101st Airborne Motar Platoon in Afghanistan “Shortens their Deployment” with Support from OSD

Jesse and his infantry mortar platoon from the 101st Airborne are supposed to be in Afghanistan providing fire support for our forward operating bases. The original intent for artillery deployed forward is simple: a bad guy lobs a mortar round, our team hops into action as the rounds are impacting on our base, we’re returning accurate and devastating amounts of fire from the point where the mortars were fired from.

Jesse gave us a clear sight picture is his request, “I grew up in Michigan and attended College there as well. During College I became actively involved with Gaming. I enjoyed gaming so much during college because I was able to get away from stressors of college. Upon graduating college, I was commissioned as an Infantry Officer and was assigned to Fort Campbell, KY with the 101st Airborne Division. I recently deployed to Afghanistan as a Mortar Platoon Leader and Mayor Executive Officer.  I’m currently have XXXX Soldiers in my platoon and we run a hot mortar gun 24 hours a day. I’m reaching out to you for support, because I would like to do something for my Soldiers to help keep their minds of off the stressors of being away from home.”

Despite running a 24-hour watch of the mortar tubes, in the non-linear battlefield of Afghanistan, most indirect fire assets do not get used. Insurgents will happily fire mortar rounds from the middle of villages or around populated areas where they know that civilians traffic. Base commanders getting an angry earful from the local Mullah about how we fired back (never really making a big deal about the fact that we we’re being fired upon first) and killed livestock, destroyed buildings or even injured civilians is not an infrequent occurrence. The indirect fire platoons generally get tasked to do other duties on top of having to keep those guns ready in case the literal Mongol horde comes knocking at the gates.

To help pass the time, we rushed a Supply Drop overseas.

Needless to say, the support was appreciated. Jesse, wrote back, “On behalf of the platoon, I would like to thank you and your team for your generous gift of a Supply Drop.  Your Commitment to helping Deployed Soldiers is sincerely appreciated.  The guys didn’t know I was doing this for them, and when I brought them the package they were more than happy to see what it contained.  One of the guys even stated “deployment just got a lot shorter,” and other agreed with him.  They live in a tent and lack a source of entertainment, so you can imagine how happy they were.  Now with the supply drop you provided, they will have something to keep them engaged and their minds away from duty time.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you again, and thanks again for your generous support of Operation Supply Drop!”