Thank you, Airmen

  • Published
  • By Army 1st Lt. Cason Shrode
  • 3rd Squadron, 61st Calvary, 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
Editor's note: The following is a commentary from an Army fires support officer who was stationed at Combat Outpost Keating, Afghanistan, roughly 10 miles from the Pakistan border. The morning of Oct. 3, 2009, erupted in gunfire for this lieutenant and his outpost. These are his remarks to the Airmen who supported the battle from battlefield Airmen and the crews of F-15E Strike Eagles from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and a B-1B Lancer.

I have tried to make this clear to everyone who has approached me about the attack Oct. 3; we survived that day and made it out of the attack alive because of the air support we received that day.

We were well outmanned and were pinned down at every position. I knew if we could get air support on station it would give us a chance to hit some locations and allow us to maneuver to better positions. We did not have a joint terminal attack controller on the ground during the attack, but I am joint-fires-observer qualified.

All of the pilots did a phenomenal job working with me to pull the information they needed in order to drop (bombs).

With everything that was going on, I can't say that I was giving them a lot of detailed information, but they were able to work with what I gave them to assist us in repelling the attack. I think by the end of the day we had dropped more than 40 rounds of ordnance.

I can tell you from being pinned down most of the day there is no better sound than a 2,000 pound bomb detonating from your position. It was music to my ears; not so much my nerves, but absolutely my ears.

We (the Soldiers at Combat Outpost Keating) owe the Air Force big from that day, and I now have a different level of comfort knowing what's overhead whenever I need to call on them.