Logar and FOB Shank ended up being our home for the majority of our deployment. Located in Eastern Afghanistan, with part of the province bordering Pakistan it was a known route for weapons and fighters to move from Pakistan to Kabul and the rest of the country. The name Logar means “Great Mountain,” and the province was home to some of the fiercest fighting with the Soviets during their war.
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We became quite comfortable there, but would travel quite often to run operations with other teams at their locations. When we were there FOB Shank was quite small, with an Afghan Army base just across the road from us, and a smaller COP just a few miles down the road. A friend is stationed there as I write this, and tells me that it’s grown severely in size, and I would love to get back to see it.
Reading “Love Me When I’m Gone” you learn that our Special Forces Operational Detachment – Alpha (SFODA) was the first Special Operations unit to arrive on this then tiny base. But FOB Shank quickly grew in size.
I’ve had many friends – both other Green Berets and conventional Army soldiers alike – who have been stationed on FOB Shank in Logar province since my time there. What was a large but “ghost town” – like FOB during our time quickly became a huge installation, complete with runways and daily supply missions.
As with much of Afghanistan, the hottest and coldest (in terms of combat) provinces would change with the seasons and years. While the Tagab Valley had the heaviest action (especially in terms of Special Operations) during my deployment, Logar became the hub of combat shortly after.
ODA 022 was back in Logar within six months; on the deployment following “Love Me When I’m Gone,” the Green Beret’s had a team of Romanian Special Operations with them, and took them out to regular engagements and battles.
One of these battles lasted over 48 hours, and was chronicled in the Army Times article “48 hours in hell.” During this battle several Romanian Special Operations soldiers lost their lives, and one of the Green Beret’s from ODA 022 was awarded with the Bronze Star with V-device (for valor) for his actions during the firefight.
I was already in Iraq with 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (airborne) when this battle happened, but the guys sent me messages letting me know what happened. They were proud that their medical knowledge had allowed them to save several of the Romanian Special Operations soldiers, and for that I felt proud to know that all the training we had gone over stuck and did some good.