Airman From Fort Oglethorpe Defends Operating Base In Kabul

Tuesday, July 29, 2014
A U.S. Air Force Airman who calls Fort Oglethorpe home successfully defended his forward operating base here during a more than four hour insurgent attack, July 17, 2014.

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Webb, brother of Cyndi Horner of Ringold, is currently deployed and serving as a Security Forces member with the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing at Forward Operating Base OQAB, at Kabul International Airport. The wing's mission is to set the conditions for a professional, independent, and sustainable Afghan Air Force to meet the present and future security requirements of Afghanistan.
Webb is assigned to provide base and personnel security in support of that mission. This is the first deployment for the 4-year veteran.

In the pre-dawn hours of July 17, a group of anti-Afghanistan forces gained access to a multi-story building under construction approximately 350 meters from the base and airport fence line. Fighting from the rooftop and windows on several stories, the attackers began firing rocket propelled grenades and shooting automatic weapons at the Afghan Air Force base adjoining the airport, and the U.S. Air Force FOB within the compound. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to multiple media sources.

Mr. Webb was off-duty and sleeping at the time the hostilities began, just after 4 a.m. Along with a few dozen other security forces members, he responded immediately to the threat - taking up a fighting position and returning fire at the enemy position.

"I woke up to a boom, but I've become pretty used to that sound of indirect fire," Mr. Webb said. "But when I heard bullets flying I knew this was real; it was different than usual. So I had to respond quickly. I threw on PT (physical training) gear, shoes without socks, and my protective equipment and went out to the tower."

The insurgents fired more than 20 rocket propelled grenades at the Afghan, U.S., and coalition forces and assets during the attack, detonated a vehicle-borne IED, and donned suicide vests. Due to the suppressive fire provided by Webb and fellow Airmen, the attacks were not particularly accurate. There was minor damage to facilities and property, but friendly forces received no significant injuries and no casualties during the battle.

"I probably fired for like 30-45 minutes, then ran from my tower to the next one, Tower 1, to check on them. As I ran, I had bullets that came through a fence ricocheting around me. Then I actually watched the explosion from the VBIED (vehicle-borne IED) go off. It was huge!"

The attack ultimately ended when an Afghan-led quick reaction force, enabled by the suppressive fire from the Air Force defenders, arrived at the enemy position and swept the building to eliminate the remaining attackers. Based on preliminary analysis, at least four insurgents were killed.

Mr. Webb is deployed from his home station of Vandenberg Air Force Base, Ca., where he works in the 30th Security Forces Squadron.

Girls Inc. Of Chattanooga Celebrates 55 Years And Perfect Score For Quality Assurance Review

Girls Inc. of Chattanooga will celebrate 55 years of providing quality research and outcome-based programming on Monday, said officials.  Girls Inc. of Chattanooga has also completed the Quality Assurance Review Process by the national Girls Inc. organization and exceeded the minimum requirement of 84 percent — meeting 104 of the 104 standards.  What started out as ... (click for more)

Whitfield County Reopens Mitchell Bridge Road After Drainage Pipe Repairs

Whitfield County Public Works has finished work on repairs to Mitchell Bridge Road, and it is now open for motorists to use. Final paving will be done after settling has occurred. County officials closed the road on Christmas Day after discovering damage caused by the heavy rains, when the runoff became blocked by logs and other debris and eventually forced its way under the ... (click for more)

Female, 18, Shot On South Seminole Early Saturday Morning

An 18-year-old female was shot in the leg on South Seminole early Saturday morning. Chattanooga Police responded to the 200 block of South Seminole of the report of a shooting. There police located one victim suffering from a single, non-life threatening gunshot wound. T he victim,  Cierra L Kirksey, was inside her home when the shooting occurred. The suspect ... (click for more)

City Councilman Chris Anderson Gearing Up For Election A Year Away

City Councilman Chris Anderson is already gearing up for the next city election, though it is over a year away. In the financial disclosures due Feb. 1, he reported receiving $24,165 for the reporting period from July 16, 2015 to Jan. 16. He spent $4,887 during that period. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem took in $11,110 during the period. Councilman Russell Gilbert reported ... (click for more)

Black History Month Hero - Theodore McGraw (Kidd) AKA "Pongee"

I grew up in "Old St. Elmo" on 39th Street behind the Incline. As a child I remember my older brother "Pongee" as being my hero. This month of February being Black History Month, I cannot think of a better person to be honored than my late older brother, Theodore McGraw (Kidd) aka "Pongee" of St. Elmo (Gamble Town). Growing up without my father, Theodore was always available ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Chatt2.org’ Needs You Now

A diverse yet powerful panel of community leaders in Nashville delivered a letter to the Metro Nashville Board of Education last week. It was signed by some top men and women who represent a wide-ranking cross section of Tennessee’s largest city and includes education, business, religious and diversity superstars. You need to understand the urgency behind the letter. Davidson County ... (click for more)