USMC Loses 6 Harriers in Stan

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discofishing

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Unread post16 Sep 2012, 23:44

http://theaviationist.com/2012/09/16/vma-211/

Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets in worst U.S. air loss in one day since the Vietnam War


Prime example of what complacency can do in the combat zone. Marine air support is effectively eliminated, at least for the time being.
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Asif

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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 13:55

Marine Corps Times wrote:Bastion attack kills squadron CO, sergeant

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Sep 17, 2012 17:41:24 EDT

U.S. forces in Afghanistan were moving forward Monday following a bold attack on Camp Bastion that killed two Marines, including the commanding officer of a Harrier squadron, wounded nine other U.S. personnel and destroyed six Harrier jump jets.

Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, 40, and Sgt. Bradley Atwell, 27, were killed after 15 insurgents armed with automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide vests breached the perimeter of Bastion about 10 p.m. Friday. Raible served as the commanding officer of Marine Attack Squadron 211, and Atwell was assigned to Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 13. Both units are out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.

The attack significantly damaged two additional AV-8B Harriers, each worth about $24 million, and destroyed three refueling stations, U.S. military officials said in a statement released Saturday. Six soft-skin aircraft hangars also were damaged.

Brig. Gen. Gregg Sturdevant, the one-star officer overseeing Marine aviation in Helmand province, said Monday that the attack had minimal effect on U.S. and coalition operations the night of the attack. He recommended to Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus, the top commander in southwestern Afghanistan, that the destroyed aircraft be replaced, and expects that will occur.

“I think it’s important for us to get the Harriers and reconstitute that capability as quickly as possible,” Sturdevant said in a phone interview from Afghanistan with Marine Corps Times.

The attack was launched on a British base that is home to several U.S. Marine aviation units and coalition forces from several other countries. It abuts Camp Leatherneck, the main hub of Marine operations in Afghanistan, forming a sprawling complex connected by bus routes and other services.

Sturdevant, commanding officer of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), told Marine Corps Times that the “more intense fighting was in the first hour or so” after the insurgents breached the wire. However, it took about five hours to ensure that the base was secure.

Virtually all of the Marines working on the flight line at the time responded to the attack, as well as personnel with 3rd MAW (Fwd.) living on a nearby portion of Bastion, Sturdevant said.

“Had they not done what they did, it could have been a lot of worse,” Sturdevant said. “Obviously on the wing, we focus on fixing aircraft and flying those aircraft in support of ground forces. But, when forced to, we can quickly transition to offense on the ground, and that’s exactly what happened Friday night.”
Questions remain

Sturdevant and other Marine officials said the incident remains under investigation. It’s unclear how insurgents could have infiltrated the base’s high walls, which are topped with concertina wire in an open desert where movement is easy to detect.

Insurgents sometimes use sandstorms and other bad weather to conceal their movement, but Sturdevant said that poor visibility wasn’t an issue Friday night. It was a low-light evening with little moonlight, but it isn’t clear if that played a role in the attack. Military officials haven’t released specific details about how the insurgents launched the attack, or how the aircraft were damaged.

U.S. military officials said Saturday that in addition to the two Marines killed, eight service members and one civilian contractor were wounded in the attack. None of their injuries are considered life-threatening, but Sturdevant said two of them have been medically evacuated to the U.S. for additional treatment.

Fourteen of the fifteen attackers were killed by coalition forces responding, military officials said Saturday. The surviving insurgent was taken into custody, and was wounded in the attack.

Raible’s Harrier squadron deployed in April and was moved in July from Kandahar Airfield, in neighboring Kandahar province, as the U.S. realigned units as part of its ongoing drawdown in forces in Afghanistan. Raible flew the first Harrier from Kandahar to Bastion as part of that move.

Sturdevant said that move became possible in part because of the expansion and development at Bastion, which already was in use in 2009 and 2010 despite not yet having an entirely closed perimeter wall. A $200 million runway stretching more than two miles was installed in 2010, enabling U.S. forces there to land C-5 cargo planes, 747 passenger jets, which are used as troop charters, and other behemoth aircraft.

source: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/20 ... an-091712/
Asif Shamim
F-16.net Editorial staff & Patch Gallery Administration
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count_to_10

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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 23:32

Did they not base helicopters there?
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 11:09

Strange how there is no pictures of the destroyed air craft in the media...
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 14:03

tbarlow wrote:Strange how there is no pictures of the destroyed air craft in the media...


And give the enemy a war trophy?
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PhillyGuy

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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 16:27

madrat wrote:
tbarlow wrote:Strange how there is no pictures of the destroyed air craft in the media...


And give the enemy a war trophy?


Nope, to give the public some accountability of negligence and complacency.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 18:39

We don't need to give them any pictures of the inside of the base. Unfamiliarity with the base may have been what minimized this incursion,
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 21:11

madrat wrote:We don't need to give them any pictures of the inside of the base. Unfamiliarity with the base may have been what minimized this incursion,


Minimized? You must have some weird standards. Layouts can be readily found on Google Earth and from whatever eyes and ears they may have on the base. I suspect no photos are released because it would show all the jets clustered like Pearl Harbor on 12/7.
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LinkF16SimDude

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Unread post22 Sep 2012, 04:53

Layouts can be readily found on Google Earth...
GE patches can be partially scrambled (for lack of a better term) to decrease resolution if so requested by the DoD. Frankly, I don't know that they know that. Go find Twenthe AB in Holland for a good example. It's also in the Google Maps satellite view. They haven't had Vipers there for years but it's still mixed up.
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huggy

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Unread post22 Sep 2012, 05:51

I have seen the pictures, and this is neither here nor there.
Bottom line: those that were responsible for the security breach must be held accountable. Unbelievable.
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Unread post24 Sep 2012, 02:22

huggy wrote:I have seen the pictures, and this is neither here nor there.
Bottom line: those that were responsible for the security breach must be held accountable. Unbelievable.


+1 -- it makes sense that those involved are responsible for either success or failure.

I read elsewhere that the entire attacking group was wearing US style helmets and uniforms. This may have contributed greatly to the ability of the attackers to reach the base unmolested. I also read that the perimeter breach wasn't through the wall but through fences.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/17/world/asi ... index.html
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discofishing

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Unread post25 Sep 2012, 18:43

PhillyGuy wrote:
madrat wrote:
tbarlow wrote:Strange how there is no pictures of the destroyed air craft in the media...


And give the enemy a war trophy?


Nope, to give the public some accountability of negligence and complacency.


HELLLLZ NO!!! Wake up dude! That's like giving the enemy a chance to do Battle Damage Assessment (BDA)! BDA is the same thing the US military tries to do after every mission. That sh*t is IMPORTANT! If the American public wants to know what Harrier wreckage looks like, they can google it and then imagine one wreckage times six. 99% of the public can't even distinguish Harrier wreckage from that of any other plane or an ash tray for that matter. Let the Marines do their jobs and handle this in house. The American people need to worry about negligence and complacency in other parts of the government.
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Unread post25 Sep 2012, 19:36

huggy wrote:I have seen the pictures, and this is neither here nor there.
Bottom line: those that were responsible for the security breach must be held accountable. Unbelievable.


I think the saying

"The other guys are on scholarship too"

From football applies just a bit here. The other side is playing to the best of their capabilities as well. You won't win every play or every battle. Occasionally the other side is going to get their knocks in.

If someone was incompetent on this than fine, punish them. But it is quite possible the other side just had a good day. Learn your lessons and move on.
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Unread post26 Sep 2012, 23:05

bigjku,

I don't think that saying applies. I've been deployed twice to Iraq, and insurgents there have used US military gear down to the exact details. They've tried all sorts of things, but in the end weren't very successful because we knew they would try to do this and most of the gear we used could be purchased on the civilian market. We caught them. I'm sure a large percentage of the troops in Afghanistan have been to Iraq as well, especially the more senior guys. This is something we have known about and trained for, for a VERY long time. The tactic of uniform swapping has been used throughout history. The troops guarding the perimeter should be denied reenlistment and receive stiff punishment under UCMJ. If more evidences indicates dereliction of duty they need to go to Leavenworth. This whole situation is unacceptable on so many levels.
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Unread post19 Dec 2012, 11:04

So from what I've come to understand about the article, we didn't lose the AV-8B Harriers in combat.

They were taken down while parked because the perimeter guards didn't do their jobs and let in enemies dressed like our Army troops.

Those said insurgents just shot up the place?

-_-.
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