To accomplish our mission we had small teams of typically three people attached to and collocated with Army forces across Afghanistan. Additionally we established and maintained a network of automated sensors to collect weather data at locations where we didn’t have weather people. This story is about one of these three person teams who worked directly for me but were stationed at one of the remote operating bases used by Army forces to stage and conduct military operations. . Major Players and Background.
From the Air Force side we had our squadron commander, his deputy in charge of directing weather operations across Afghanistan, the squadron superintendent who advised the commander and assisted his deputy, our officer in charge, me as their non-commissioned officer in charge, and the three person team at the remote base. On the Army side was the leadership from one Of the 1 21st Airborne Division’s Brigade Combat Teams and the leadership from the Army aviation battalion collocated to support the Brigade in conducting operations.
They were in a part of Afghanistan where Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces were very active. Additionally the weather conditions in this region that had numerous mountains were often unfavorable for military operations and aircraft to fly. The automated weather sensors would break often and typically required a team to travel and repair it. Until repairs were made the team had less data to analyze and develop accurate forecasts to brief leaders of both the Brigade and Battalion on impacts to operations.
The impact from the loss of current data went beyond just that team and the Army forces in that area. Data from these sensors was used by all the weather teams to track weather conditions moving across Afghanistan and to predict the impact to operations in their local area once it reached them.