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Operation Mountain Sweep

Beginning on 18 August 2002, Operation Mountain Sweep was the first for the 82nd Airborne Division since its arrival in Afghanistan. The troopers of the 82nd joined with Army Rangers and other coalition special operations forces to mount five combat air assault missions. Combat engineers, aviation assets and civil affairs detachments also took part in the operation.

Mountain Sweep continued Operation Mountain Lion in searching out al Qaeda and Taliban forces and information about the terrorist organizations. The troops discovered five separate weapons caches and two caches of Taliban documents. The operation took place mainly around the villages of Dormat and Narizah, south of the cities of Khowst and Gardez. The troopers found an anti-aircraft artillery gun, two 82mm mortars and ammunition, a recoilless rifle, rockets, rocket-propelled grenades, machines guns and thousands of small arms rounds. Coalition forces detained 10 persons during the operation.

The 229th, serving as the aviation arm for Task Force Shark, conducted 14 helicopter missions in support of the operation. More than 2,000 Coalition forces, consisting of seven infantry companies, combat engineers and elements of three aviation battalions, took part in the operation, completing Operation Mountain Sweep in the former al Qaeda and Taliban areas of Southeastern Afghanistan on August 26.

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