Lightning Soldiers continue mission following attack
January 27, 2011
Task Force Lightning Soldiers conducted a visit to the Wesh border crossing point to meet with Afghan contractors when their convoy was attacked by a suicide bomber Jan. 19.
Elements from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 525th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade based in Fort Bragg, N.C., travelled from Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak via convoy to the proposed site of an Afghan biometrics facility. Minutes after Soldiers dismounted their vehicles; a young Afghan male ran in their direction and detonated a bomb strapped to his body.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Milo, assigned to Personnel Security Detachment, HHC, 525th BSB, was providing security when he said an Afghan youth 14 to 16 years old set off a suicide vest.
He said he saw the boy run towards the group but blown himself up before he got too close to inflict more damage. The boy died as a result of his wounds in the attack.
After the blast Milo said the wounded were given immediate first aid, while others responded to the attack by providing security behind vehicles in the event of another attack. After the casualties were taken to the immigration center and treated they mounted their vehicles and went to Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak.
"I am just glad everyone is alright," said the infantryman who suffered minor shrapnel wounds to his legs and face following the explosion.
Milo, the Granite Bay, Calif., native said it was sad the enemy would use a youth to attack American forces.
He said Soldiers shouldn't be complacent anywhere [in Afghanistan]. "I see it as a sign that the [Afghan] people still need our help over here."
Capt. Vivian Chiu assigned to HHC, 525th BSB, as an information operations officer, said the mission that morning was to meet with Afghan contractors working at the proposed site for the new biometrics facility.
"We were waiting for the contractors, some of us were taking pictures, that is when the explosion went off," said Chiu.
Despite being attacked, Chiu said the incident will not affect the Task Force Lightning mission. "We will continue with the mission, no matter what, good or bad, we are here for a reason."
"Everything that we do is for the good of the Afghan people and we look forward to a better Afghanistan for them," said Chiu.
Six servicemembers were injured in the incident that morning. Three Soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were flown to Role 3, Multi-national Medical Unit on Kandahar Airfield for additional treatment for their injuries. None of the wounds suffered was life threatening and the Soldiers were back to work the next day.