Nato Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) Headquarters

First full day in-country brings new opportunities...

Nato Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) Headquarters 

Camp Eggers, Kabul Afghanistan 
By Jerry Newberry

After finally catching some much-needed sleep and shaking off some (not all) of the jet lag, the first full day in-country brought with it an opportunity to attend a brief recognition ceremony for two U.S. service members who were cited for their quick action during a recent attack by an Afghan military pilot who opened fire during a meeting at the Kabul Airport. 

Navy Corpsman Chief Petty Officer Sabra Renee Clothier and U.S. Army 2nd Lieutenant Antonio Tritto were both presented with the Joint Services Achievement Medal by the Commanding officer of NTM-A, Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, for their quick action during the attack that killed eight U.S. Air Force Personnel and a U.S. Civilian Contractor and wounded five Afghan soldiers. 

Both Tritto and Clothier were at the airport attending a separate meeting about setting up a Combat Medic Course for the Afghan national Army, when shots rang out. In the midst of chaos, they immediately responded to the situation and began Triage on the victims.   

When I spoke to Tritto and Clothier, they both downplayed their actions to me. "My training just snapped into place and although the situation was extremely intense, we just automatically reacted," said Tritto. 

"When we arrived we could see that there were a variety of serious wounds, and it was imperative to prioritize and treat the wounded so they could be evacuated," explained Clothier. 

In the midst of murderous mayhem, these two service members brought order. Their professionalism and calm helped lessen an already horrific tragedy and did, in fact, save lives. 

I'd wager that outside of the relative few at NTM-A H.Q. the names of Chief Clothier and 2nd Lt. Tritto and what they accomplished that day have gone unmentioned and unreported by the media back home.  But I hope that somehow they will know that in some circles, it's deeply appreciated.