CBS 11 anchor Keith Garvin and photojournalist Edgar Solis are traveling to Afghanistan to see the U.S. war effort firsthand. In February they will bring back a series of stories about our troops there. While they are traveling, Keith is writing this blog for CBSDFW.COM.
Another day of shooting video. Another day of dealing with indirect fire.
Edgar & I were on the flight line at Bagram Airfield this morning with two media escorts. We were there to get video of F-15’s & other aircraft taking off. Sometime after 11:00 the base alert sounded & everyone was ordered to take cover in one of the hundreds (if not thousands) of concrete bunkers around the base. Insurgents had fired a missile or other weapon. A second alert told us that whatever had been fired actually made impact inside or near the base perimeter. All flights & landings were halted. The base came to a relative halt until a security team was able to search the entire area to make sure no injuries or damage occurred.
This was only the second or third IDF (indirect fire) incident at Bagram in the 8 days we’ve been here. Insurgent activity decreases dramatically in the winter time because they don’t really like to fight in the cold. But the soldiers & airmen we wound up with inside the bunker were surprised at the timing of the attack. It was the middle of the day with clear, blue skies. Most of the indirect fire takes place at night. It was a bold & unexpected move by insurgents but to my knowledge no damage was done. We were able to resume our work after about 40 minutes.
The majority of the aircraft that took off & landed while we were on the flight line were off limits to record video of. They were either surveillance or special operations aircraft that the military doesn’t want the enemy to be familiar with. I did notice a special operations helicopter that I’m familiar with takeoff during the IDF alert, possibly to locate the insurgents who launched the attack.
We were able to shoot video of several other aircraft, including my favorite active fighter jet, the F-15E Strike Eagle. No offense, but this plane is more beautiful than some women I know. To be able to see & hear it launch with full afterburners on a combat mission is truly an awesome sight to behold. Pilots would call that the “sound of freedom.” It was a great way for Edgar & I to end one of our final days in Afghanistan. Looking forward to heading home!