Monday, August 07, 2017

Blast from the past. Today Extortion 17 was shot down...a warning to an Aviation Centric Marine Corps...

via Wikipedia.
On 6 August 2011, a U.S. Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter, Call Sign "Extortion 17," was shot down while transporting a quick reaction force attempting to reinforce an engaged unit of Army Rangers in Wardak province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan.[6][7] The resulting crash killed all 38 people on board—25 American special operations personnel, five United States Army National Guard and Army Reserve crewmen, seven Afghan commandos, and one Afghan interpreter, as well as a U.S. military working dog.[8][9][10][11] It is considered the worst loss of American lives in a single incident in the Afghanistan campaign, surpassing Operation Red Wings in 2005.
We said we would take a look at the Marine Corps operating concepts video that was recently released and the anniversary of this incident is instructive.

First lets take a look at the SOCOM angle of this thing.  Remember when the former SOCOM chief (Admiral McRaven) took a retired US Army Special Forces General to task when the old war horse warned that they needed to get out of the media or one day terrorist would be waiting for them?

I consider this incident proof that the warning was well justified.  SOCOM has become a one trick pony when it comes to operations.  They're an all raid and ONLY raid force now.

Worse?  They seem to have influenced Marine Corps thinking going into the future (I think the same could be said for the Army but they have a more robust ground least their leadership is so they're taking a more balanced approach).

Expect what was seen here to happen on future battlefields. Expect heavy casualties.  Landing where the enemy ain't?  Sounds good if the enemy is stupid!  Assaulting with Company Landing Teams by small boat?  Mitigating the risk by use of UAVs?

It sounds good in table tops but in real life?  I'm expecting a booming sale in body bags to the govt.

But back on task.

Aug 6, 2011 a Quick Reaction Force made up of brave Americans went to aid US Army Rangers in contact.  Before they could even engage the enemy they were shot down and killed.  A chaotic battlefield became even more chaotic and a concept should have died, actions reassessed and new ideas developed.

Instead we stayed the course.

Image trumped substance.  Raids are cool, helo assaults are the shit and someone somewhere decide that was the future of warfare.

May God have mercy on idiotic souls.

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