Bobby Triantos loves flying and driving. One he does for a living, currently over the embattled skies of Afghanistan, the other he does for pleasure. His work ride is the deadliest attack helicopter on the planet; the other is an icon for Porsche lovers, a 1973 911 Carrera. Luckily for us, he takes great photos and video of both.
Triantos is part of Alpha Troop “Silver Spurs” of the 3-17 Cavalry that was deployed to Jalalabad, Afghanistan in September 2015.
Here is how he describes his unit’s mission in the country that the U.S. has had a constant military presence in for a decade and a half:
“Our mission here is to train advise and assist the Afghanis. As an attack pilot we provide security and reconnaissance on a variety of missions and 24/7 quick reaction response. Since we’ve been here we have faced threats from both the Taliban and the growing ISIL-KP presence in the area. We counter the insurgency in place and have to fight an enemy that has evolved to our tactics and rules of engagement for the past 16 years. While the intensity of the conflict in this region has fluctuated over the years, we do trade fire with the enemy on a continuing basis, and nearly every crew member in our troop has engaged the enemy in support of coalition ground forces.
Here’s Tiantos’s awesome short video showcasing his unit’s tour in Afghanistan:
More awesome photos from the Chief Warrant Officer of Apaches in Afghanistan:
This is how how photo-flyer ended up in Afghanistan flying metal dragons:
“Previously I was a civilian working at Cisco systems. I have always been into high speed automotive and aviation machines. I started my foray into photography focusing on my motor sport hobby, shooting events around the SF Bay area in California, such as the Rolex Historics, American Le Mans Series, and Pebble Beach Concourse. I also spent my free time fixing up and racing vintage and modern Porsches. I even had a 1973 911 that I had made a video for, that was featured on your sister site, Jalopnik.”
Here’s that video:
“In 2012 I decided to take the plunge and pursue my dream of becoming an attack helicopter pilot. I started my service in January 2013 and finished flight school and joined my operational unit, 1-3 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division, based out of Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah Georgia.”
Chief Warrant Officer Triantos gives us an idea of what the Apache brings to the fight in Afghanistan:
“Flying the Apache in a deployed environment really showcases the technological package that the Apache is. From the modernized TADS (Target Designation and Acquisition Site) system and glass cockpit, to the air-to-air-to-ground video transmit capabilities, and UAV integration, the Apache continues to impress me as a versatile precision weapons platform with great battlefield situational awareness. We often work in a “stack” of rotary-wing, unmanned, ISR (information, surveillance and reconnaissance), and CAS (Close Air Support) aircraft. In the stack we are the lowest and most direct link to the troops on the ground, providing a flexible surveillance platform as well as quick armed response for any troops in contact with the enemy.”
I especially love Triantos set featuring Apache nose art, with each helo getting its own unique moniker. It plays especially well on the AH-64s dark patinaed skin.
A huge thanks to Chief Warrant Officer Triantos for sharing his awesome imagery and videos with us, and a big thumbs-up to the warriors of the Silver Spurs for risking their asses doing what they do.
Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com