News: Unity of effort
Story by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan – During the course of operations in Afghanistan several countries, including Romania, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, and United States, have come together to lend a helping hand during a time of need.
Within the walls of Multinational Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan, there is a strong bond formed over 11 years with Americans and Australians who have worked together to disrupt insurgent operations in and around the Uruzgan province.
In January, Task Force Gunfighter, 1st Battalion, 2nd Aviation Regiment from Fort Carson, Colo., currently attached to the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, joined the mission in Tarin Kot and has continued the strong relationship with the 2nd Commando Regiment, Australian Special Operations Command to provide security and assistance during the transition to Afghan National Security Forces led operations.
“The Australians are great partners to work with,” said Capt. Travis Galloway, the fire support officer for 1-2 AVN, 25th CAB. “They are highly trained and very professional soldiers. We have conducted air assaults for various missions and have removed enemy assets from the battlefield.”
Since Task Force Gunfighter has worked with Task Force 66, 2nd Commando Regiment, the combined task force has completed approximately 25 missions a month, provided security for four to five patrol bases, conducted more than 50 special forces operations, and inserted more than 1,000 troops during air assault missions.
“Our partnership has enabled us to provide security extending from TK to Bagram Air Field,” said Capt. R, platoon commander, Task Force 66, 2nd Commando Regiment, who cannot be identified due to security reasons. “Gunfighter support was critical to enable us to execute deep strike missions and direct action particularly deep into enemy held territory.”
Not only have Americans and Australians formed a strong partnership on the battlefield, but they have also created strong personal relationships.
Personal relationships were built at events such as the recent ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day. ANZAC Day is a national remembrance day to honor the members of the ANZAC who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I and marks the first major military action for both forces during the war.
During the event, the soldiers shared in food and festivities to include an obstacle course the participants had to overcome using remote controlled helicopters.
“The Americans beat us badly with the helicopters,” said R. “The obstacle course helped them fine tune their piloting skills!”
After 11 years of successful joint operations, the Americans and Australian are sure to continue strong operational and personal bonds into the future.