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Topic: Task Force Thunder

Fort Campbell’s Task Force Thunder’s motto “Finish the fight”

 

159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Fort Campbell KY - 101st Airborne DivisionAfghanistan – “Finish the Fight!” This is the motto of the combative instructors from Task Force Thunder.

These simple, yet absolutely appropriate words of advice convey the mission of all U.S. Soldiers, and particularly, the mission of his enthusiastic trainees. Spc. Samuel Lam and Sgt. Jose Mercado, both with TF Thunder, are Level III Certified Basic Combatives Course Instructors.

Pfc. Chelsea Kasper conducts a clench drill against Staff Sgt. Marshall Cote during level one Combatives training. Clench drills are used to train Soldiers to close the gap between them and their opponent and limit mobility. (Courtesy Photo)

Pfc. Chelsea Kasper conducts a clench drill against Staff Sgt. Marshall Cote during level one Combatives training. Clench drills are used to train Soldiers to close the gap between them and their opponent and limit mobility. (Courtesy Photo)

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Deployed Fort Campbell soldiers celebrate holidays in Afghanistan

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation BrigadeKandahar Airfield, Afghanistan – Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 159th Combat Aviation Brigade participate in a Christmas Eve candlelight service on Mustang Ramp at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The 159th CAB has been deployed from Fort Campbell, KY, for nearly a year.

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 159th Combat Aviation Brigade participate in a Christmas Eve candlelight service on Mustang Ramp at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl, 159th CAB)

Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 159th Combat Aviation Brigade participate in a Christmas Eve candlelight service on Mustang Ramp at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl, 159th CAB)

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Vietnam vet still in the fight

 

Written by Jennifer Andersson
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan – A $5.00 bill dollars transformed Roy Brown’s boyhood dream into reality in 1971.

“My mother asked me how I knew I wanted to be a pilot if I’d never flown, so I went to the local airport, paid $5.00 and rode in a Piper 140 airplane for about 20 minutes,” Brown said. “Then I walked right into the Army recruiting office and said, ‘Send me to flight school.’”

The recruiter told then-19-year-old Brown about a program called “High School to Flight School.” Still in his first semester of college, he knew flight school was a good opportunity, so he took it. His mother had reservations about him going to war, but knew that flight school was something her son would never be afforded any other way.

Roy Brown, now a chief warrant officer 5, poses in front of his helicopter in the 1970s. Brown joined in the Army in 1971 as a Cobra pilot, and he has since been certified on 11 different aircraft models. Today, he is serving the C27J Spartan liasion officer for Task Force Thunder (159th Combat Aviation Brigade) in Afghanistan.

Roy Brown, now a chief warrant officer 5, poses in front of his helicopter in the 1970s. Brown joined in the Army in 1971 as a Cobra pilot, and he has since been certified on 11 different aircraft models. Today, he is serving the C27J Spartan liasion officer for Task Force Thunder (159th Combat Aviation Brigade) in Afghanistan.

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Afghan National Civil Order Police patrol Kandahar

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Kandahar, Afghanistan – Members of the 2nd Afghan National Civil Order Police SWAT team and the Task Force Thunder Kandahar Pathfinder Detachment conduct a patrol September 4th. Presence patrols give the units an opportunity to interact with the local population and build a rapport with the people, while it also gives the ANCOP an opportunity to practice some of their basic operational techniques.

The SWAT team is considered to be one of the most elite of the Afghan Security Forces. Its members receive special weapons and tactics training that allows them to plan and participate in more complex or specialized missions.

Members of the 2nd Afghan National Civil Order Police SWAT team and the Task Force Thunder Kandahar Pathfinder Detachment conduct a patrol September 4th. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

Members of the 2nd Afghan National Civil Order Police SWAT team and the Task Force Thunder Kandahar Pathfinder Detachment conduct a patrol September 4th. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

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HUMS allows helicopter repairers predictive maintenance

 

Written by Jennifer Andersson
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan – Despite increased operation requirements, the Army’s Class A aviation accidents – which are the most costly accidents in terms of money or people – have decreased dramatically this fiscal year.

“We’ve had only one Class A since we deployed six months ago,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Timothy Burke, the safety officer for Task Force Thunder, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade. “That is down from previous deployments. We had no Class A through C aviation accidents at all from November 2009 to February 2011.”

The numbers are down for Class A accidents, and that’s remarkable, he said, because Afghanistan’s environment is more stressful on the aircraft – given the types of missions Task Force Thunder flies, the terrain and the temperature.

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joel Sizelove, the production control officer in charge for Task Force Lift, checks the readouts from the integrated vehicle health management system on a UH-60M Black Hawk to determine, among other things, track vibrations in the rotors. IVHMS ultimately saves maintainers hours or even days of work and gets the aircraft and its crew back into the fight faster. (Photo by Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

Chief Warrant Officer 4 Joel Sizelove, the production control officer in charge for Task Force Lift, checks the readouts from the integrated vehicle health management system on a UH-60M Black Hawk to determine, among other things, track vibrations in the rotors. IVHMS ultimately saves maintainers hours or even days of work and gets the aircraft and its crew back into the fight faster. (Photo by Jennifer Andersson, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

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Task Force Thunder welcomes Alaskan assets

 

Written by Spc. Jennifer Andersson
Task Force Thunder Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan – The 100-degree heat of Afghanistan differed drastically from what the soldiers of Team Denali (1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment) left behind at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

They joined Task Force Thunder (159th Combat Aviation Brigade) at three forward operating bases to bolster aviation assets in southern Afghanistan, beginning in June.

While they are attached to Task Force Lift (7th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), Team Denali, composed of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and Companies B (The Sugar Bears) and D, is technically self-sustaining. «Read the rest of this article»

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‘King of Battle’ steps back from the gunline

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Forward Operating Base Wolverine, Afghanistan – The closest a combat aviation brigade normally gets to artillery is sling-loading a gun from point a to point b. Likewise, the closest artillerymen normally come to aviation is when they call for close air support on the battlefield.

Despite the lack of howitzers, the fire support teams within Task Force Thunder (159th Combat Aviation Brigade) carry an important part of the brigade’s mission in Regional Command South.

“We work in conjunction with the [intel section] for targeting and developing effects on the battlefield,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua DeWitt, the fire support officer for Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment). “We manage and control fixed wing, (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) and indirect fire assets to support the unit.”

Staff Sgt. Joshua DeWitt, the fire support officer for Task Force Wings, calls to establish a restricted operating zone as he verifies grid coordinates for support from a mortar team at Forward Operating Base Wolverine July 27th. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl)

Staff Sgt. Joshua DeWitt, the fire support officer for Task Force Wings, calls to establish a restricted operating zone as he verifies grid coordinates for support from a mortar team at Forward Operating Base Wolverine July 27th. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl)

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Pathfinders, Surrie District Police take the fight to the enemy at BP Osman

 

Written by Sgt. 1st Class Stephanie Carl
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Battle Position Osman, Zabul Province, Afghanistan – The melody of a flute drifts over on the wind from the room in the compound their Afghan National Police partners call home. All of the men wear the evidence of days of enduring the sandblasts of southern Afghanistan’s summer winds.

In fighting positions around the compound, a few other Pathfinders and Afghans maintain a security watch, keeping a close eye out for any suspicious movement that could be a threat to the position, the villagers nearby or, more importantly, Forward Operating Base Wolverine, the group’s home base that sits just a few miles away.

Spc. Ryan Grace, a Pathfinder with Company F, Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), pulls security at Battle Position Osman July 27th. IED emplacements and enemy attacks have significantly dropped in the area since the Pathfinders established the battle position nearly two months ago to increase security at Forward Operating Base Wolverine. (Photo by Sgt. Shanika Futrell)

Spc. Ryan Grace, a Pathfinder with Company F, Task Force Wings (4th Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment), pulls security at Battle Position Osman July 27th. IED emplacements and enemy attacks have significantly dropped in the area since the Pathfinders established the battle position nearly two months ago to increase security at Forward Operating Base Wolverine. (Photo by Sgt. Shanika Futrell)

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B/2-135 hooks up with Task Force Thunder

 

Written by Sgt. Shanika Futrell
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan – Hawaii’s Task Force Voyagers (Company B, 1st Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment), handed over its reins to Colorado and Nebraska’s Company B, 2nd Bn., 135th Avn. Rgt., after its relief-in-place here at the end of July.

When it is time for units to rotate out of theater, they conduct a relief-in-place with the incoming unit to ensure its soldiers have the necessary intelligence information and situational awareness to assume the mission seamlessly.

Though this transition may appear instantaneous because of the abrupt transfer-of-authority ceremony that finalizes the exchange, the process is not always easy. «Read the rest of this article»

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Afghan Medic completes Flight Training

 

Written by Sgt. Shanika Futrell
159th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

Fort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division159th Combat Aviation Brigade

Kandahar, Afghanistan – After approximately 30 days of technical training, Afghan Air Force flight medic Sgt. Gulap Ahmadzia received a certificate of completion, July 27th, from Company C, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, for his participation of the U.S. Army and Afghanistan air force medical evacuation partnership program here.

Ahmadzia flew as a flight medic aboard a UH-60A Blackhawk during 13 medevac missions involving Afghan National Army and local national casualties from June 22nd to July 13th.

Afghan Air Force flight medic Sgt. Gulap Ahmadzia receives a certificate of completion, July 27th, from Company C, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment company commander Maj. Michael Mendenhall, for completion of the U.S. Army and Afghanistan Air Force medical evacuation partnership program here. Ahmadzia is the first Afghan flight medic to join Task Force Thunder's medevac crews as they move patients off of the battlefield. (Photo by Sgt. Shanika Futrell)

Afghan Air Force flight medic Sgt. Gulap Ahmadzia receives a certificate of completion, July 27th, from Company C, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment company commander Maj. Michael Mendenhall, for completion of the U.S. Army and Afghanistan Air Force medical evacuation partnership program here. Ahmadzia is the first Afghan flight medic to join Task Force Thunder's medevac crews as they move patients off of the battlefield. (Photo by Sgt. Shanika Futrell)

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