Head of the family: ‘Helldivers’ provide direction for Task Force Knighthawk
Written by 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon
Thursday, 17 June 2010 BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Deployed Soldiers can have a multitude of priorities at any given moment. Between juggling work demands, scheduling times to conduct physical training, keeping track of online and correspondence courses, balancing finances and maintaining communication with family and friends back home, Soldiers in Afghanistan have their work cut out for them.
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Pfc. Sidney Brady, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Knighthawk, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Falcon, from Savannah, Ga., base lines computers to get them back up and running, June 11 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (Photo by U.S. Army Warrant Officer Robert Renny, Task Force Knighthawk, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon)
Luckily for the Soldiers of Task Force Knighthawk, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Falcon,
The company is made up of Soldiers from many different backgrounds including communications, supply, operations, and support. The Soldiers of HHC, TF Knighthawk, ensure all the line companies have everything they need to successfully accomplish their missions.
“We do everything,” said U.S. Army Spc. Jacita Upshaw, a flight operations specialist in HHC, TF Knighthawk from Enterprise, Ala. “We issue radios, we give them weather and we are the voice of the battalion. Because we are the [operations office] everything goes through us. If you considered the task force as a human then HHC would be the heart that beats and pumps the blood to the rest of the companies.”
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly Fawley, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Knighthawk, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, TF Falcon, from Lanett, Ala., reviews flight hours for non-rated crew members, June 11, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (Photo by U.S. Army Warrant Officer Robert Renny, Task Force Knighthawk, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Task Force Falcon)In addition to providing material for the companies within TF Knighthawk, the company also operates the task force’s tactical operation center. The responsibilities of the TOC include knowing what is occurring on the battlefield, analyzing data and planning and coordinating missions.
“In an extremely dynamic and kinetic war, it is imperative to have real-time battle tracking and constant communication with all line companies as well as keeping the chain of command informed of all missions,” said U.S. Army Capt. Ryan Welch, company commander of HHC, TF Knighthawk, from Springfield, Va. “The TOC provides this vital role. It provides all aircraft with mission changes, meteorological information, and updated threats throughout our area of operations ensuring 100 percent mission accomplishment.”
The Soldiers of HHC, TF Knighthawk, not only support Soldiers with military matters, they also provide spiritual, safety and medical assistance. The chaplain supports Soldiers by providing spiritual support in the form of chapel services, Bible studies and by offering a willing shoulder or a friendly ear to Soldiers. The safety and standardization officers constantly review missions, tactics, techniques and procedures in order to ensure mission success and Soldier safety. The task force’s flight surgeons say they take pride in ensuring each Soldier’s medical needs are met.
“Task Force Knighthawk’s flight surgeons are among the best in the Army,” said Welch. “From minor ailments to significant injuries they ensure each Soldier receives the proper medical care enabling them to return to duty and become combat multipliers. They also rotate through the MEDEVAC Company providing expert medical care to injured Soldiers, Coalition forces, and Afghans that require medical evacuation.”
“The company provides dynamic support and guidance necessary for the line companies to be successful in combat, said U.S. Army Capt. Jeffrey Bess, the assistant operations officer for TF Knighthawk, from Cottage Grove, Minn.
“Being a Helldiver is like being the head of an extremely large family,” said Bess. “From managing personnel status to tracking aircraft employment across the battlefield, we keep the companies on the road to success. ‘Helldivers’ are strong, assertive leaders who are not afraid to step up and take the fight to the enemy at a moment’s notice. Perfection is our goal, excellence is our watchword, no mission is too great, and no task is too small.”