Today we remember the life and legacy of US Air Force Senior Airman and Combat Air Controller Mark Forester. Forester was killed on September 29, 1010, while part of a combat patrol in Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan.  He was a member of the 21st Tactics Squadron. The enemy force that attacked his patrol was comprised of 30 armed insurgents.

Forester standing on a rock
Forester standing on a rock outcropping in Afghanistan. Photos courtesy of the US Air Force

Known in the field as JAG 28, Forester and his team were engrossed in a critical combat patrol when the enemy descended upon them. The battlefield roared with machine gun echoes and the thunderous blasts of rocket-propelled grenades. Faced with this overpowering firestorm, JAG 28 displayed unflinching valor, stepping out from the protective veil of his vehicle to signal their position to their aerial support.

Forester orchestrated a well-calculated smoke screen, cloaking their location from the marauding enemy forces, and subsequently led a pair of AH-64 Apache helicopters on strafing runs to neutralize the threat. However, the insurgents remained unyielding, inching dangerously close to their position, and inflicted severe wounds on three Special Forces operatives.

Understanding the grim situation, JAG 28 rose to the occasion once more, braving the enemy onslaught to relay their position for precision air strikes. Under his command, a series of relentless A-10 Thunderbolt strafing runs decimated the enemy forces. Not one to rest on his laurels, Forester dared to traverse the lethal battlefield, positioning himself at the frontline of his beleaguered team. From there, he conducted a symphony of destruction, coordinating two F-16 Fighting Falcons to drop 500-pound bombs on the entrenched enemy.

Through his fearless actions and sharp strategic acumen, JAG 28 facilitated the annihilation of 37 insurgents. For his supreme sacrifice and indomitable spirit in the face of overwhelming odds, he was posthumously honored with the prestigious Silver Star.

In the aftermath of this valiant deed, the call sign JAG 28 was respectfully retired, forever echoing the legacy of a true warrior.

Remembrance services and funeral rites were conducted with the utmost honor, and many of his comrades and leaders ended their tributes with a heartfelt “Roll Tide” – a testament to Forester’s unwavering love for Alabama, which matched his undying commitment to his duty.

Forester’s Helmet Camera Footage During A Firefight