HomeNewsArticle Display

Army commends JTACs for exceptional mission support in Afghanistan

Staff Sgt. Stephen Mynatt, a joint terminal attack controller deployed with the 817th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, supports joint operations at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Stephen Mynatt, a joint terminal attack controller deployed with the 817th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, supports joint operations at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (Courtesy photo)

455th Air Expeditionary Public Affairs BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- Two joint terminal attack controllers assigned to the 817th Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron were commended by the Army for their achievements in support of joint military operations in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Stephen Mynatt from the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Carson, Colorado, and a senior airman from the 19th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, each received an Army Commendation Medal during their deployment to Bagram and additional regional locations.

“Radios are our weapons,” said Lt. Col. Michael Kump, 817th EASOS commander. “A JTAC's ability to assess the situation, advise the ground commander, and call in deterrence or firepower is what makes them a force multiplier.”

Mynatt and his fellow JTAC provided crisis response air control and support for Operation Faryab Response. They established an immediate and trusting working relationship with Army Col. Adrian T. Bogart III, the Train, Advise and Assist Command - North deputy commander, leading the response in an ambiguous and highly complex operation against a determined adversary. According to their award citations, they directly contributed to preventing the Province of Faryab, Afghanistan from falling under the control of the Taliban.

From Aug. 20-28, Mynatt and his teammate translated commander's guidance to orchestrate and control fifteen F-16 Fighting Falcon sorties; nine B-1 Lancer bomber sorties; 30 lines of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; nine employments of AH-64 air weapons teams; twelve shows of force; eleven shows of presence and ten kinetic strikes.

As a result of these actions and in conjunction with other Afghan and U.S. forces, the JTACs inflicted extensive battle damage to the Taliban, including the destruction of captured Afghan Army equipment, which would have been a significant tactical advantage to the Taliban in Faryab Province had it fallen under their control.

“It was a team effort with everyone involved, and I wouldn't have been successful without the dedication of the Resolute Support Tactical Command Post staff,” Mynatt said. “Even with limited resources, I was able to make the best out of just having a map, compass and radio.”

Mynatt and his teammate immediately integrated with the TAAC-N and RS TAC staffs, advised them on airpower integration and were instrumental in refining their staff processes to offensively target an extremely dynamic threat, Kump said. They performed above their scope of responsibility, filling the role of the air liaison officer by connecting various authorities and appropriately applying assets to facilitate an Afghan retrograde, while neutralizing threats across an entire Afghan Province.

“Being able to integrate with an expeditionary Army staff and help them work through tactical and strategic problem sets was a unique experience for us,” the senior airman JTAC from Fort Campbell said. “We were able to advise both the Army and Afghan forces on how to efficiently bring airpower into the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces scheme of maneuver during a critical mission.”

The JTACs’ actions resulted in exceptionally high battle damage to the enemy without civilian casualties, Bogart said. He called their performance “exceptional, heroic and valorous, and well above the call to duty,” and said their “character, stamina and devotion were unmatched.”

Over the first three days at the onset of the Battle for Faryab, the JTACs managed multiple round-the-clock and sorties simultaneously, and they quickly and accurately provided decision-making criteria to the ground force commander, he added.

“I am extremely proud of these two Airmen and how well they represented the squadron and the Air Force on this no-notice mission,” Kump said. “Their skill and attention to detail turned the tide of the battle in this highly-contested province, enabled the ANDSF to regroup, and forced the Taliban to withdraw from key terrain.”

The 817th EASOS provides close air support command and control, terminal attack control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance expertise, and weather forecasting and warning capability to rotary-wing task forces, manned/unmanned intelligence platforms, and maneuver units, as well as command headquarters across the combined joint operations area. Their operations fall under NATO’s Resolute Support mission. The squadron, a direct-report unit to 9th Air Expeditionary Task Force – Afghanistan, is a tenant unit of the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing.

“The men and women of the 817th (EASOS) rely heavily on the excellent day-to-day support we receive from the 455th,” Kump said.

The 455th is the primary Air Force entity in theater that provides finance, legal, historian, chaplain and many other support functions to the 817th EASOS and other tenant units at Bagram Airfield.

The 817th (EASOS) operationally integrates with the 455th by directing the wing’s A-10s, F-16s and MQ-9s to support ground units and assist with airspace management for the aircraft. The squadron’s JTACs and tactical air control parties oversee and control wing aircraft during air-to-ground missions, while intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance liaison officers assist ground forces in establishing collection plans and requirements.

“I have the privilege of commanding one of the most unique units in Afghanistan,” said Kump. “We provide many capabilities to the operations in this country and have some extraordinary Airmen executing missions and Army support across the entire country.”

Engage

Twitter
Know what resources, treatments & therapies are available for invisible wounds. https://t.co/H2A7fYb8s3
Twitter
“The Total Force team at Eielson plays a pivotal role that extends throughout Alaska and projects into the Arctic.”… https://t.co/7nSYEtYWHj
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: 🙌🎉 Congrats to the @usairforce's newest pilots as Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training Class 20-18 graduates today at @…
Twitter
.@JointBasePHH Airmen participate in a ramp drop from a C-17 Globemaster III. The 25th Air Support Ops Squadron is… https://t.co/AZVT6Qzmgv
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: It is a pleasure to be in #Alaska to see #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals in action! Whether it’s F-35s & F-22s protectin…
Twitter
RT @EielsonAirForce: When @SecAFOfficial comes to visit, we show off the 'cool stuff' https://t.co/sGCSnVOOXg
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: A career worth a thousand words: Colonel Campbell reflects on career in aviation - https://t.co/atNAeYOoMI (Story by @Dobb
Twitter
The Air Force will host the Air Force Information Technology and Cyberpower conference virtually August 24–27.… https://t.co/9pRjj6U1lp
Twitter
A Rocket Propelled Grenade was launched at a Dyess AFB C-130J in September 2019. The Airmen had to respond quickly! https://t.co/fgfNkCjA4a
Twitter
#DYK The UH-1N has a crew of three (pilot, co-pilot and flight engineer) and is capable of flight in instrument and… https://t.co/Qcj74Tk4ra
Twitter
.@GenDaveGoldfein has left a lasting impression on @HollomanAFB. #DYK Among his many tours, he was once commander o… https://t.co/ET8q1w8ywO
Twitter
The United States Air Forces in Europe Fire Academy & 86th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighters get advanced rescue… https://t.co/AUHlxm0nPt
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Thank you to the #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals at Clear Air Force Station and @EielsonAirForce Base for sharing their…
Twitter
#DYK The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in Janu… https://t.co/B72dKcCrnr
Twitter
#DYK The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston… https://t.co/edfO5R1YEm
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: To the @PACAF Total Force #Airmen, thank you for your dedication to the mission and your spirit to serve. https://t.co…
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: I have no doubt @PACAF will continue to grow & prosper under the steady & focused leadership of the #USAF’s newest 4-s…
Twitter
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: For the past 2 yrs, PACAF has transformed under Gen. Brown’s leadership with a new joint mission to deter aggression i…
Twitter
This technology keeps Airmen out of harm’s way when diffusing a bomb. One of the best opportunities to check out &… https://t.co/jWkN0Vbv6c
Twitter
RT @PACAF: Join us live July 8th, as Gen. CQ Brown Jr. relinquishes command of U.S. Pacific Air Forces to Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach. To vie…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,251,128
Follow Us