• KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Spc. Rogelio Cruz-Loera, a Fontana, Calif. native, gives directions to a cargo aircraft during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop Sept. 24, 2013 from an observation point a few hundred meters from Forward Operating Base Tagab.  Cruz-Loera serves as the joint fires observer with 1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Joseph Robinson, Company Fire Support Officer)

    2-4 Secures Drop Zone for water resupply

    KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army Spc. Rogelio Cruz-Loera, a Fontana, Calif. native, gives directions to a cargo aircraft during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop Sept. 24, 2013 from an observation point a few hundred meters from Forward Operating...

  • KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army 1st Lt. Donald Johnson, an Oakland, Calif. native, looks onward at a cargo aircraft during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop Sept. 24, 2013, from an observation point a few hundred meters from Forward Operating Base Tagab.  Johnson serves as the Platoon Leader with 1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Joseph Robinson, Company Fire Support Officer)

    2-4 Secures Drop Zone for water resupply

    KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " U.S. Army 1st Lt. Donald Johnson, an Oakland, Calif. native, looks onward at a cargo aircraft during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop Sept. 24, 2013, from an observation point a few hundred meters from Forward Operating Base...

  • KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan "1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, stands together during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop Sept. 24, 2013, taken at an observation point a few hundred meters from Forward Operating Base Tagab. The Platoon is led by 1st Lt. Donald Johnson and Sgt. 1st Class Terry Gilbert. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Joseph Robinson, Company Fire Support Officer).

    2-4 Secures Drop Zone for water resupply

    KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan "1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, stands together during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop Sept. 24, 2013, taken at an observation point a few hundred...

  • KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " A Soldier with 1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, pulls security during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop on Sept. 24, 2013 at an observation point a few hundred meters from Forward Operating Base Tagab. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Joseph Robinson, Company Fire Support Officer)

    2-4 Secures Drop Zone for water resupply

    KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan " A Soldier with 1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, pulls security during a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop on Sept. 24, 2013 at an observation point a...

KAPISA PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Sept. 24, 2013) -- "Friendlies south of the smoke!" was the radio transmission sent from a forward observer to the nearby aircraft as 1st Platoon, Company A, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment Soldiers secured an observation post in support of a Low-Cost Low-Altitude drop of drinking water Sept. 24, 2013, at Forward Operating Base Tagab, Kapisa Province, Afghanistan.

The LCLA drop was in support of much-needed water at an Afghan Security Guard Observation Post a few hundred meters above FOB Tagab.

The climb to the OP took roughly an hour due to the drastic change in elevation. Although the OP is a few hundred meters from FOB Tagab, the vertical climb is nearly 1,000 feet. 1st Platoon traveled in a series of switch backs to reach their destination.

The climb up the difficult terrain turned the mission into an espirit de corps event.

"It was good for the platoon to get a chance to push through the climb as a team; I think it built some good camaraderie within the group," said Spc. Rogelio Cruz-Loera, a joint fires observer with 1st Platoon from Fontana, Calif. "Plus, the mission required me to talk to the aircraft which I'm always prepared to do."

Once the Soldiers reached the top, platoon leadership conducted a Key Leader Engagement with the ASG leadership who already occupied the OP. The platoon leadership learned more about the geographical area of Tagab district from the ASG.

"The mission to the OP was a great morale boost for the platoon as well as a chance to get a better understanding of the area of operations," said 1st Lt. Donald Johnson. "The soldiers were excited to get out and walk up the mountain, get a nice workout session early in the morning, and help the ASG acquire some much needed supplies."

Johnson,an infantry officer from Oakland, Calif., who earned his commission out of the University of California, Berkeley, has been serving as the platoon leader for 1st Platoon since the beginning of 2013.

A Caribou cargo aircraft conducted the drop. The joint fires observer on the ground informed the aircraft where the friendly units were in reference to the smoke. Furthermore, the aircraft received an ingress direction to allow the cargo to land on favorable terrain so recovering it would be smoother.

The travel from the OP back down to the FOB took roughly thirty minutes since the route was all downhill. The sense of accomplishing a task as well as accomplishing a physical workout was sensed throughout the platoon. Overall, the mission was a success.

Page last updated Sat October 26th, 2013 at 09:57