“Aviate, Navigate, And Communicate”: Attack Aviation Along The Afghanistan Border

Lindsay (Gordon) Heisler


CPT Lindsay Heisler, USMA ’12, received the Nininger Award in 2019 for her actions as an Apache Platoon Leader in A/1-101 Aviation flying along the Afghanistan / Pakistan border on December 5, 2015 in support of a Ranger unit on the ground. During that action, her pilot, CW2 Dave Woodward, and her wingman engaged eight DShK 12.7mm heavy machine gun crews, a mortar team, and various small arms and RPGs, to ensure that two 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment Chinooks were able to successfully extract the Ranger unit without loss of life or equipment. She is currently commanding her second company in the 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion in the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. In this interview she talks about her childhood, her West Point experiences, including playing Women’s Soccer at the Academy, and her leadership philosophy. She describes being a platoon leader in a deployed environment. She recounts the battle of December 5, 2015, and ends by reflecting on what West Point means to her.


name Lindsay (Gordon) Heisler
institution USMA
graduation year 2012
service Aviation
unit A/1-101 AVN; C/1st Attack Reconnaissance BN, 82nd CAB; D/1st Attack Reconnaissance BN, 82nd CAB
specialty Nininger Award
service dates 2012