Twenty Years Ago Today

Here we see soldiers of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division approaching the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter that will return them to Kandahar Army Air Field. The Date is September 4, 2023…exactly 20 years ago as of this writing.  

The troops were on a mission in the Daychopan District, searching for illegal weapons caches and Taliban fighters.

10th Mountain soldier in Afghanistan
PFC Singleton, with 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, surveys the Afghan countryside. Photo credit: US Army

A Little About the 10th

For those of you who might not know, the 10th Mountain Division is a light infantry division in the United States Army, and it has been involved in many operations worldwide, including in Afghanistan. This division is particularly renowned for its training and capabilities in mountain warfare, making it well-suited for the rugged terrain of places like Afghanistan.

In September 2003, during Operation Enduring Freedom, the 10th Mountain Division (specifically elements of it) was deployed to Afghanistan to provide security, conduct operations against Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters, and assist in the reconstruction efforts of the country. This was not the division’s first deployment to Afghanistan, as they were among the first U.S. troops to arrive in the country after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

During their 2003 deployment, the 10th Mountain Division focused on various aspects:

  1. Combat Operations: The division carried out operations against insurgent hideouts and facilities, engaging in direct combat with enemy forces and working to disrupt their networks.
  2. Security: They helped to provide security in various parts of the country, often partnering with Afghan security forces or other coalition troops to guard important locations and transportation routes.
  3. Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance: The division assisted with reconstruction efforts, which included infrastructure development, like building roads and schools. They also provided humanitarian aid to local populations.
  4. Training Afghan Forces: As part of the broader U.S. and coalition strategy, units from the 10th Mountain Division worked with Afghan National Army and police units, providing them with training and mentoring to improve their combat effectiveness and professionalism.

In the complex and challenging environment of Afghanistan, the 10th Mountain Division faced both combat and non-combat challenges. They worked in close coordination with other U.S. military units, coalition partners, and Afghan forces to achieve their objectives.

10th Mountain Infantrymen Ambushed By Taliban At Close Range