Keeping peace and providing security for the military forces at Asadabad Fire Base, the soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment use a variety of methods to accomplish their mission. Force protection is part of combat operations. The 2nd Bn., 505th PIR had observation post missions, mounted patrols, quick reaction force duty and tower guard. They all play a part in combat operations.
The missions the Asadabad-based infantrymen pull varied depending on their rotation. The different platoons and teams rotate jobs. Tower guard duty places soldiers on point, directly looking out for the base for a couple of hours a night. The OPs are manned for approximately a week at a time by a team. They get resupplied through the week. Mounted patrols vary in length of time and dismounted patrols can be one to three days. They infiltrate teams into areas to do whatever mission that's needed done. Whether looking for activity or weapons. They exfiltrate them a couple of days later.
There are things that go bump in the night that may cause some of us to take pause. However, at a fire base, the folks that answer some of those bumps with loud thumps help everyone rest easier. In April 2003 the soldiers of the mortar platoon at Asadabad Fire Base were the ones that lend a 120-millimeter response to threats the base might face. Mortar Platoon, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Bragg, NC provided 360-degree base defense. To help provide that degree of coverage, the mortar platoon relied on soldiers sitting atop observation posts and forward observers to give them good data that ensures accurate and lethal strikes. The teamwork needed is practiced through training.
The platoon had fired over 360 rounds at Asadabad, both training and in fire support. The training helps the mortar platoon soldiers keep their skills sharp, but it also assists the forward observers. It's really great training for the forward observers. The more they do it, the more it increases their skill level making fire more effective.With the restructuring and stabilization of the new Afghan government, many of these refugees have begun to return to their homeland in search of their cultural roots. Kunar Province is just a few miles from the Pakistan border and an important center of returnee activity.
In October, 2004 1,100 paratroopers mostly from the 1st battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division were stationed is Firebase Asadabad as part of additional security forces insuring the legitimacy and safety of the Afghanistan's national elections. While it was important to first and foremost provide security for the people voting soldiers had to maintain adequate distances from polling places so as not seem as though they were to influence the outcome.
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