Rules of Engagement?

At what point are Military Commanders and Ultimately Politicians accountable for Military Deaths?.

What’s prompted this, well it’s the recent death of one of our soldiers in the fire fight with the RAG HEADED FKN MUPPETS Taliban, or, if you wish to call them by a different name, the Insurgents in Afghanistan.

I clearly remember hearing the news of our boys death and the information within the broadcast that they had been locked in a fire fight for THREE HOURS!. That statement really leapt of the page at me and I knew straight away that something was seriously wrong…wrong as in, somebody has changed the rules here and there is no way, they should have been engaged for that long.

Just quickly, I have posted below here details, of both the Military equipment we have in Afghanistan, plus the Defence news release and other info as well. I should also point out, that for various reasons, I have to be a mite careful on what I post here on THIS particular topic as well, for reason I shall not go into.

So, back to the issue at hand, it was noted after the action took place , that Diggers had questioned why Mortars were not available, below you will see commentary of our gummits commitment to deploy mortars to the theatre…guess they must have been on holidays..or NOT ALLOWED TO FIRE.

OKAY!, so, the rules of engagement are almost certainly what has ensured that this fight went on for so long, the statement that ONE, precision guided munitions was dropped and that ONE AH64 Apache fired its cannon, in what was a three hour long running fire fight, where quite obviously we had troops pinned down by enemy fire…beggars belief. In this day and age, units, for example this one in particular, who come into contact with the enemy will do one of two things.

Firstly, depending on the initial engagement, that’s just how many enemy open up on us, the size of the attacking enemy force, the commander will determine whether we can go over to the attack or remain in place and trade fire, on the basis the he believes the situation favors us continuing the engagement OR, he will seek to break contact as the size of the enemy force and perhaps the terrain favors them and we would be essentially pushing a very bad situation.

So that in turn brings us to the THREE HOUR fire fight, ONE bomb dropped and some 30mm ammo expended from AN apache attack helicopter.

WHY did the troops not break contact, was it because the sustained enemy fire did not allow them too, why was there three hours worth of over watch gun fire from the two ASLAV Armored recon vehicles…hmmmm.

OK, well, why then did they not receive indirect fire support, I am guessing that given they were pinned down, they must surely have been able to identify the location , that’s, sources of the suppression enemy fire, it’s the same adage used time and time again, IF YOU CAN SEE IT, YOU CAN KILL IT!.

Except of course if you are NOT ALLOWED TO KILL IT!. OK, that might suggest that the enemy were perhaps at the extreme edge of small arms fire, WELL THEN, why no arty, why not massive air support. I fear over the next few weeks we might see some info come out. What’s also rather disturbing is that the main stream media are not following up on this, are they also beholden to the political machine now based in Canberra. Has our much vaunted and oh so intelligent gummite managed to silence them too, or is it simply a case of its NOT new worthy.

Well for sure, on both counts, I suspect the media are guilty for NOR pursuing this much much farther, after all, isn’t that what THEY SHOULD FKN WELL BE DOING!, keeping the fkn bastards honest.

I will tell you exactly what I do think has happened.

The gummite has restricted the utilization of indirect fire weapons, which will mean, that unless the insurgent is out in the open, not with 500 kilometers of a house, child, bird, news correspondent or endangered plant species, then FIRE SUPPORT WILL BE AVAILABLE.

IF, all of the above criteria are met, then I think they might get some help.

One thing is for sure; I fear that our casualties will only now increase for the wrong reasons…restricted rules of engagement.

But this beggars another question. If our politicians place unnecessary and overly restrictive ROE’s on the troops, for simply political expediency and these are far far above what is considered acceptable. Should, the politician enacting these stupid ROE’s, be held accountable for any deaths.

Let’s face it, soldiers are now being charged!, so why can’t we have a politician charged. If they make the stupid fkn decision, that places unnecessary risk upon an individual, almost ensuring that with a doubt, they will become a casualty ..why should we NOT charge the politician with MURDER!.

Let’s face it. They Politicians have a job to do, thats for the ADF, to ensure that when our boys and girls are placed in harm’s way, they have the best kit, the best doctrine, the best training and the best support available.

Now if we are going to really restrict what the troops can do, not let then defend themselves with indirect fire support, all in the HOPE, that the villages and maybe the bad guys might see us as the good guys, then pull the fkn troops out!, fence the fkn joint off, lift the engagement rules for persons crossing the new fence to , USE ANY AND ALL FKN MEANS AVAILABLE TO KILL THE FKN MUPPET SHORT OF NUKES!.

Have a look about, somebody changed the rules and forgot to tell the tax payer, even more importantly, they forgot to tell the troops and that they, the elected official are actually mean to help us, our troops and they SHOULD GIVE A DAM!.

This stinks to high heaven of a cover up..its political and I will be they do not come clean. Maybe?

GENERAL INFO!.

As of February 2010 approximately 1,550 Australians were deployed to Afghanistan.[13]

The 4th Field Regiment is an artillery unit of the Australian Army. Currently it provides direct-support to the 3rd Brigade and is based at Lavarack Barracks in Townsville, Queensland. The unit was raised in 1960 and is currently equipped with the L119 Howitzer Field Gun. The unit deployed during Australia’s commitment to the Vietnam War and has subsequently deployed to Singapore and East Timor

WIKI Info:

24 August – Australian forces from 1st Mentoring Task Force and Afghan National Army soldiers are involved in intense fighting during a three-hour close quarters battle with Taliban forces in Deh Rahwood, in western Uruzgan during the Battle of Derapet. AH-64 Apache attack helicopters provided close air support before the combined Australian and Afghan patrol broke contact after inflicting heavy casualties on the Taliban who were forced to retreat into the mountains. One Australian was killed in the fighting, while a large number of insurgents were known to have been killed.[32]

WIKI info for the Battle of RAHWOOD,

The Battle of Derapet[1] was fought in Deh Rahwod in Orūzgān Province, southern Afghanistan, between a combined Australian Army and Afghan National Army patrol and Taliban forces on 24 August 2010.[1] The Australian forces from 1st Mentoring Task Force included a platoon of mounted infantry and two ASLAV-25 guncars. Attacking from six positions, they engaged the insurgents with small arms, machine gun fire and anti-armour rockets, with the cavalry engaging from the high ground in fire support.[1]AH-64 Apache attack helicopters also provided close air support.[2]

After three hours of intense fighting, the Australians broke contact and the Taliban retreated into the mountains. One Australian soldier was killed in the fighting.[1] Over 30 Taliban insurgents were found dead, however more were thought to have been killed but were carried away by fighters as they retreated. Although ultimately successful for the Australians and the Afghan National Army, it was a somber victory.[1] No Afghan casualties were reported.[3]

Australian forces had only recently taken over responsibility for Deh Rahwod as part of a major expansion of their area of operations which took place following the Dutch withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.[4]

And this is the ADF news release:

Australian soldier killed in Taliban firefight
25 August 2010

Related media
Operation home – Afghanistan

A 28-year-old Lance Corporal serving with the Mentoring Task Force in Afghanistan has been killed in action following an intense firefight with Taliban insurgents.

The incident occurred yesterday morning Afghanistan time (the afternoon of Tuesday August 24). Family of the soldier have been advised however his name will not be released at this time. The soldier leaves behind a wife and young family.

This brings the number of Australians killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to 21, 10 of which have happened this year.

The soldier, a member of the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment, was conducting a dismounted partner patrol with the Afghan National Army in the green zone of the Deh Rawud region when the engagement took place.

Unfortunately, the immediate first aid provided by the soldier’s mates was not enough to save him. He was an experienced soldier on his fourth operational deployment and his second tour of Afghanistan.

“He was a much-loved young man whose death is going to leave a terrible, terrible gap in the lives of those around him,” Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner said.

The patrol remained in contact with the Taliban insurgents for almost three hours before withdrawing from the area. An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) AH-64 Apache helicopter used its 30mm cannon while additional help was called from a precision-guided weapon to provide support during the engagement.

No other Australian or Afghan soldiers were wounded in the firefight.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the deepest sympathies and prayers of the Defence community were with the soldier’s family.

“Their loved one was lost in the service of our nation, and we will bring him home and lay him to rest with dignity and respect. And we will help this family as they grieve,” he said.

“This past month has been a trying time for the soldiers of the Mentoring Task Force. As they farewelled their colleagues – Privates Grant Kirby and Tomas Dale from Tarin Kot yesterday, news of the death of this soldier was coming through.

“All operational deaths are tragic events and impact on our soldiers. But they have a mission and will press on, in honour of their fallen mates and in the knowledge that their contribution was for a worthy cause.

“This soldier was providing valuable mentoring and training to soldiers of the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade when the incident occurred. He was making a real contribution to the capability of the Afghan soldiers as well as providing security and protection for the Afghan people,” said Air Chief Marshal Houston.

Bases around Tarin Kowt.

Camp Russell: Camp Russell is part of the complex of coalition bases and facilities in and around the town of Tarin Kowt. Camp Russell has been used by Australian special forces both in the first deployment in 2001-3, and again from 2006, as well as by the Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force. It includes an airfield.

FOB Ripley: the base used by the ADF Reconstruction Task Force southeast of Tarin Kowt earlier known as FOB Ripley.

CAMP HOLLAND: Kamp Holland is part of the complex of coalition bases and facilities in and around the town of Tarin Kowt [Tirin Kot], the provincial capital of Oruzgan province, and the main base for Dutch forces in Afghanistan, and Task Force Uruzgan and PRT Uruzgan.

As the Task Force Uruzgan (TFU) is a composite unit it consists of various units and specialties of the Dutch armed forces, therefore Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Special Forces and Military Police personnel are completely integrated in the TFU.

The TFU “hard core” is the Battlegroup, consisting of infantry – Dutch Airmobile or Marines btn – and some 155mm mechanized howitsers for firesupport. In case the Battlegroup needs close air support, the Dutch Air Task Force – consisting of F-16 multiroles stationed at Kandahar Airfield and AH-64D Apache combat helicopters stationed at Tarin Kowt- will provide it.

An important item of the overall mission is the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT). PRT is responsible for the supervision of all technical and logistical support to rebuild the Afghan province of Uruzgan. The PRT is part of ISAF and is placed under NATO command.

From their Regional Kandahar Hq, Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom take their 6-months turns in commanding all NATO military personnel spread over the area.

In December 2009 approximately 1,300 Dutch and 390 Australian personnel were stationed at Kamp Holland.

The Australian 2nd Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force (MRTF-2) is also based at Camp Holland.

MRTF-2 is engaged in reconstruction, mentoring and security operations in Uruzgan Province.

The bulk of the MRTF is composed of elements from the 3rd Brigade (Australia) (Townsville), with support elements drawn from the 1st Brigade (Australia) (Darwin) and from the Navy and Air Force.

MRTF-2 includes 2 Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) whose mission is to assist in the development of the 4th Brigade of the Afghan National Army. Australian soldiers that operate in the OMLTs live with, train and provide support to their Afghan National Army colleagues in patrol bases in Uruzgan Province. In so doing, the OMLTs continue to develop the capability of the 2nd Afghan Kandak and the 4th Afghan Kandak.

MRTF-2 also includes two Combat Teams (CT) which undertake security operations within Uruzgan Province in order to enhance the security environment in the province. These CT’s are operationally integrated in the Dutch Battlegroup.

All Dutch military locations in Afghanistan:

Kabul

  • ISAF Hq
  • ISAF Hq Log Support element

Kandahar

  • Cdr Kandahar airfield
  • Staff RC South
  • Contingent Cdr and Staff
  • Air Task Force F-16 det
  • Air Task Force Cougar/Chinook det
  • Joint Support det
  • Role 3 hospital (specialized chirurgical aid)

Tarin Kowt

  • Staff Task Force Uruzgan
  • Australian MRTF-2
  • Provincial Reconstruction Team
  • Battlegroup
  • Air Task Force Apache det
  • Staff and Operational Mentor Liaison Team
  • Log Support det
  • Role 2 hospital (emergency aid)

Deh Rawod

  • Battlegroup
  • Operational Mentor Liaison Team
  • Provincial Reconstruction Team
  • Log Support det
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9 thoughts on “Rules of Engagement?

  1. I notice that some “commando’s” – who the fuck knows with the media. They wouldn’t know a commando from a bag of salt and vinegar chips – are being put before ‘the court’ over the deaths of some civi’s and kids. I GET the need for an investigation, but why let the general fkn dickhead main stream media get their fangs into soemthing they know NOTHING about?.

    Odd one too.

  2. Sorry to hear about the loss. Hate to see good people die because of bad decisions from on high. The Australian Army has always been held in good stead here-a solid bunch to fight alongside.

    Some of the ROE in Afghanistan are ridiculous. May as well get out if the rules don’t let the troops do their job. And knuckleheads in Washington (or Canberra, for that matter) who couldn’t figure out the sharp end of a bayonet if you put it in their hand shouldn’t be trying to dictate how tactical engagements are handled and fought, or worse yet, directing them from thousands of miles away. And the media needs to learn the difference between informing the public and keeping operational and national security.

  3. – Most of the information below the heading ‘Bases around Tarin Kowt’ is out of date. As of August 1st, the Netherlands began withdrawing from Uruzgan (being replaced with U.S. units), and the name of ‘Task Force Uruzgan’ was changed into ‘Combined Team Uruzgan’. The names of the bases have changed, too. This is now ‘Multinational Base Tarin Kowt’.
    – The reporting in most Australian media about the ‘contact’ at Derapet (a tiny village in a narrow valley to the East of Deh Rawod) is IMHO somewhat overstated. I wouldn’t call a platoon-sized contact a ‘Battle’. Since 2006, Uruzgan has seen only two ‘real’ battles: the June 2007 Battle of Chora (in which the Dutch threw in their entire Battle Group (3 infantry coys)) and the January 2008 Battle of Deh Rawod (in which U.S., Afghan and Dutch forces cleared the entire Deh Rawod area of Taliban and foreign fighters).

    Hans de Vreij
    Radio Netherlands Worldwide

  4. We have devastating fire power available, if we refuse to use it that instructs our enemy on how to avoid it. Mind you when compared Afghanistan and Vietnam, the similarities between them, it shows that lessons have been ignored (they sure as hell were learnt).

  5. MOKO, yeah thats another very interesting one as well. Some say its because they were TO Honest in the AAR, well, if they are and then still charged its either they have broken the standing orders or somebody is out for their arses. I think the ROE is prolly wrong and we are NOT being told!.

    YD: all good points, and I think you are right, especially on the media as well and most fucking definitely on the muppets significantly removed from the action. For some fucking reason the film and the ACTUAL EVENT BREAKER MORANT keeps flashing through my head!.

    HANS: Cheers for the update, apologies on the lateness of authorising your first comment, the system flagged ya as SPAM,…lol.

    And thanks for the update. I think the pull out is a very big pity and we will most definitely be the worse off for it.

    BANGARRRR: Spot on, the application ability is there, Most assuredly and the ONLY reason it would not have been utilised is if it was NOT allowed!..thats a restrictive ROE!

  6. The current ROE are nuts.

    My last Battery Commander (as a JTAC in the Ghan) had a Legal Officer trying to tell him about the “effects” that usage of particular ammunition nature would have on collateral damage, explaining to the boss that this means we would be violating our ROE.

    The BC said to the LEGALO “So you been professionally trained in effects generated by direct and indirect fires have you…..No, thats my job and it is my responsibility to coordinate offensive response for the Manouvre Arms Commander”

    Result: The LEGALO won and no close air was allowed on that clearly identified target, and the Taliban kept firing on alliance forces for an hour before they got bored and left the AO, mostly unhindered.

  7. Stevo: mate, sounds like a lot of what we suspected, The only sound apart from the guns firing or tubes letting them out that I would want to hear in the battery’s position, from a mortar-mans perspective is ” Rounds Complete”.

    At least that way, I know the bloody dig’s at the other end are getting some support!.

    cheers mate!

  8. “If our politicians place unnecessary and overly restrictive ROE’s on the troops”

    and there is the mistake? The ROE shouldn’t be written by politicians but by experience military staff with the best information available.

  9. Its happening again. restricting the troops re weapons based on political considerations, not winning the fight. That is one of the best reasons we have for getting the fuck out of there. If we are going to put our people in there, let them do their job and give them whatever support they need and undo the handcuffs. Our frontline fighters are the ones in the best position to decide on the effetcs of weapons. They’re professionally trained for it whereas ROE are made up by people who aren’t at the pointy end.
    Sucks.

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