Nine years ago, Taliban insurgents attacked me and my squad during a routine mission in Afghanistan's Ghazni Province. Those insurgents would have killed us had it not been for Janis Shenwary, our Afghan translator, who shot and killed two of them.
It is said that America's armed forces have been stressed by 16 years of constant warfare, the longest such in the nation's history. For the Air Force, however, the high tempo of combat operations began 26 years ago, with enforcement of no-fly zones in Iraq after Desert Storm.