Russell Storring is a sergeant with the Canadian Army and apparently writes a regular column over at CBC News. Sergeant Storring has done three tours in Afghanistan, working with soliders from many NATO countries.
In a column titled Going to war with the Yanks, the Sergeant talks about working with US military personnel in Afghanistan:
I have had the opportunity to work closely with U.S. forces on each of my deployments to Afghanistan. I know there are some Canadians who view the U.S. military and foreign policy with suspicion. But from my own experiences, I am wholeheartedly thankful to call them allies and brothers-in-arms.
On my second tour in Afghanistan in 2005, I didn’t work with U.S. forces as much as I did other NATO troops and I quickly realized that I missed the professionalism that the Americans bring to the table.
On a couple of occasions, for example, soldiers from other nations were caught sleeping in the guard towers overlooking Camp Julian. Doesn’t give you a warm and fuzzy feeling when the people guarding you are sleeping on the job.
He also mentions gratitude for the level of johnny-on-the-spot firepower that the US can bring to bear:
At one point, after having done over a month of mostly uneventful convoys, we ran into a Taliban ambush a few hours outside of Kabul. It was a November evening with a light rain coming down and the ambush was a quick and dirty attack with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades.
As I called in the information on the radio, I was surprised to find out that U.S. planes were already on their way: two Apache attack helicopters and a B-52 bomber on call.
Now I know that was probably overkill and that the insurgents would be long gone before any coalition forces arrived on the scene, but it was reassuring to know that another nation cared enough about its allies to send their own people into harm’s way to help us.
He likes serving with our guys, which is not surprising. They are good. You can read the whole thing here.