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Dawud_uk
01-17-2007, 12:50 PM
Now this is bravery i can admire...

but still it shows the ability of the taliban to adapt and even fight off well armed and armoured western attacks with only the most basic of equipment in comparison.

Doesnt look good for the Western forces there in afghanistan when the winter snows melt...

Strapped to Apaches and dodging fire, how troops recovered fallen comrade

· Marine died during failed attack on Taliban fort
· Four soldiers clung to gunships in rescue effort

Declan Walsh in Islamabad and Richard Norton-Taylor
Wednesday January 17, 2007
The Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanista...992035,00.html

It was an extraordinary end to a tragic operation. When Lance Corporal Matthew Ford was shot during an assault on a Taliban fortress last Monday, his comrades mounted a dramatic rescue mission that saw soldiers being strapped to the wings of helicopter gunships as they crossed a river under heavy enemy fire.

The remarkable mission, dubbed "Flight of the Phoenix" by some, did not save the life of the 30-year-old marine who, it turned out, had died instantly from gunshot wounds. But it may gain four courageous marines an honoured place in British military history books.

The drama unfolded during a British assault on Jugroom fort, a Taliban base in Garmser, a district of southern Helmand racked by violence. The riverside fort - a high walled compound ringed by watchtowers - had been under surveillance for more than two months. Military intelligence believed key Taliban leaders were hiding inside and that it was the command headquarters for insurgent activity across Garmser.

On Sunday night a 200-strong British force, led by Royal Marines, launched an operation to flush the Taliban out of the heavily fortified position. They started by launching a diversionary attack on other enemy positions to the north. Then at about 2am, they turned their sights on the real target. B1 bombers and 155mm artillery attacked as a company of marines from 45 Commando gathered on the western bank of the river, across from the fort.


Ground assault

They attacked shortly after dawn, storming across the Helmand river in a convoy of Viking amphibious vehicles. Apache gunships, Scimitar armoured vehicles and 105mm artillery provided covering fire. The commandos raced towards the fort walls, tumbled out of the armoured track vehicles, and started the ground assault.

But the besieged Taliban fighters proved resilient, and sprayed the Z Company marines with gunfire. Within minutes the British force suffered four casualties, mostly gunshot wounds. The commandos leapt back into their Vikings and retreated to the far bank of the river.

Moments later, commanding officers realised that one of their number was missing - Lance Corporal Ford. Reconnaissance aircraft found him lying outside the walls of Jugroom fort, on the far side of the river. It was not clear if he was alive. The soldiers prepared to return in the Vikings - a gambit that would entail enormous risk.

The Apache pilots hovering overhead suggested a less perilous but highly unusual move - they would bring the rescue squad across the river. Two Apaches landed and four volunteer marines strapped themselves to the aircraft wings using harnesses.

Dodging Taliban gunfire - and with four marines lying across the wings in the manner of the heroes of the second world war film Flight of the Phoenix - the two Apaches sped across the river and landed outside the Taliban fort. The marines unstrapped themselves and searched for Lance Corporal Ford. Having recovered his body, they strapped it to one of the Apaches and safely crossed the river.

Defence sources described the rescue as an unprecedented operation. Apaches cannot carry passengers - the small fuselage is crammed with instruments and weapons systems and can barely accommodate two pilots. But there are attachments on the wings to which soldiers can harness themselves in an emergency.

Failure

The army did not publicise the spectacular retrieval of Lance Corporal Ford's body in an official account of Operation Glacier Jugroom released last night. "Our intention was to show the insurgents that they are not safe anywhere, that we are able to reach out to them and attack whenever and wherever we choose. To that end the mission was a success," said Lieutenant Colonel Rory Bruce.

The identity of the four marine rescuers remains unknown. But despite their heroism the mission was a failure - the Taliban were not expelled from Jugroom fort, and their defiance may be a harbinger of more hard fighting to come.

Following last year's surprise Taliban resurgence, Nato forces across the south are bracing for an expected spring offensive that may start as early as next month. Some of the toughest action can be expected in Helmand. Already the British military has suffered the first two western combat casualties of 2007. Last Saturday Royal Marine Thomas Curry, 21, was shot during close fighting near Kajaki, in northern Helmand.

Last night friends and comrades paid tribute to Lance Corporal Ford. His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Dewar, said: "Lance Corporal Ford was a popular and gregarious young Royal Marine whose professionalism, reliability, and selflessness as well as his sharp wit marked him out from the crowd."

The eldest of three brothers, he was brought up in Immingham, Lincolnshire. His mother, Joan, said: "We are all devastated by the news of Matthew's death. He was a larger than life character who lived his life to the full. His love for life and his ability to make everyone laugh will always be with us."
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FBI
01-17-2007, 07:38 PM
:sl:

bravery
I wouldn't call them brave with the amount of technology at their disposal, if they went in on foot then I would call them brave but they did it by air.
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akulion
01-17-2007, 07:52 PM
even if they strapped themselves to running horses while rescuing someone I would never see them as brave

The us army has destroyed its image in my eyes for life by murdering innocent people and suppressing millions
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Trumble
01-17-2007, 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by akulion
even if they strapped themselves to running horses while rescuing someone I would never see them as brave

The us army has destroyed its image in my eyes for life by murdering innocent people and suppressing millions
If you took the trouble to actually read the article before commenting you would discover it has nothing to do with the US Army.
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Islamicboy
01-17-2007, 08:40 PM
There is nothing brave about american troops. They are bunch of cowards who cannot fight without air support, bombs, tanks and cannot fight without other countries supporting them.
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Keltoi
01-17-2007, 08:42 PM
Originally Posted by Islamicboy
There is nothing brave about american troops. They are bunch of cowards who cannot fight without air support, bombs, tanks and cannot fight without other countries supporting them.
Does anybody actually read posted articles???
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Trumble
01-17-2007, 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by Islamicboy
There is nothing brave about american troops. They are bunch of cowards who cannot fight without air support, bombs, tanks and cannot fight without other countries supporting them.
They are perfectly capable of fighting without any or all of those things, but they are also bright enough not to do so unless there is absolutely no alternative.

War is not a game. Its purpose is not some schoolboy fantasy about displaying bravery, it is achieving political objectives by the use of force. If any political objective is considered sufficiently important to justify the use of force, it justifies overwhelming force - the objective is to win, not a 'fair fight'. If opponents are short on air support, bombs, tanks and support from anybody else that's their hard luck.

Patton once famously said "the purpose of war is not to die for your country, but to make the other ****** die for his". Obviously that is how to win, but commanders also have a duty to keep their own people alive as far as possible - they have no such obligation to the opposition; until they surrender, anyway.

And again.. the article has nothing to do with American troops.
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akulion
01-18-2007, 02:13 AM
Originally Posted by Trumble
If you took the trouble to actually read the article before commenting you would discover it has nothing to do with the US Army.
yea i stopped short reading i because it dosent matter if they were strapped to nasa rockets lol

British or American troops both murderers and supressors
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Dawud_uk
01-18-2007, 07:48 AM
Originally Posted by akulion
yea i stopped short reading i because it dosent matter if they were strapped to nasa rockets lol

British or American troops both murderers and supressors
assalaamu alaykum,

i agree they are murderers and oppressors, and if you read the rest of the article you will see they were forced to retreat and the taliban are still in control of the fort and effective control of that district.

assalaamu alaykum,
Abu Abdullah
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Keltoi
01-19-2007, 01:20 AM
Originally Posted by Dawud_uk
assalaamu alaykum,

i agree they are murderers and oppressors, and if you read the rest of the article you will see they were forced to retreat and the taliban are still in control of the fort and effective control of that district.

assalaamu alaykum,
Abu Abdullah
Think about it for a second...if there is a fort in a known Taliban location, wouldn't it be quite easy to destroy that fort from the air? That is the only thing that baffles me about the story. My guess would be that the fort was built with bunkers to withstand airstrikes, and the intelligence on the ground wasn't good enough to take that into account. I would be curious to know what actions have been taken since this article was written. If this was a British operation only, I would have to think they vastly underestimated the enemy presence.
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Trumble
01-19-2007, 03:26 AM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
If this was a British operation only, I would have to think they vastly underestimated the enemy presence.
We just don't know enough, really. Looks like you might be right, though. One company isn't much to attack a well defended fortified position even with air and arty support, so either enemy numbers were underestimated or (probably more likely) the attack was more of a demonstration than a determined assault to secure a position that they would probably have vacated shortly afterwards, anyway. I'd guess the objective was probably capturing those "key Taliban leaders" rather than the real-estate.

As you say, it would be interesting to know what happened since, if anything, but the press seems far more interested in 'Big Brother'.
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Ninth_Scribe
01-19-2007, 10:00 PM
Originally Posted by FBI
:sl:

I wouldn't call them brave with the amount of technology at their disposal, if they went in on foot then I would call them brave but they did it by air.
Oh I can assure you, air rescues are very sketchy - at best. They have to come in low, within firing range, and so they risk becoming easy targets themselves. The power of flight isn't without disadvantages. Just ask any duck during hunting season.

Ninth Scribe
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England
01-19-2007, 10:10 PM
I'm proud of the British troops. They are the finest troops in the world, no doubt about it. They are extremely brave for returning to the firezone. We have the best troops in the world. The SAS are also the finest in the world. Nobody can compete.



I posted this article in the general section...
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Keltoi
01-19-2007, 11:24 PM
Originally Posted by England
I'm proud of the British troops. They are the finest troops in the world, no doubt about it. They are extremely brave for returning to the firezone. We have the best troops in the world. The SAS are also the finest in the world. Nobody can compete.



I posted this article in the general section...
I would say the top five special forces units are claimed by the British, Americans, Australians, Israelis, and Russians. The order of "who is best" is up to opinion of course. I agree though, brave act and Great Britain has a right to be proud of their armed forces.
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England
01-19-2007, 11:49 PM
Originally Posted by Keltoi
I would say the top five special forces units are claimed by the British, Americans, Australians, Israelis, and Russians. The order of "who is best" is up to opinion of course. I agree though, brave act and Great Britain has a right to be proud of their armed forces.

Ok let's put it this way. The British SAS made the American special forces. All the US special forces are British trained. That's a fact. Australians and New Zealand have made a replica of the SAS, calling it the Australian SAS. The SAS have lead many operations in Iraq, led the US forces. Remember the storming of the Iraqi jail which was infiltrated by extremists? It was led by the SAS, no casualties suffered. There's also the storming of the Iranian embassy after terrorists had hijacked it. All but one of those terrorists were killed, the last one was arrested and still remains in prison today.
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Keltoi
01-20-2007, 12:00 AM
Colonel Beckworth patterned the idea of U.S. special forces from a mission he took part in with the British SAS, that is true. The training of U.S. special forces has nothing to do with the British, at least at this point. Plus, the U.S has quite a few different special ops groups. Delta, Navy Seals, etc. The Delta Force is supposedly the best in the world at close-quarters combat. I've heard of their training facility called the "House of Horrors".

This seems to be transforming into a "wee wee" contest, and I didn't intend to go down that road. I just disagree that U.S. special forces are "British trained", that isn't the case at all. They were initially modeled on the British SAS, but they have morphed into something else at this point.
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