Need big guns? Unit in Afghanistan ready to deliver ’em
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.”