On September 12, 2010, I was with a CH-47 Chinook crew that executed an air insert mission with elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade and an ANA unit. This was the height of the Surge in the Afghan campaign, and the mission was part of a major effort around Logar Province to provide security in the lead up to the national elections, which took place about a week later.
I took these photos during that morning insert while with two of my favorite 168 pilots, Joe and Carmen. Joe was one of the most experienced aviator’s assigned to the det. He’d been an Apache pilot prior to switching to Chinooks, and was on his second consecutive tour in Afghanistan. He’d volunteered for his second one and was attached to the 168 from the Georgia National Guard. I only flew with Carmen a few times, but it was always a comfort knowing she was in the cockpit. Young, eager to learn and capable, she was a complete professional and always reassuring to fly with during those days I was embedded with TF Brawler.
I’d love to hear from anyone from the 173rd who was on this mission that day. I’ve often wondered what happened on the ground after we departed the LZ.