FORWARD OPERATING BASE WOLVERINE, Afghanistan – Sgt. Kagan Dejarnatt, a cavalry scout team leader with Charlie “Crazy” Company, 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Viper, peered down into a hole he suspected hid a weapons cache. Trusting his Afghan National Army counterparts to secure the area while on a joint patrol in the Zabul province, Dejarnatt probed further to gauge the size of the cave.
“There was no real evidence that anyone had been at the sites [where we patrolled] for awhile,” said Dejarnatt, a Melissa, Texas, native, indicating the relative stability of the area.
The Feb. 23 patrol was part of Charlie Company’s larger mission to participate in partnered clearing missions with the ANA and train their partners in sling load operations.
Charlie Company is the ground force for Task Force Viper, an aviation task force. Together with the ANA they execute search missions on the ground, to find and eliminate the threat.
Dejarnatt said he enjoys the working relationship the company has developed with the ANA.
“The first mission we did, we brought six [Afghan soldiers] with us,” he said. “The moment we started finding things, the ANA immediately cordoned off the area and established a security perimeter so that myself and the explosive ordnance disposal team could perform further analysis.”
It helps that Charlie Company’s relationship with the ANA extends to the Pathfinder Academy, which they administer from FOB Wolverine. The course emphasizes sling load operations, but includes instruction in small unit tactics, tactical site exploitation, combat medical skills, air assault and pathfinder operations, said Capt. James Boston, the company commander.
Proficiency in all these skills applies directly to their partnered missions.
Working with the ANA has been a matter of mutual respect, said Dejarnatt, and he’s pleased with the direction of the relationship as they prepare for future partnered missions.
“I’m thoroughly impressed with their tactical knowledge,” said Dejarnatt. “Here, in these situations, I depend on them just as much as I do my [Charlie Company] battle buddies.”