Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent


FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan – The booms began around 1:45 p.m., loud enough to cause you to jump if you’ve never heard a Howitzer fire a

Elisa Mueller
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Sep 10, 2008

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, Afghanistan – The booms began around 1:45 p.m., loud enough to cause you to jump if you’ve never heard a Howitzer fire a high-explosive round before.

That was 2nd Platoon, Alpha Battery, 3rd Battalion of the 321st Field Artillery Regiment, firing north into the mountains near the town of Zambar. By 2:15 the Howitzers let off eight rounds into the same location — barely visible in the hot afternoon sun and the lingering Afghan haze — where, over the past four days, nine “anti-Afghan” fighters have been killed.

Up in the mountains, militants have been “setting up mortar tubes and rockets” to fire into the Zambar district center on U.S. and Afghan forces, said Capt. Brad Jordan, the battery’s commander.

Jordan, in good spirits despite the burning sun and deafening noise, pointed past the massive Howitzer — known as the “Hot Gun” for the frequency it’s been used for the last couple days — at the mountains to the south. The nearer mountain line is called “Rocket Ridge,” he said, thanks to the insurgents who fire 107-mm rockets from its cover. Beyond Rocket Ridge, in another mountain line barely distinguishable from the sky, they fire 122-mms at Salerno.

Jordan grinned at his men as they took measurements following the discharge. “These guys know what it’s like to get shot at and still shoot back,” he said. “I’m extremely proud of my guys. They do a phenomenal job.”

It will be unclear for another day exactly what the Howitzer hit, Jordan explained.

The district center called in a “positive identification on some insurgents emplacing rockets to fire,” according to the battalion’s tactical operations center, known as a TOC. The TOC relayed the location of the insurgents to Jordan’s men, and within a minute, the Hot Gun pounded the mountains. A battle-damage assessment will be underway shortly, according to the TOC.

A few steps away from the Hot Gun, Staff Sgt. Joseph Carrillo, of Riverside, Calif., used an instrument called a chronograph to measure the Howitzer’s accuracy. He suspected that the gun hasn’t finished on the position by Zambar. “If we shoot the first couple days,” Carrillo said, “we’ll probably shoot the next couple days.”

Sure enough, a half-hour later, the Howitzer let off its ninth boom; two minutes after that, its 10th.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.


$1.3 Million for Brown

The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul

$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV

The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.

1. Brian Schweitzer

As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this

#1 in Conspiracy Theories

Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy

$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds

Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal

1 Brigade and 1 Battalion

ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the

Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg

Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)

$1 Million for Toomey

Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the

1. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) is typically regarded as a reliable vote for his party, but he took the bold step of breaking with his fellow Republicans to join Kerry

Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban

Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on

Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry

China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.

© Copyright 2022 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |

Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.