COMBAT OUTPOST HERRERA, AFGHANISTAN
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Chosen Company, 3rd Bn. (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment, Task Force Gold Geronimo, has a majority of its troops on Combat Outpost Herrera patrolling the area of operations, and providing fire support for them is the task of 4th platoon from B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 377 Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, Task Force Spartan Steel.
“Out here our primary mission is to support the 509th,” said 1st Lt. Frank Worsham, a native of Dallas, and B Battery’s 4th Platoon leader.
Herrera is located in a heavily mountainous region north in Paktya province. During the winter months snow blankets the region.
“The difference between this COP and the others is this COP is higher in elevation,” Worsham said. “It stays colder longer, and because we are so high it affects the trajectories of the rounds a lot. We have to [consider] that a lot more than the other COPs.”
Worsham says that one advantage of the mountainous terrain is the natural cover it provides. “We can have our [forward observers] take cover as they call in for fires [munitions].”
“We are near the Pakistan border,” Worsham explains. “There are a lot of weapons smuggling coming in through this area, so we really have to watch out for that. We have to keep our eyes on the mountains. “
Worsham said being in an isolated and high-elevated COP has its advantages as well as disadvantages.
“There was a lot of trouble in the beginning getting our equipment out here,” Worsham said. “The snowy weather made it difficult to transport supplies.”
The 4th platoon has been at COP Herrera since December and according to Worsham, aircraft were only able to fly once a week throughout the winter, thanks to weather.
“Other than getting supplies out here, this COPs been perfect,” Worsham added. “I can’t complain at all.”
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Michael Hargis, a 4th Platoon section chief and Oklahoma City native, anticipates more activity as the climate grows warmer.
“We don’t really shoot [the 105mm howitzers] that often,” Hargis said. “Right now, we make sure our rounds are registered and calibrated. We make sure we have all our data right … We know exactly what the rounds are going to do. We have time to do maintenance and make sure everything is tight.”
||COMBAT OUTPOST HERRERA, AF
||INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US
||OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, US
||PANAMA CITY, FL, US
||VENTURA, CA, US
This work, TF Spartan Steel supports COP Herrera, by SFC Jason Epperson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.