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Topic: Joseph P. Khamvongsa

Operation Eagle Claw II: Visiting the Taliban at home

 

Written by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell
Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs

BastogneFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne DivisionKunar Province, Afghanistan – Whoop. Whoop. Whoop. The sounds of helicopters echoed through the Ganjgal Valley in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province the morning of December 10th.

Swarming, then hovering as expertly as hummingbirds, the CH-47 Chinooks and UH-60 Black Hawks dropped their cargo simultaneously on multiple ridges overlooking the Taliban stronghold only a few kilometers from the Pakistan border.

U.S. Army Spc. Joshua R. Wood, a mortar man from Pontotoc, MS, assigned to Bayonet Company, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force No Slack, uses his entrenching tool to fill sandbags for his fighting position on a mountainside overlooking the Ganjgal Valley in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province Dec. 10th. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell, Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

U.S. Army Spc. Joshua R. Wood, a mortar man from Pontotoc, MS, assigned to Bayonet Company, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force No Slack, uses his entrenching tool to fill sandbags for his fighting position on a mountainside overlooking the Ganjgal Valley in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province Dec. 10th. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell, Task Force Bastogne Public Affairs)

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Teamwork defends post from insurgency

 

Written by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division PatchKunar Province, Afghanistan – Combat Outpost Badel lacks many things, but enemy fire isn’t one of them.

The primitive hilltop base in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province overlooks broad valley floors, yet exists in the shadows of larger mountains and the hostility of insurgents who would tear it down.

U.S. Army 1st Lt. Rob L. Schenker of Long Island, NY, said the enemy attacks the outpost an average of seven times a week. Quiet days or evenings often erupt with automatic weapons fire and the explosive crash of mortar rounds.

“We find ways to fight the boredom,” he said. “The enemy helps us with that.”

Schenker, who commands 1st Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Battalion, Task Force No Slack, said the fights are common enough that nearby residents sometimes don’t even bother to take cover.

Brass shells fly as U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph P. Khamvongsa of Mililani, Hawaii, a forward observer with 1st Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force No Slack, returns fire against an Aug. 25th insurgent attack on Combat Outpost Badel. The enemy attacked at dusk with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades against the base in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Neither International Security Assistance Forces nor Afghan National Security Forces were injured during the assault. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

Brass shells fly as U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph P. Khamvongsa of Mililani, Hawaii, a forward observer with 1st Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, Task Force No Slack, returns fire against an Aug. 25th insurgent attack on Combat Outpost Badel. The enemy attacked at dusk with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades against the base in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Neither International Security Assistance Forces nor Afghan National Security Forces were injured during the assault. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gary A. Witte, 300th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

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