SUPPORTING THE FIGHT |
May 07, 2010
Name: CAPT Mark Martin
Posting date: 5/7/10
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Hometown: New Hope, MN
Milblog: 270 Days in Afghanistan
A little while ago, we went on a mission to mentor some of our Field Artillery guys during a fire support mission in an area that has seen some significant fighting in recent weeks. Their mission in the area is to provide indirect fire support to ANA and ISAF forces while they conduct counter insurgent operations (for my civilian friends, this means that they are the guys who fire the artillery shells high overhead to impact downrange to help support the fight).
There were plenty of opportunities to mentor at the sight, and we made some much needed suggestions about their security situation and the way they had the guns setup. I cannot (and will not) go into detail here about the particulars for security reasons, but part of our focus was to liaise with adjacent units in the area, and get the word out to both coalition forces and ANA units that this support was available to them while they are in contact with the enemy.
Some of the villages we went through to get to the camp were decidedly unfriendly. One younger guy (I like to categorize him as "Taliban-age") was giving us the business pretty good with sign language as we drove by, and spit at our vehicle in derisive contempt. I didn't feel like it was a good enough reason to stop, but I would be curious to see whether or not his attitude would have changed if I had stopped to have a short talk with him. I guess not everyone is a fan of the US Army.
At the end of our mission, it was nice to get back to our Combat Outpost with our guys in Samangan, earthquakes notwithstanding. All the locals there are quite friendly, and I had a chance to share pictures of my children with one older gentleman who owns the local eatery. We shared a cup of chai and talked about our families. All in all, a successful mission!