Keyword: operationanaconda

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  • Roche unveils AF hero memorial

    01/10/2004 10:02:44 AM PST · by Ragtime Cowgirl · 12 replies · 208+ views
    Air Force News ^ | Jan. 9, 2004 | Master Sgt. Scott Elliott
    Roche unveils AF hero memorial WASHINGTON -- Air Force Secretary Dr. James G. Roche unveiled a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery on Jan.8 to honor Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman who was killed March 4, 2002, while fighting against the Taliban during Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan. He was posthumously decorated with the nation's second-highest award for valor, the Air Force Cross. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jim Varhegyi) View Larger Download HiRes by Master Sgt. Scott ElliottAir Force Print News1/9/2004 - WASHINGTON -- The secretary of the Air Force unveiled a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery on Jan. 8 to honor...
  • Natick to Field New Combat Ration for Troops on the Move

    12/19/2003 7:33:49 AM PST · by Calpernia · 39 replies · 244+ views
    American Forces Press Service ^ | Dec. 19, 2003 | By Donna Miles
    --"Ration stripping," they call it when forward- deployed combat troops jettison all but the most essential items from their Meals, Ready to Eat so they don't have so much to carry as they set out on a mission. Troops in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan reported sacrificing all but a few carefully chosen food items from their MRE pouches to lighten their pockets and rucksacks. These reports alarmed food technologists at the U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center at Natick, Mass, who recognized that warfighters weren't simply tossing aside "luxury" items like flameless heaters and Tabasco sauce. Janice Rosado from the Defense...
  • Gunship crew earns MacKay trophy (Operation Annaconda Details)

    11/24/2003 5:57:45 PM PST · by Spruce · 28 replies · 565+ views
    Air Force Link ^ | Nov 24, 2003 | 1st Lt. Gabe Johnson
    Gunship crew earns MacKay trophy by 1st Lt. Gabe Johnson 16th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs 11/24/2003 - HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (AFPN) -- An AC-130H Spectre gunship crew from the 16th Special Operations Squadron here was awarded the Clarence MacKay Trophy recently for most meritorious flight of the year. The 14 airmen of “Grim 31” received the Air Force-level award for saving the lives of 82 U.S. soldiers and two HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and crews during a close-air support mission. The mission was over Afghanistan’s Shah-e-Kot Valley on March 2, 2002 -- the second day of Operation Anaconda. Enemy forces surrounded 10th Mountain...
  • Air Force, Army Leading Efforts To Improve Combat Capability

    04/11/2003 9:42:34 AM PDT · by Stand Watch Listen · 3 replies · 157+ views
    Aerotech News And Review | April 7, 2003
    The Air Force and Army Chiefs of Staff are leading a focused effort to examine air-ground operations in order to improve the two services' combat capability and make it more effective. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper, recognized the need to improve air-ground coordination and execution of close air support missions after reviewing after-action reports from Operation Anaconda conducted against Taliban and al Queda fighters in Afghanistan last year.Senior leaders from the two services have met four times in the past four months to refine the Army-Air Force...
  • Interview of SSgt Kevin Vance 25 March 2002 (Op Anaconda)

    01/28/2003 10:48:55 PM PST · by Henk · 4 replies · 245+ views
    patriotvocals ^ | March 25, 2002 | Kevin Vance
    [...] At around 0115z on 4 March 2002, I was told that a military member was on the ground in a hostile area in Afghanistan after falling out of a helicopter. My team was told that another team was attempting to go in and get him, but if they were not successful, my team would go in. We were waiting to find out if we would go in to try to get to our lost military member. My team was in a helicopter in route and our estimated time of arrival was 0150z. My team consisted of ten people plus...
  • War Stories: Anaconda

    08/05/2002 6:30:51 AM PDT · by robowombat · 1 replies · 740+ views
    Esquire ^ | August 2002 | John Sack
    Esquire August 2002 Pg. 116 War Stories: Anaconda It was supposed to be a basic hammer-and-anvil operation. Friendly Afghan forces would flush the Qaeda from their positions, and the 10th Mountain Division and 101st Airborne would ambush them, and maybe they'd kill or capture bin Laden along the way. But suddenly the Army found itself ambushed and in the middle of the bloodiest battle since Somalia. The inside story of Operation Anaconda. By John Sack 1. COMPANY C, March 2 to March 3 Imagine this. Imagine you’re a country doctor up in the Adirondacks, and your first patient today is...
  • Troops who fought in Afghanistan list benefits, troubles of weapons

    08/04/2002 11:27:23 AM PDT · by demlosers · 59 replies · 1,056+ views
    Pacific edition, Stars and Stripes ^ | Sunday, August 4, 2002 | Lisa Burgess
    Part one of two ARLINGTON, Va. — Army infantry troops deployed to Afghanistan are struggling to keep weapons clean and in good working order, with soldiers particularly concerned about the maintainability and reliability of the M-4 carbine and the squad automatic weapon, according to an Army report on lessons learned in Afghanistan. But soldiers also are more than pleased with the performance of other weapons, such as the M-240B machine gun, which won a 100 percent vote of confidence overall. And troops often described a love-hate relationship with the same weapon, such as the soldier who called his squad automatic...
  • Anaconda: A War Story

    08/02/2002 7:35:26 AM PDT · by robowombat · 10 replies · 395+ views
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | August 1, 2002 | Ann Scott Tyson
    Christian Science Monitor August 1, 2002 Pg. 1 Anaconda: A War Story US soldiers recount 18 hours in one of the fiercest firefights of the Afghan war By Ann Scott Tyson A pale blue dawn broke over the snow-covered Shah-e Kot peaks as Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Abbott and his battalion from the 10th Mountain Division rode packed in Chinook helicopters to the battle zone. Many of the US troops, fresh-faced young recruits who'd never before seen combat, were, as some put it, "pumped." For Sergeant Abbott, a 32-year-old father of four, former Army Ranger, and a veteran of conflicts...
  • Onward, Christian Soldiers

    03/31/2002 8:12:48 PM PST · by Pokey78 · 35 replies · 562+ views
    Opinion Journal ^ | 04/01/2002 | BRENDAN MINITER
    <p>American servicemen fight for their country--and most also answer to a higher Power.</p> <p>"We should be dead," one soldier told Maj. Mike Dugal as Operation Anaconda wound down last month. "Our equipment is riddled with bullets. I know someone is praying for me."</p>
  • Al Qaeda plotted new US attacks

    03/17/2002 7:12:32 PM PST · by Kermit · 13 replies · 210+ views
    The Christian Science Monitor ^ | 18 March 2002 | Ilene R. Prusher
    Al Qaeda plotted new US attacks Villagers say they heard Osama bin Laden's voice last month, and saw his No. 2, Ayman al Zawahiri, in caves. By Ilene R. Prusher | Staff Writer of The Christian Science Monitor SHAH-I-KOT, AFGHANISTAN – Key Al Qaeda officials, possibly including Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 to Osama bin Laden, were present in the fortified Shah-i-Kot caves of this region just before the recent US attacks. Local villagers, who spoke on the condition that their village not be identified, provided details on how they were recruited to blast a new network of caves for...
  • Monday Bloodiest Day for U.S. Forces

    03/05/2002 7:37:17 PM PST · by kattracks · 7 replies · 201+ views
    AP | 3/05/02
    SIRKANKEL, Afghanistan, Mar 05, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- As U.S. troops poured from the belly of a Chinook helicopter, a rocket-propelled grenade fired by the al-Qaida hit the craft and American forces scurried back aboard and took off. A head count showed someone was missing. For the Americans, their worst fears came true on Monday, the bloodiest day of the war for U.S. forces. The missing serviceman was captured and killed by al-Qaida. "We saw him on the Predator being dragged off by three al-Qaida men," said Maj. Gen. Frank L. Hagenbeck, referring to an unmanned reconnaissance ...
  • How Americans Fell Foul Of Al-Qaeda's Last Stand

    03/05/2002 6:17:21 PM PST · by blam · 16 replies · 195+ views
    The Times (UK) | 3-6-2002 | Daniel McGrory/Michael Evans
    March 06, 2002 How Americans fell foul of al-Qaeda's last stand by Daniel McGrory and Michael Evans How Operation Anaconda faltered against stiffer than expected resistance by well-supplied fighters IT WAS pitch dark on Saturday morning when B52 bombers started pounding the deep valleys around Gardez, signalling the start of Operation Anaconda, the American push to squeeze the life out of the last big stronghold of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. For the American military and their allies, the operation is proving to be the bloodiest yet of the War on Terror and there are indications that al-Qaeda had long ago laid ...
  • GOTTA SEE THIS -OP. END. FREEDOM 3/15-16/02 - Shahi Kot, Canada, US forces, Anaconda Success

    03/15/2002 12:28:45 PM PST · by Diogenesis · 58 replies · 820+ views
    DOD, Yahoo, AP, Reuters ^ | 3/15-16/02 | Pres. Bush and the valiant US and allied forces against the Axis of Evil
    GOTTA SEE THIS -- OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 3/15-16/02 <========================> REPORT FROM THEATRE 1 - AFGHANISTAN Shahi Kot Mountains, Canadian and US forces deliver justice to Al Qaeda. <===== Update from 3/15/02 DOD Briefing =====> Anaconda Is Success; Enemy Killed Unknown, Say Officials Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service brWASHINGTON, March 15, 2002 -- Senior DoD leaders today called Operation Anaconda a success, while noting the difficulty to fully ascertain enemy losses as the campaign continues to wind down. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and Marine Gen. Peter Pace, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Pentagon...
  • GIS RELIVE HELLISH MOUNTAIN FIREFIGHT

    03/07/2002 11:13:11 PM PST · by kattracks · 6 replies · 216+ views
    New York Post | 3/08/02 | Post Wire Services
    March 8, 2002 -- BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan - Seconds after stepping off a Chinook helicopter in an Operation Anaconda sweep, Sgt. Robert Healy knew things had gone badly wrong. "Two minutes after we got out, we started taking hits," he said. "There were RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] hits all over the place." Eighteen hours later, Healy, from the U.S. 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum near Watertown, N.Y., and the 80 other soldiers on the mission were rescued from their icy mountain combat zone by helicopter. By then, 27 men, including Healy, were wounded, mostly by shrapnel as ...
  • Fierce Mountain Battle Rages in Afghanistan

    03/05/2002 8:04:51 PM PST · by kattracks · 3 replies · 184+ views
    Reuters | 3/05/02 | Christine Hauser and Peter Millership
    GARDEZ, Afghanistan/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A fierce mountain battle raged on Tuesday with U.S.-led ground forces saying they killed hundreds of al Qaeda and Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, but Pentagon officials warned the mission was far from over as seven slain U.S. troops were taken home. Much of the U.S. ground force in Afghanistan was flown into Bagram Air Base north of Kabul for the offensive in snowy mountains near the town of Gardez. The offensive, which has involved about 1,000 U.S. troops, so far has claimed eight American lives and about seven allied Afghan soldiers. "On Tuesday we caught ...
  • DOMESTIC TERRORISM'S NEXT PHASE? ANACONDA GI'S WIFE MURDERED HERE AT HOME...

    03/07/2002 8:16:51 PM PST · by maturin · 90 replies · 723+ views
    Vanity
    The story is still sketchy, but it appears that early this morning in Cumberland County, here in North Carolina (Fort Bragg) the wife of a combat Army Special Forces GI fighting in Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan was viciously stabbed to death while her horrified daughters, aged 12 and 14 looked on and then tried unsuccessfully to stop the assailant. The murderer broke through a security protected rear door to the house and used a kitchen butcher knive to stab the soldier's wife to death. The Police, along with State Bureau of Investigation personnel, are saying little about the case, apart ...
  • Camera caught Navy SEAL being executed

    03/05/2002 9:18:41 PM PST · by Jewels1091 · 17 replies · 293+ views
    CNN ^ | March 5 | unknown
    <p>KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- As U.S., allied and Afghan forces Tuesday pounded al Qaeda and Taliban fighters hiding in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan's Paktia province, new facts emerged about how seven U.S. service members were killed in fighting one day earlier.</p>
  • An escalating, high-altitude showdown

    03/07/2002 9:56:30 PM PST · by JohnHuang2 · 6 replies · 177+ views
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | Friday, March 8, 2002 | By Lutfullah Mashal | Special to The Christian Science Monitor.
    SHAHI KOT, AFGHANISTAN - This is how the battle is playing out: Al Qaeda fighters, usually in pairs, jump out from cave entrances in the snow-covered mountain peaks and fire rocket-propelled grenades and antiaircraft missiles at US positions in the valley below. B-52s - 10 to 15 minutes later - pummel the cave dwellers, while a US special forces team heads higher into the mountains. Their faces camouflaged, and flanked by 50 Afghan soldiers, the US troops advance in three jeeps and two all-terrain motorbikes. As the seventh day of the largest offensive in the Afghan war began, the ...
  • America s shock troops writhe in the Afghan viper's nest

    03/09/2002 3:41:36 PM PST · by Pokey78 · 35 replies · 289+ views
    The Sunday Times (U.K.) ^ | 03/10/2002 | Mark Franchetti and Tony Allen-Mills
    SNOW was falling hard as the convoy set off after midnight. Mohammed Yasin and 600 of his Afghan compatriots huddled in the back of the Russian-made lorries, clutching AK-47 rifles with spare ammunition strapped to their chests. Ahead, small groups of American commandos led the way in light vehicles with orange sheets tied to their roofs as a signal to other coalition forces. The lights of Gardez dwindled in the valley as the first coil of Operation Anaconda wound slowly up a treacherous mountain track towards the Al-Qaeda positions. Hours passed as the convoy of 60 vehicles crept upwards with...
  • Afghans: Al-Qaida Trapped in Caves

    03/10/2002 1:59:25 AM PST · by kattracks · 2 replies · 138+ views
    AP | 3/10/02 | KATHY GANNON
    GARDEZ, Afghanistan, Mar 10, 2002 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- Running low on ammunition, hundreds of al-Qaida fighters are concentrated near two cave complexes in the eastern Afghan mountains but land mines are proving a major problem in routing them, Afghan fighters said Saturday. As Operation Anaconda entered its second week, U.S. troops and their Afghan allies scoured the icy mountains of eastern Afghanistan, pursuing a surrender-or-die policy against enemy forces in the biggest U.S.-led offensive of the Afghan war. Afghan fighters who returned Saturday from the front said about 400 al-Qaida fighters and their Taliban allies were holed...
  • British soldiers in bloody fight to clear caves

    03/09/2002 3:59:06 PM PST · by Pokey78 · 7 replies · 433+ views
    The Sunday Telegraph (U.K.) ^ | 03/10/2002 | David Wastell and Sean Rayment
    BRITISH special forces have joined the bloody battle to flush out and destroy hundreds of al-Qa'eda and Taliban fighters making a last stand in fortified mountain cave complexes in eastern Afghanistan.The Pentagon confirmed for the first time yesterday that British troops were part of the 3,000-strong Allied and Afghan forces engaged in the largest land battle of the war. nbsp; Battle ready: Royal Marines are waiting onboard HMS Ocean off the coast of Pakistan Special Air Service and Special Boat Service troops stationed in Afghanistan were called in after the death early last week of eight American soldiers in the...
  • Fierce Battle Produces Heroism On A Legendary Scale

    04/26/2002 12:30:35 AM PDT · by spectr17 · 15 replies · 768+ views
    ArmyTimes.com | April 18, 2002 | Sean D. Naylor
    ArmyTimes.com April 18, 2002 Fierce Battle Produces Heroism On A Legendary Scale By Sean D. Naylor, Times staff writer BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan - They call it the Battle of Roberts Ridge. The 15-hour firefight cost more American lives - seven - than any other engagement in the war against terrorism. It was named after the first American to die amidst the snowy, 10,000-foot mountains of eastern Afghanistan. But so many troops performed with such extraordinary courage during that long night and day that it could just as easily have been named after any one of at least a dozen...
  • Leave No Teacher Behind (or how to drag an Army Ranger's dead body around for political gain)

    03/13/2002 6:22:49 AM PST · by Registered · 63 replies · 846+ views
    badattitudes.com ^ | March '02 | Jerome Doolittle
    Leave No Teacher Behind by Jerome Doolittle Marc A. Anderson was buried March 11 in Bushnell National Cemetery in Tampa, aged thirty. Army Specialist Anderson, of the First Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was one of eight Americans killed in Operation Anaconda. Specialist Anderson had not set out to be a soldier. Back home in Alliance, Ohio, Anderson played football and was a champion shot putter. He was also in the National Honor Society. He began college in Case Western University, transferring to Florida State University after two years. There he continued to put the shot, and was named the...
  • Navy SEAL Fought To the Death

    03/22/2002 1:25:31 AM PST · by kattracks · 112 replies · 801+ views
    New York Daily News ^ | 3/22/02 | MAKI BECKER
    Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Roberts — shot dead and dragged off by Al Qaeda fighters March 4 — went down fighting.Thrown from his helicopter on the first night of Operation Anaconda, the Navy SEAL found himself alone and in enemy territory, according to two new accounts, including an e-mail circulating among military personnel.His survival instinct in high gear, Roberts — a married father of a toddler son — grabbed a machine gun from a felled commando nearby, CBS News reported last night.He opened fire with the machine gun and a pistol on the enemy fighters around him...
  • Dissecting the Anaconda (3 New Ways of War)

    03/22/2002 2:54:52 PM PST · by My Identity · 8 replies · 144+ views
    Tech Central Station ^ | Mar 21, 2002 | Melana Zyla Vickers
    DefenseLINK A common refrain from young GIs returning from Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan has been that this was their first time in combat. Yet they weren't the only first-timers in the field — at least three new ways of war have emerged over the course of the conflict as well. The three concepts arose out of both political need and technological possibility. They are: Precise air strikes backed by Special Forces on the ground. Special Operations Forces deep in enemy territory have been able to spot targets accurately and call in air strikes. Thanks to this spotting and to...
  • First Wave: Soldiers Story (Operation Anaconda Details)

    03/22/2002 10:32:28 AM PST · by My Identity · 15 replies · 259+ views
    ABC News ^ | Mar 22, 2002 | Andrew Morse, James Blue III, Marni Harriman
    First Wave: The Soldiers’ Story U.S. Soldiers Recount Details of Battle, Filling in Blanks of Operation Anaconda — Operation Anaconda began in the dead of the night on March 2 and for the next 16 days, U.S. infantrymen from the 101st Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division and the helicopter crews who ferried them into action engaged al Qaeda forces in the deadliest ground offensive of the war in Afghanistan. This is their story: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeff Simon, Chinook pilot: "In the days leading up to it, they really didn't give us a lot of information other than...
  • Mountain Division: Why the U.S. can't match the British at high altitudes.

    03/21/2002 11:59:34 AM PST · by My Identity · 60 replies · 651+ views
    The American Prospect ^ | Mar 21, 2002 | Jason Vest
    In a recent Slate "Today's Papers" column, Eric Umansky drew attention to a Wall Street Journal item reporting the impending arrival of 1700 British troops in Afghanistan at the U.S. military's request. Quite rightly, Umansky was most interested not in what was included in the dispatch, but what wasn't. "Given that the US presumably still has plenty of troops available," he wrote, "it would have been helpful if the paper had asked why the US requested the deployment." While I can't report the official American rationale -- the Pentagon doesn't seem to be in any hurry to return my calls...
  • Canadian snipers operate with cool but deadly efficiency in Afghan battle

    03/19/2002 5:43:11 AM PST · by gordgekko · 32 replies · 925+ views
    The National Post ^ | March 19, 2002 | Canadian Press
    BAGRAM, Afghanistan (CP) - Canada's snipers have ducked mortars and dodged bullets in eastern Afghanistan in the last two weeks. They were nearly shot to pieces by a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship - it stopped firing just in the nick of time.They are said to have the highest number of confirmed kills of any regular army unit in the battle, though they deny it. And three of them, along with three U.S. special forces soldiers, also rescued a company of the American 101st Airborne Division that was pinned down by enemy fire on the first day of Operation Anaconda -...
  • Allies strike enemy convoy

    03/18/2002 12:46:54 PM PST · by No Truce With Kings · 21 replies · 216+ views
    The Dallas Morning News ^ | 03/18/2002 | Associated Press (uncredited)
    Allies strike enemy convoy Sunday attack kills 16 03/18/2002 Associated Press WASHINGTON - U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers attacked a convoy of three vehicles believed to be trying to ferry al-Qaeda fighters out of the Shah-e-Kot Valley in eastern Afghanistana, two U.S. military officers said Monday. The attack on Sunday killed 16 enemy fighters and wounded one, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. One person was detained. There were no American casualties, the officials said. Later, a separate U.S.-led operation in that area resulted in the capturing of an unknown number of suspected al-Qaeda fighters, one officer...
  • Operation Anaconda Over, Enduring Freedom Continues

    03/18/2002 10:42:23 AM PST · by Tumbleweed_Connection · 2 replies · 174+ views
    CNSNews ^ | 3/18/02
    Operation Anaconda, a mission designed to root out Taliban and al Qaeda fighters from a 65-square mile area of eastern Afghanistan, ended with "very successful" results Monday after more than two weeks of sometimes heavy fighting, but Operation Enduring Freedom continues, senior defense officials said. A coalition force of about 500 troops, the majority of whom are Americans, continues to sweep caves and hideouts in the area, looking for enemy fighters, Air Force Brig. Gen. John Rosa, deputy director for current operations with the Joint Staff, told reporters. So far, coalition forces have cleared over 30 caves in the region,...
  • Troops prepare to fight for the first time

    03/14/2002 8:37:28 AM PST · by Prodigal Son · 21 replies · 292+ views
    Army Times ^ | March 13, 2002 | Paul Haven
    <p>Spc. Phillip Creighton of Kalispell, Mont., had cleaned his weapon and gone through his packing checklist three times.</p> <p>With little time left before his unit moves out to take up the fight in eastern Afghanistan, the 19-year-old said Tuesday he’s nervous but ready.</p>
  • GOTTA SEE THIS -- OP.ENDURING FREEDOM 3/13/02 Babulkhel, Strike Videos, Gardez, Operation Anaconda

    03/13/2002 1:52:44 PM PST · by Diogenesis · 40 replies · 1,153+ views
    DOD, AP, Reuters, Yahoo ^ | 3/13/02 | President Bush and the brave US military
    GOTTA SEE THIS -- OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM 3/13/02 lt;========================gt; REPORT FROM THEATRE 1 - AFGHANISTAN Strike Videos from Babulkhel ===== Update ===== Rumsfeld, Ivanov Discuss Nuclear Review, Terrorism WASHINGTON, March 13, 2002 -- U.S. and Russian defense leaders met reporters today and stressed progress the two countries have made in putting decades of mistrust behind them. Want More Information? DoD News Briefing ======================================== STRIKE VIDEOS Dug in al Qaeda positions (2.1 MB) Cave entrance (2.1 MB) Forces dug in on the side of a hill (2.6 MB) Al Qaeda positions in a valley (2.9 MB) quot;Today we have four videos...
  • The War s Bloodiest Battle

    03/11/2002 6:19:03 AM PST · by Stand Watch Listen · 2 replies · 175+ views
    Army Times | March 18, 2002 | By Sean D. Naylor
    On the ground: What#146;s gone right #151; and wrong #151; with Operation AnacondaBy Sean D. Naylor, Times staff writer SIRKANKEL, Afghanistan #151; quot;It didn#146;t turn out the way it was planned.quot; Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Nielsen#146;s observation, made as he rested in a dried-up streambed half way up a mountainside, was a study in understatement. It was March 4, two days after a U.S. task force launched a brigade-size air assault from Bagram Air Base, north of Kabul, into the Shah-e-Kot valley, about 100 miles south. The air assault was a crucial element of Operation Anaconda, the effort to root...