Support our mission
 
An Army sergeant prepares a howitzer to be picked up by a helicopter Tuesday from Forward Operating Base Asadabad in Afghanistan.
An Army sergeant prepares a howitzer to be picked up by a helicopter Tuesday from Forward Operating Base Asadabad in Afghanistan. (Steve Mraz / S&S)
An Army sergeant prepares a howitzer to be picked up by a helicopter Tuesday from Forward Operating Base Asadabad in Afghanistan.
An Army sergeant prepares a howitzer to be picked up by a helicopter Tuesday from Forward Operating Base Asadabad in Afghanistan. (Steve Mraz / S&S)
Army Sgt. Earl Ullom and Spc. Ben McKandles with Delta Battery, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza, Italy, get out of the way of a Chinook helicopter Tuesday after attaching the 105mm howitzer cannon to the bird.
Army Sgt. Earl Ullom and Spc. Ben McKandles with Delta Battery, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza, Italy, get out of the way of a Chinook helicopter Tuesday after attaching the 105mm howitzer cannon to the bird. (Steve Mraz / S&S)
The Chinook helicopter lifts off with the 105mm howitzer.
The Chinook helicopter lifts off with the 105mm howitzer. (Steve Mraz / S&S)

ASADABAD, Afghanistan — The Angel of Death floated through Afghan mountain valleys Tuesday morning — an imposing apparition to onlookers.

In this case, the angel was a howitzer that had “Angel of Death” painted on its barrel and was slung to the undercarriage of a Chinook helicopter.

Helicopters picked up several of the 4,289-pound howitzers effortlessly Tuesday at Forward Operating Base Asadabad. Mindful of security concerns, Army 1st Lt. Mike Breen was tight-lipped about the movement. Breen is 1st Platoon leader with Battery D, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza, Italy,

“We’re moving them somewhere,” was all the 25-year-old from Portsmouth, N.H., would offer.

The movement does not mean that FOB Asadabad is without howitzers, though, as several of the big guns still remain on the fortified Kunar province base.

In the mountainous Afghan environment known for its bad roads, airlifting cargo is the way to go.

“For movements, we’ll airlift them anywhere we go,” said Army Sgt. Earl Ullom, 24, of Fresno, Calif.

The hulky howitzer is capable of hitting targets several miles away. Ullom had nothing but praise for the weapon.

“It does its job,” he said. “I like it. It’s a good weapon.”

Likewise, Breen had nothing but praise for his platoon, which has been called to provide fire support for all four branches of the military.

“The platoon has done an absolutely outstanding job supporting a number of elements,” he said. “These guys are good. They’re just great.”

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up