10-day mission to Gayan

Tyler Moyer ('08) was one of many U.S. troops working to secure the election process in Afghanistan. In this communication to his family and friends, he offers a firsthand account of the experience.

Taking a shower since the water pump is the only water source

Taking a shower using the water pump, the only available water source

Family and friends: Wow, I just got back from a 10-day mission, and it sure feels good to be able to take a shower and get into some clean clothes! Not sure if you have been tracking on things in Afghanistan, but they just had their presidential elections on the 20th of August.

It has been pretty crazy here with many attacks by the Taliban because they want to disrupt the elections and keep the people scared from gaining any rights or any aid from the government. On day 1 of the 10-day mission, we had two helicopters come to my FOB Tillman to take a platoon (about 35 guys) of guys to our small outpost in Gayan.

Gayan is much larger in population in comparison to the villages near Tillman. In Gayan, we have a small outpost called Munoz, (not sure why it is called that, but it was named that before we got here). Once arriving in Munoz, we linked up with the platoon already there, and we started out planning for the nine polling sites that we needed to recon [inspect] and secure for elections.

With two platoons of infantry guys, we had one platoon go 5,000 meters to the south to secure the southern polling sites, while another platoon stayed at Munoz, which was in the city of Gayan. To hit the main points of the whole mission, the leaderships at Munoz including myself had to speak with the sub-governor and the district field coordinator to make sure we had all the needed to polling equipment and security for the election. Before the elections kicked off, we got rocketed and attacked multiple times and shot at from the nearby mountains. The platoon in the south got attacked while they were reconing the area, and the platoon that conducted patrols in the heart of Gayan also got ambushed. The platoon to the south had one casualty in their multiple gun fights. The squad leader got shot in the shoulder, but he was quickly taken to a bigger base to get treated. We were told that he will make a full recovery. The platoon that got ambushed while patrolling Gayan did not have any casualties but they were able to kill one Taliban and injure another, but the gunfight was in the middle of the city, and a few civilians got injured in the fight. At Munoz, we only had one friendly casualty in the multiple rocket and machine gun attacks. A guy got shot in the butt. The guy is going to make a full recovery also.

During the firefights, all you could hear is the gun fire coming from the tops of mountains, rockets landing in or near Munoz and the return gun fire. For the first 10 minutes of every firefight it was pretty crazy - almost sounded like popcorn popping, but obviously much louder! The mission was successful, and the elections were able to take place with no serious injuries. …

– 1LT Tyler Moyer, Baker Company FSO

Read more about Tyler Moyer ('08) on Operation Purple Pride.