Making a Tough Decision in Today’s Air Force
Central Michigan University
Dr. William Beale
September 22, 2013
I. Where the Incident Occurred.
During the winter of 2004 I was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Tactical Air Command and Control, Detachment 1,14th Air Support Operations Squadron. I was stationed at Forward Operating Base Lagman, in support of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team. I was part of a scout team that was being sent to investigate intelligence that the Taliban, including a high value target, was using certain supply routes located up in the mountains near the southeastern city of Qalat where we happened to be set up. A couple of days into the mission, one of the interpreters picked up some cell phone chatter indicating that the Taliban were observing the units every move. Needless to say this made everyone very uneasy and made the commanders even more uneasy. We were only a few days into our 6 month rotation and already we were picking up intelligence that the Taliban were talking about U.S. troop movements. Not only that but they were picking up my units troop movements. They could see us when we left the compound and they could see us when we came back in. They saw us when we left on motorcycles or if we were leaving in our trucks. They were doing to us what we should have already been doing to them. I was the most experienced operator in the unit. I had 5 Airmen working under me at the time. Two of the five had never deployed and the other three had minimal time down range doing the job. We were at a time in the Air Force where we needed people and we weren’t really that picky on who we sent or even if they were qualified for the job they signed up to do. My lieutenant along with myself decided upon a plan of action that was to take place over the next three to four days. The lieutenant decided he would take half the scout team and try to catch the Taliban at their own game. Five...