'Battle Company' living up to its name
FORWARD OPERATING BASE LAGMAN, Afghanistan — Soldiers from 3rd Platoon, Company B, 2nd Battalion (Airborne), 503rd Infantry Regiment lived up to their “Battle Company” nickname Thursday, killing five Taliban and capturing 10 others during fighting at a compound about 15 miles west of the base.
Aviation forces supporting the fight killed another enemy fighter.
The soldiers and members of the Afghan National Police were sent on the afternoon mission to capture a Taliban member who was believed to be living in the area.
“The dude we were going after was a Taliban money guy; he was the bankroller,” said Capt. Mike Kloepper, company commander. He said the financier was not one of the 10 people captured.
The soldiers were dropped close to the compound by a CH-47 helicopter from the Nevada Army National Guard’s Company D, 113th Aviation Regiment and two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters from the Germany-based 3rd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment.
Almost immediately, the soldiers made contact with insurgents.
“A couple of people ran off,” explained Staff Sgt. Shayne Charlesworth, weapons squad leader, “but our aggressive actions were so fast they didn’t have a chance to get to their weapons.”
Soldiers detained seven men and collected a handful of weapons as other unit members cleared a nearby village that was believed to be a home to insurgents.
Nothing was found in the village, but soldiers back at the compound continued their search.
AH-64 Apache helicopters from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, covered the troops from overhead, scouting the area for the enemy and finding trenches and fortified caves.
“NowI’ve seen all aspects of combat,” said Charlesworth, “woods, cities, wide- open spaces, mountains and now trench warfare.”
Soldiers killed two armed fighters in the trench line. Four other insurgents were killed nearby. This was the platoon’s first fight since returning from Kandahar, where they spent a month as the quick-reaction force for southern Afghanistan.
“We’ve been dry for two months,” said 1st Lt. Josh Hyland about the fight. “The biggest thing, at face value, was the morale for the platoon.”
“Our speed and aggression was built up over the past month,” Charlesworth said about their time in Kandahar, where they retrained their basic combat skills and spent hours working out.
“To see their aggressiveness, actually fight and see the guys’ reactions, I was really impressed,” said Charlesworth.