Air Force

January 13, 2017

A Thunderbolt strikes in Kabul Afghanistan

Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota
Luke AFB, Ariz.

Capt. Cameron Taylor, 301th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge, begins his convoy training mission March 26, 2016, at Kabul, Afghanistan. Taylor became a convoy commander after completing his time being a passenger, driver and truck commander.

As the sun rises above the mountains in Afghanistan, North Atlantic Treaty Organization military personnel begin to stock their convoys with weapons and ammunition for the sole purpose of delivering equipment to Afghan government forces. 

After the troops load their fortified vehicles, they drive out from behind the guarded green zone gates toward dangerous territories to deliver their cargo.

A Luke thunderbolt deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, March 26 to October 13, 2016, to join these NATO supply missions.

Capt. Cameron Taylor, 310th Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge, assisted convoy supply missions as a convoy commander and managed the weapons and ammunition branch.

“I worked for the Combined Security Transition Command in Afghanistan,” Taylor said. “We provided assistance to the Afghans while meeting with their government’s upper echelon to determine their needs.”

To successfully supply the Afghans, convoy teams navigated many obstacles.

“No two missions were the same,” Taylor said. “There were always different people with different personalities going on these convoys. We would take different routes and sometimes our Blue Force Tracker navigation device would malfunction leaving us to use a map and compass.”

Navigating Kabul is dangerous, and surrounded by foreign people, Taylor had to constantly watch his surroundings.

 “The dangers of Kabul include vehicle, born improvised explosive devices, the Taliban and small arms fire,” Taylor said. “The biggest threat when stuck in traffic is the children who come forward to sell eggs, scarfs and other miscellaneous items. We were briefed on the possibility of the Taliban using children as bombs.”

In the deployed environment, teamwork was crucial to the success of the mission.

“The teamwork was rough at first,” Taylor said. “However after we started hanging out after each duty day, we started building a friendship. You make bonds in that type of environment and it creates something unique that is different than anything else. I met a lot of friends that I’ll never see again, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.” 

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid

New 56th Communications Squadron facility to open in 2020

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid Oscar Siqueiros, Army Corps of Engineers project manager discusses building plans for the new 56th Communication Squadron building, Jan. 14, 2019 at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz....

New Year’s Resolution: Read about the past for the future

It’s a common refrain today: People don’t read anymore. Gone, it seems, are the days of printed newspapers, as subscriptions have steadily declined and many daily publications have disappeared. It seems all but certain that we live in an era of headlines and newsfeed snippets that offer information designed for the passing glance at phone...

U.S. military says service members killed in Syria blast

Two U.S. service members, one Department of Defense civilian and one contractor supporting DOD were killed and three service members were injured while conducting a local engagement in Manbij, Syria, Jan. 16, 2019. The troops were killed in an explosion while conducting a routine patrol in Syria, the U.S. military said, an attack that came...