On May 30, 2007, the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (Task Force PEGASUS) led by Task Force CORSAIR with elements of Task Force DESERT HAWK and Task Force TALON, air assaulted the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment 4th Brigade Combat Team (Task Force ONE FURY – The Theater Tactical Force) of the 82nd Airborne Division into Kajaki, a known Taliban stronghold within the Upper Sangin Valley in the northern Helmand Province of Afghanistan. OPERATION KULANG HELLION was the largest air assault since the onset of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM and became a defining moment against a determined enemy force. This coalition assault force composed of American, Canadian, British and Dutch forces demonstrated valorous combat action by seizing key objectives, destroying insurgent forces and restoring security while aiding the terrorized Afghan people within the Upper Sangin Valley.
The feats and heroism by the air assault force throughout the battle were not without loss. One CH-47 Chinook helicopter (call sign Flipper 75) was shot down while exiting the objective area after its troop insertion was complete. With the battle raging on for several hours, an anti-tank platoon and scout platoon from Task Force ONE FURY… and a small Special Forces Detachment (7th Special Forces Group/Task Force-71), without orders from higher, took the initiative and moved to and secured the crash site despite intense enemy resistance. The Green Berets, ONE FURY Troopers and Task Force PEGASUS AH-64 Longbow crews fearlessly fought through ambushes and hundreds of determined enemy, securing the downed aircraft and crew… BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT HEROES DO.
Photo: SOTF-71 Green Berets and UAE SF partner stack on house, Helmand, Afghanistan, May 2007. (Courtesy SOTF -71)