Story by Capt. Jessica Donnelly
59th Aviation Troop Command
TF Marauder provided medevac, air transportation, over-watch support, and forward arming and refueling point operations for the Train, Advise, Assist Command – West to assist with ground missions in the region.
“We’ve been providing situational awareness and attack assets to the troops on ground,” said U.S. Army Capt. Lucien Lapierre Jr., TF Marauder, 1-151st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, Bravo Company commander and AH64 Apache pilot. “We provide them eyes in the sky to tell them where the enemy is so they can safely make movement on the ground.”
In addition to the attack helicopter assets providing protection to the ground troops, TF Marauder also utilized CH47 Chinooks to transport the troops to and from their missions in the area, as well as medevac assets to provide medical aid and transportation for any casualties. There were also UH60 Black Hawk helicopters on standby to act as a quick reaction force, if needed.
The success of the EAP relied heavily on team work, explained U.S. Army 1st Lt. Daniel Cruz, TF Marauder, 238th General Support Aviation Battalion, Bravo Company platoon leader and CH47 Chinook pilot.
“We have a really good team here,” said Cruz. “We do a lot of talking with each other, and the customer, and know that we have each other’s backs.”
Cruz added, there were many lessons learned during the EAP that TF Marauder can learn from for future missions to provide the best support to the ground forces.
“Things are always changing, but we’re also learning from it,” said Cruz. “We’re working better as a task force and provide a team effort.”
Task Force Marauder consists of Soldiers from South Carolina National Guard, Illinois National Guard, Iowa National Guard, as well as active duty component and provides aviation capabilities with AH64 Apaches, UH60 Black Hawks, CH47 Chinooks, and medevac assets in Afghanistan under the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade while deployed.