first published on November 15, 2015 by Will
A video filmed through Night Vision by C Company “March Or Die” 1-503rd Infantry of the 173rd Airborne Brigade during their 2007-08 deployment shows airstrikes, mortars, and artillery pounding Taliban positions after being attacked on Malikashay COP in Paktika province Afghanistan.
Although this video isn’t a thrilling edge-of-your-seat action-packed thrill ride, it does very accurately represent combat in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. Often times, complex attacks by dozens, if not hundreds, of Taliban forces hammer these small 15 to 30 man outposts in the dead of night. The combat units respond by dishing out small arms, heavy machine guns, automatic grenade launchers and mortar rounds until artillery units on nearby FOBs can get on target, and occasionally close air support shows up, but usually well after the enemy has broken contact and has safely crossed back into Pakistan.
The combination fires of the mortars and artillery remind me of doing coordinated illumination missions during my time in Afghanistan. We would fire illumination rounds from our mortars at the COP and have them burst a split second after or before the burst of the artillery rounds that were fired from back at the FOB. The grunts and can scouts on the firebase would look at us like we were wizards, but it was really just simple math, subtracting our time of flight from the artillery’s and having them let us know when they shot. Good times.