40 images Created 14 Jan 2011
This gallery features images of soldiers from 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne in Arghandab district of Kandahar province. Based out of Fort Campbell, KY, the 320-101st has been deployed historically worldwide to synchronize fire support and provide direct supporting fire to various Airborne brigades. But their mission in Afghanistan would be radically different: they were tasked with fighting as infantrymen in a counterinsurgency strategy that limited air support and overwhelming on the ground firepower. After the 320th assumed control from the 82nd Airborne in July 2010, they took the fight to a very experienced and disciplined enemy. In the first week, the 320th lost 4 men and suffered dozens of casualties. But after 6 months of fighting in an area known as the "Devil's Playground," the 320th now claims to own 75% of the battle space in Arghandab. They have also seen more and more locals returning to their homes, their fields, and their villages as fighting between US forces and the Taliban decreased. The true test of their success, however, will come in the spring when fighters return from Pakistan to wage war in the sweltering heat of Kandahar province against US soldiers. Come spring 2011, we will know if the Devil has been pounded to dust or if he has returned to shed yet more blood yet again in what is now America's longest war.