldier’s promise and we did it with pride and honor and represented the 1-41 Infantry Battalion with nothing but the utmost respect and pleasure doing it for the family,” said Brooks, the Charlie Company First Sergeant.
As the 1-41 Infantry Battalion soldiers gathered to say goodbye to the Loeza family, Berry presented Lluvia with a Straight and Stalwart Battalion coin. These coins are traditionally only given by the Battalion Commander and Command Sergeant Major to Soldiers for extreme excellence in the performance of their duties. Lluvia was also presented with a Bulldog Brigade coin.
Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Blackhawk silhouette.
A UH-60 Black Hawk assists in airborne operations near Adazi Training Area. Approximately 600 paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade have been deployed to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia to conduct expanded land force training by demonstrating their commitment to NATO objectives of sustaining interoperability between allied forces.
(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Sara Marchus, 116 Public Affairs Detachment, 22 JUN 2014.)
Former Sky Soldier to receive Medal of Honor.
(American Forces Press Service, 23 JUN 2014. Source.)
President Barack Obama will award the Medal of Honor on July 21 to former Army Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts for conspicuous gallantry in Afghanistan, White House officials announced today.
Pitts will receive the Medal of Honor at the White House for his courageous actions while serving as a forward observer with 2nd Platoon, Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, during combat operations at Vehicle Patrol Base Kahler, near Wanat Village in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, on July 13, 2008.
He will be the ninth living recipient to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Pitts separated from the Army on Oct. 27, 2009, from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, where he works in business development for the computer software industry.
He enlisted in the Army in August 2003 as a fire support specialist, primarily responsible for the intelligence activities of the Army’s field artillery team. After completion of training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and follow-on parachutist training at the U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, Georgia, he was assigned to Camp Ederle, Vicenza, Italy, as a radio operator with the 4th Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment and 173rd Airborne Brigade, where he deployed to Afghanistan.
His final assignment was with the 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment “The Rock,” 173rd Airborne Brigade, as a forward observer, which included a second combat tour to Afghanistan.
His personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal with “V” device for valor, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal with bronze clasp and two loops, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two campaign stars, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 4, the NATO Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Valorous Unit Award, the Combat Action Badge, the Pathfinder Badge and the Parachutist Badge.
Pitts will be joined by his family at the White House ceremony, officials said.
[Full list of the nine US Army personnel who lost their lives in the Battle of Wanat can be found here. -R]