News: Silent professionalism
Story by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Chief Warrant Officer 3 Joe Mosher, Tactical Operations Officer (TACOPS), 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, Task Force Hammerhead, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, will receive the 2012 Army Aviation Association of America Aircraft Survivability Equipment Award during the AAAA Aircraft Survivability Professional Forum in Huntsville, Ala., Nov. 6.
Mosher is being awarded for his dedication to the survivability of 82 aircraft and more than 500 aircrew members.
Aircraft Survivability Equipment is the equipment installed on the aircraft designed to increase the safety of the aircraft and flight crew from an attack so they can successfully complete the mission.
“CW3 Mosher is a quiet professional and an excellent officer and aviator,” said Maj. Mike Griffin, executive officer, 3-25 AVN, Task Force Hammerhead, 25th CAB. “He is a great asset to the Battalion. I could not think of a better person to win this award.”
Despite his achievement, Mosher views this accomplishment in a more humble perspective.
Mosher, originally from Antigo, Wis., felt honored that his leadership recognized his constant silent professionalism. “One of my duties as the TACOPS officer is to ensure all matters concerning ASE were handled and implemented in a timely manner. I also feel my past experience with enemy contact added to my nomination.”
During one of his prior deployments to Afghanistan, Mosher was conducting an external sling load resupply mission in a CH-47 Chinook. His aircraft sustained damage from a rocket-propelled grenade about a hundred meters from the drop off location. The RPG impacted the main fuel cell of the CH-47 and started a fire inside the aircraft. Mosher and his crew managed to maneuver the aircraft and land it very close to a friendly unit location.
“I had been in Afghanistan less than one month, but knew exactly where the friendly units were located in that valley,” recalled Mosher. “This knowledge and the superb support of my crew enabled me to fly very close to the friendly location.”
As the Chinook landed near the location, it rolled over and was engulfed in flames. A combination of the crew’s training and ASE equipment played a significant role in the aircraft being able to reach the safe location without the loss of any crew members.
“This experience greatly affected how I feel about ASE and has enabled me to learn, mentor and practice effective ASE employment,” Mosher said. “I feel my past enemy engagements have heightened my awareness to the importance of ASE. Dealing with ASE throughout my entire aviation career has have allowed me to share my knowledge with junior aviators and broaden their knowledge on tactics.”
The tactical techniques and equipment provided by ASE afford each aircrew the opportunity to survive an enemy engagement. Every aviator takes an active role in ASE through shared knowledge and maintenance of the equipment.
“ASE is not the responsibility of just one person,” said Mosher. “Without the contributions of everyone in the Battalion, I would not be able to successfully do my job. The real credit lies in the hands of every aviator that ensures their individual ASE is complete and operational. These individuals truly make the mission happen with success on a daily basis.”
In addition to tracking the ASE throughout TF Hammerhead, Mosher oversaw the installation of additional ASE equipment on the new CH-47F model Chinook. Some of the ASE equipment installed was Advanced Threat Countermeasures, Counter Missile Warning System, and Infrared Signature Suppression system. Mosher also taught pilots in his Battalion how to properly use the modifications during various flight conditions.
“During any deployment, ASE is a vital component to aircraft survivability,” Mosher said. “With all these systems working together as an ASE package, aviation assets have a greater probability of survival when engaged by the enemy. ASE truly offers the aircrew the protection required to continue to fight, and fight another day.”