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Thread: Camp Bastion attacked

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Camp Bastion attacked

    Whoever did this deserves praise for bravery and skill,even if they're foes.


    ISAF provides additional details on Camp Bastion attack | ISAF - International Security Assistance Force

    KABUL, Afghanistan (Sept. 16, 2012) — Following the 14 September attack at Camp Bastion, in which two Coalition service members were killed when insurgents attacked the base’s airfield, the International Security Assistance Force provides the following additional details. Because it is still early in the investigation of this attack, this information is subject to change as new details become available:

    The attack commenced just after 10 p.m. when approximately 15 insurgents executed a well-coordinated attack against the airfield on Camp Bastion. The insurgents, organized into three teams, penetrated at one point of the perimeter fence.

    The insurgents appeared to be well equipped, trained and rehearsed.

    Dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and armed with automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests, the insurgents attacked Coalition fixed and rotary wing aircraft parked on the flight line, aircraft hangars and other buildings.

    Six Coalition AV-8B Harrier jets were destroyed and two were significantly damaged. Three Coalition refueling stations were also destroyed. Six soft-skin aircraft hangars were damaged to some degree.

    Coalition forces engaged the insurgents, killing 14 and wounding one who was taken into custody. In addition to the two Coalition service members that were killed, nine Coalition personnel – eight military and one civilian contractor – were wounded in the attack. None of their injuries are considered life-threatening
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Whoever did this deserves praise for bravery and skill,even if they're foes.
    Agreed 100% Whoever had the idea for the raid certainly knows their history:

    "il nous faut de l'audace, et encore de l'audace, et toujours de l'audace"


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    WTF was up with the base security.

    those insurgents certainly sold their lives dearly...six harriers destroyed + 2 significantly damaged, christ. they must have had some time on the flight line before ISAF closed in.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    In the cold war, we had a red "line of death" around the flight line that thou shalt not cross under any circumstances other than official. I would have expected something similar here. A normal security complement would have alert guards walking the flight line, and especially if the base is under attack, they are going to open up without question on folk scurrying around the jets.

    It's possible (maybe likely) that the jets were destroyed by RPG's. Revetments for the Harriers? There should have been, and that would have protected them from at least three sides.

    I'm not faulting the ISAF guys. With a well-executed assault like that, it's very hard to stop them 100%. I wonder if the dead attackers' comrades and family feel like the trade was worth it. Some old Harriers for 14 lives.

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    In their twisted minds the equation might be "it is better to die destroying USAF jet, then blowing few people on the market."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chogy View Post
    Some old Harriers for 14 lives.
    Eh, it's a slight bit more significant. The destroyed aircraft represent 15% of the close air support and ca 30% of the tactical/offensive electronic warfare capacity in the entire theater. The latter may become relevant with regard to CIED measures.

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    Doktor Reply

    "it is better to die destroying USAF jet, then blowing few people on the market."

    Don't I wish! Were it so I'd vote for an all-expense paid trip for fifty of their best to tour Davis-Monthan AFB and play games out in the boneyard with our special ops folks...and the local rattlesnakes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chogy View Post
    I wonder if the dead attackers' comrades and family feel like the trade was worth it. Some old Harriers for 14 lives.
    Like kato said, this raid was extremely costly for ISAF, both materially and politically.

    It's easy as hell to send some kid with a suicide vest into a crowded market place or leave an IED in a car or buried along the roadway. Such attacks are militarily almost meaningless to ISAF and are correctly labelled as cowardly and (relatively) amateurish.

    This attack, in a single stroke, was the complete opposite.

    And to put the Harrier loss in perspective, 6 machines is the standard air group complement of a big-deck amphibious assault ship being wiped out in a matter of minutes.
    Last edited by TopHatter; 17 Sep 12, at 14:34.
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    The attacks on the Pakistani airbase and naval base seem to have been trial/practice runs to iron out flaws in planning before carrying this one out on ISAF.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tronic View Post
    The attacks on the Pakistani airbase and naval base seem to have been trial/practice runs to iron out flaws in planning before carrying this one out on ISAF.
    I had the same thought with less certainty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mihais View Post
    Whoever did this deserves praise for bravery and skill,even if they're foes.
    Praise, respect, and extra generous expenditure of ammunition.

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    There's also that highly specific rocket attack damaging General Dempsey's parked C-17 at Bagram last month. Taliban claimed that they used on-site intelligence sources for that attack, NATO of course steadfastly denied that and called it pretty much a lucky shot.

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chogy View Post
    I wonder if the dead attackers' comrades and family feel like the trade was worth it. Some old Harriers for 14 lives.
    Old LRDG and SAS that wandered behind Afrika Korps some 70 years ago think it might be at times worth 2 lives/aircraft.French SAS that did something similar at Heraklion also thought their lives were less important than taking out some old bombers to save a convoy of ships.

    Tactically,I think this their most important success of the entire war.A whole insurgent platoon might survive today because there is fewer CAS on the scene.A whole batallion might join the insurgency because of these guys.And a legend that will support the future Jihadist narrative of NATO being defeated in A-stan by the Mujahedeen is being born.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Senior Contributor Mihais's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kato View Post
    There's also that highly specific rocket attack damaging General Dempsey's parked C-17 at Bagram last month. Taliban claimed that they used on-site intelligence sources for that attack, NATO of course steadfastly denied that and called it pretty much a lucky shot.
    I don't know how the local ANA is intermingled with our forces.But my call is the intel for all this stuff comes from some of them hedging their bets.We go in a few years.The enemy will still be there.And our impotence towards Pakistan has every chance to convince a lot of the influencial Afghans that working with the ISI(or whomever is their representative) might be betting on the winning horse.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    Praise, respect, and extra generous expenditure of ammunition.
    screw praise. i don't want my enemies brave or skilful or intelligent, enemies with those qualities should be first on the target list.

    respect, yes, the same as you would give to a highly intelligent, dangerous animal.

    extra generous expenditure of ammo, hopefully not necessary.

    seems to me a bad indictment on the state of security at Camp Bastion. the flight line vulnerability had to been recurring, because the insurgents knew what to target and where the weaknesses were. there should be heads rolling this week.

    from the enemy side, seems like 1.) their command and control has not been degraded too badly, 2.) they had infiltrators inside the base, 3.) they were able to scout out the base well in advance, 4.) they had a place to train.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    seems to me a bad indictment on the state of security at Camp Bastion. the flight line vulnerability had to been recurring, because the insurgents knew what to target and where the weaknesses were. there should be heads rolling this week.

    from the enemy side, seems like 1.) their command and control has not been degraded too badly, 2.) they had infiltrators inside the base, 3.) they were able to scout out the base well in advance, 4.) they had a place to train.
    I don't think all the afghan turncoats wear suicide vests....

    As far as C3 goes, I don't think the Taliban is unified enough to have a robust enough C3 network for us to go after. Local warlords and jihadist loosely following directives from inside Pakistan. The obvious solution [not without its own drawbacks] is to move any Pashtun manned ANA units to non-pashtun areas and replace them with ANA units made up of other ethnicities in Pashtun areas to impede the ability of turncoats to pass on information.

    It might also be time to consider using what ever means will work to begin demolishing the goat-path mountain passes leading down into Southern Afghanistan from the Hindu Kush. Force the the Taliban and smugglers to move north and on to major arteries for the shipment of goods where bomb sniffers electronic and canine might better detect them.

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