10th Mountain Division Soldiers Shoot Down 28 Enemy Drones in Middle East Deployment

Artillery Soldiers Earn “Ace” Status in Anti-Drone Operations

During a nine-month deployment in the , three artillery soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division's 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, earned the “ace” designation by shooting down more than 28 enemy drones. Staff Sgt. Daniel Smith, Sgt. William Taroc, and Staff Sgt. Henry Davis each achieved at least five drone kills, demonstrating their prowess in anti-drone warfare, reports Task & Purpose.

The Deployment and Rising Threats

The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, also known as “Commandos,” was part of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, focused on combating ISIS. The situation intensified in October when Hamas attacked , prompting a widespread military response. This escalation led to increased militant attacks on U.S. outposts across the Middle East, including the use of rockets and one-way uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The Drone Shootdowns

The artillery unit found themselves repurposed into an air defense role amid these threats. Sgt. William Taroc led the effort, taking down 13 drones. Staff Sgt. Henry Davis shot down eight, and Staff Sgt. Daniel Smith, typically focused on target identification, also downed eight drones. The Army officially credited the trio with 28 drone kills, though their combined individual totals suggest 29.

“We knew the consequences of our actions if we did or didn't do it well,” Davis said in an Army release. “There's a lot of importance behind actually performing under stress.”

Training and Preparedness

Training at Fort Drum and during deployment in Kuwait equipped these soldiers to respond effectively. In the field, they relied on this preparation to act swiftly, as “seconds mattered.” Despite their efforts, the region saw over 100 attacks on American installations, causing several injuries and the deaths of three National Guardsmen in Jordan.

Returning Home with Honor

Upon their return in late March, 10th Mountain Division commander Maj. Gen. Gregory Anderson praised the soldiers for their resilience and bravery.

“Our Commandos beat them off,” Anderson said. “They did so with distinction and honor, and I could not be more proud of this formation and what they were able to do as a team.”

Continuing the Fight

The 10th Mountain Division isn't the only unit achieving drone kills. Spc. Dylan Green, another member of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, earned the nickname “Ace of Syria” for his five drone kills. Additionally, U.S. fighter squadrons have been active, with the 335th Fighter Squadron and 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron intercepting dozens of drones in recent operations.

These actions highlight the ongoing threat of drone warfare in the Middle East and the U.S. military's efforts to counter these attacks, ensuring the safety of their personnel and the success of their missions.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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