Near the start of the war in Afghanistan, Firebase Shkin was filled with insurgents. Col. Rodney Davis referred to it as “the evilest place in Afghanistan.”
The firebase was a popular route for the Taliban as they came in through Pakistan into Afghanistan. The outpost was difficult to patrol. It was a remote location sitting at 7,700 feet.
Originally, the base was home to Special Forces and Rangers, but in 2002, it was transferred to the 82nd Airborne Division. Sgt, Checo from the D Company, 2nd Battalion 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment was the first death in December 2002.
Many called the base Firebase Checo after him. In 2003, Task Force Devil took over. Their job was to set up standards and tactics for the conventional forces, especially when dealing with low-intensity battles.
In April 2003, the B Company 3rd Battalion 504th PIR with D Company offering gun truck and other artillery support took over the firebase. Fighting began as soon as they got there with an ambush from Al Qaeda.
The insurgents employed a tactic taught to them when they fought Russia, the reverse-slope ambush, and tallied up the most casualties the firebase had seen.
In the fight, two Americans were killed, with many others suffering injuries. The company commander, a platoon sergeant, and a forward observer were all wounded.
Jerod Dennis from the B Company was killed. Later, an Orgune airfield would be named after him, the Dennis Army Airfield. The battlesight was called the Losano Ridge after the other American casualty, Controller Raymond Losano.
However, paratroopers got the upper hand on Al Qaeda as they sent them back into Pakistan, dealing heavy casualties. The firebase was very close to Pakistan.
So close that Pakistan outposts could see everything that was happening. As the ACM fighters ran back toward the border, Pakistan responded by drawing their weapons on the American forces.
In other battles, the same thing happened. The Pakistani Border Guards did not lift a finger to help the Allies or Americans. Intense fights would continue at the base, and when the 10th Mountain Division task force controlled it, they lost multiple soldiers.
Eventually, the region would become tamer thanks to the soldier’s efforts, but they would all forever remember the struggles associated with the base.