Friday, March 1, 2013

A Back Story

I am re-posting this from a few years ago as a back story for a soon-to-be published post that I am working on. Many of you know this story, some of you don't.

Capt Dennis Hargis, A-10 Pilot 


On October 14, 2007, HAWG 05, a flight of A-10s led by Captain Dennis Hargis, was returning from a mission in southern Afghanistan. He was alerted to an active troops in contact (TIC) situation nearby. Captain Hargis told the controller HAWG flight was available but low on gas. Despite possessing only 20 minutes of fuel and with no refueling tanker close by, but with troops in desperate need of help, Captain Hargis directed HAWG flight to engage the enemy. As the flight arrived at the scene, a 10-vehicle convoy from the Army’s 82d Airborne Division was taking withering fire from both sides of the road they were patrolling. The Soldiers were struggling with numerous severely wounded personnel. Pinned down and unable to move to a medevac helicopter four miles away, the Soldiers’ situation was grim. Though the Soldiers did not have a Joint Terminal Attack Controller to direct CAS responses, Captain Hargis was able to make contact with the convoy, and the ground commander eagerly granted permission for HAWG flight to engage the enemy at ranges dangerously close to the convoy’s position. Captain Hargis assumed full responsibility for target identification, collateral damage, and, most importantly, protection of the Soldiers. Captain Hargis and his wingman then aggressively engaged the enemy with their A-10s’ 30mm cannon, punishing the enemy with devastating effects and decisively turning the tide of the fight on the ground. Though several Soldiers sustained serious injuries from enemy action, they all are alive today thanks to Captain Hargis’ remarkable heroism.