Operation Anaconda: The Battle of Roberts' Ridge - Page 3




 
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June 3rd, 2005  
Molly Pitcher
 
Hi, AusPackrat

In three weeks I will be Charge 7's wife. I'm monitoring his threads for him while he's away in training (he gets back in about a week).

I know he was very sorry that the Australians weren't mentioned in the program. I saw it with him and from what I remember, it was very much focused on just that one small group of men and didn't go much beyond that if at all.

I don't know why they weren't mentioned. Maybe it was due to time available for the show, military concerns, or just a bad decision. In such trying times as these, we need to do everything we can to acknowledge our allies.
June 10th, 2005  
jackehammond
 

Topic: Artillery and Operation Anaconda


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doody
I will have to see that.

Was there anything in the program on the lack of artillery during Operation Anaconda. That was one operation where artillery was needed really bad. It seemed the heads of the US military ignored its value and paid the price. The helicopters had troubler hovering and the Air Force never covered the sky every second of the battle.
Dear Member,

It was not the heads of the US Military. It was the personal refusal of the Secretary of the Defense. That was why the General Franks and two other US generals did everything to withhold information from an embeded reporter who was writing a book on OA till after the elections. They knew it would be the same dynamite as when Aspen refused to allow armor to go to Somalia in 1993.

Jack E. Hammond

btw, for the full story get a copy of NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE by Sean Naylor who all the US Army troops who come in contact with say he is one brave reporter. He is also one of the few honest ones.
June 10th, 2005  
jackehammond
 

Topic: Operation Anaconda and bringing a Mountain to an F-15E


Folks,

We have all heard the old saying of "Bringing the Mountain to Mohammend." Well, according to the author of NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE the US Army Special Ops people in charge of the friendly Afghan forces stated they had that problem with an F-15E.

In OA the main dominating feature was a mountain called THE WHALE that was on the west side of the valley and overlooked the whole area and controlled the only road in to the area. The bad guys had to everyone's surprise fortified them mountain with heavy machine guns and mortars.

The US Army was under the impression that the USAF was going to prep The Whale with 50 minutes of firepower and that the friendly Afghans attacking the valley would have first call on bombing missions. When the time came "one" B-1B arrived and dropped 6 bombs. The US Special Ops and the Afghans -- ie called Task Force Hammmer -- could not believe it. And then suddenly heavy mortar fire from The Whale drove them back.

Then all h*ll broke loose for the conventional US Army forces landing on west side of the valley and that first call went down the drain. That did not stop the TF Hammer advisors from trying to get some firepower on The Whale and do something about those mortars and heavy machine guns. Hours later they got a one F-15E assigned to them to bomb The Whale. The F-15E shows up and even though TF Hammer had two USAF enlisted tactical air controllers and one USAF combat controller with them they could not get the F-15E pilot to see what needed to be bombed on The Whale. This was with 35 trucks of TF Hammer having each a bright VS-17 panel on top of them. The pilot just kept flying around for 4 minutes refusing to drop. At last they told him just to bomb the whole mountain. Then it gets interesting. The F-15E pilot can't locate the mountain! At last the F-15E pilot "bingo" and had to go home without dropping his bombs. Later they got one more aircraft. A French Mirage (wonder if it come from the carrier DeGaulle or K-2) and it dropped its bombs 2000 meter off the target.

Finally, for those that will state a books author can print anything, the author states the names of the people who gave the information and the fact that they gave permission to use their names. And many wrote the Army Times recommending and endorsing the book.

Jack E. Hammond
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June 10th, 2005  
jackehammond
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigredlancer
I watched the "Roberts' Ridge" reenactment, and wondered why we don't have RPG-7s for some situations like this. I am only learning now about Army ops; is there a reason why we don't use this "instant artillery"?
And why we don't use those Apaches - altitude restrictions?
How about using an A-10 loaded to the gunnels with Hellfires?
BRL
Dear Member,

In answer to your question:

* Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld wanted to keep a cap on US forces in Afghanistan. He personally approved all US ground forces and their equipment. When they 101st sent a combat brigade team to Afghanistan (ie they were suppose to be for base protection and a quick reaction force incase the Special Ops got in trouble) he at first refused to allow them to take any of their divisional slice of Apaches or 105mm howitzers. In the end with the 101st brigade commander bugging him, General Franks got Rumsfeld to approve 8 Apache helicopters. That brigade was suppose to have 24 Apaches. On arrival two were sent to Kandahar. On the day of Operation Anaconda only five were available and they were launched to escort the Chinooks. Because of some mix up (ie the Army blames the Air Force and the Air Forces say it was a misunderstanding) there was no massive suppression of a mountain that controlled the route that the Chinooks would have to take. The Apaches had to fly back forth along that moutain drawing fire and taking massive hits. In the end the five had to fly back to a forward operations base to refuel and rearm. Two were so badly shot up they could not be used no more. That left three and by the time Roberts Ridge happen they were not avaiable. (It is by sheer luck that the Apaches were available and that three Special Forces reconn teams -- ie by one Captains initiative -- were inserted that took out a heavy machine gun position on a mountain that would have slaughtered the Chinooks and give controll for air strikes or it would have been a disaster and most likely Rumsfeld would have been hanged in the Pentagon inner circle. It may have even cost GWB the election. It was that close.)

* There were no A-10s available at that time it seems. Whether they were in the region or not I do not know. But shortly after Operation Anaconda an A-10A squadron was moved to Kabul air base.

* The US military does not need RPG-7s as it has weapons like them -- ie the USMC has the SMAW a version of the Israeli B-300 rocket launcher and the US Army Rangers have the Swedish Carl Gustav (wrote a large article on the CG -- great weapon). The problem is the weapon that replced the M72 LAW the AT-4/M136. The AT-4 as most people call it is a great antiarmor weapon. But it is heavy and clumbersome. In fact twice the size of the older M71 LAW which is perfect for this type of warfare in the mountains. The US defense budget shows funds to purchase improved M72s from Norway, but I have a feeling they are for other Special Ops units. In fact the US Army and Marines should both consider a one time buy of stocks of M72s for use in places like Afghanistan. They are perfect for bunker busting and taking out light armor but not powerful enough to be a threat to US Abrams or Bradleys if captured by the bad guys.

The only heavy stuff that was taken in on the first Chinook lift was one 120mm heavy mortar (ie because it had the range to cover the valley bothsides) and 35 rounds. The second lift never arrived with more mortars, etc. AQ on the other hand had heavy machine guns, mortars and even one dug in artillery piece.

Finally, there is one weapon I can not figure out why the US Army is so resistant to. That is rifle grenades. Not the one that is fired from the unit located below the barrel of the assault rifle but those that are stuck on the end of the barrel of a rifle. They make them now with bullet traps so you don't have to load a special round (ie or worry about accidently using a real battle round), that can be fired from the shoulder (ie use to be if you fired a rifle grenade from the shoulder you would break it) and they have pop up sights and a good rifle grenades man can put them through windows and bunker slits. The USMC in the late 1990 tested the Israeli rifle grenades and were all for them, but the US Army (ie while the US Army does not control the USMC they can effect its purchasing) was totally against rifle grenades. Go figure.('')


Jack E. Hammond
June 10th, 2005  
jackehammond
 

Topic: The Australian SAS at Operation Anaconda


Folks,

The Australian SAS unit in Afghanistan at the time of Operation Anaconda was called Task Force 64 and was the one that US Speical Ops units respected the most of all the non-US Special Ops units sent to Afghanistan after 9/11. In fact from reading the comments made in NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE by US Special Ops units you get the feeling that the US Special Ops unit people saw them as the best of all the Special Ops units in Afghanistan.

TF 64 was do to leave Afghanistan an go back to Australia. But when their commander found out that a big operation was being planned he asked if they could help. They were assigned to go in with the south blocking position.

TF64 and the 10th Mountain unit (ie the 101st combat brigade asked the 10th mountain if they could help them with a company and they sent a battalion) got pinned down in a small depression that came to be called Hells Halfpipe.

The one mortar that the 10th brought with them on the first lift was a 120mm mortar. They brought that instead of a lighter 81mm (ie which would have allowed a lot more rounds) because it could cover the whole valley. The first helicopter lift only brought 35 rounds for it. An AQ mortar got their range and as stated landed in among the mortar crew. Miracles of miracles no one was seriously wounded, but they had to leave the mortar. Later they went back and fired it off till they had no more rounds for it.

Jack E. Hammond


PS> If anyone is interested get a copy of NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE by Sean Naylor the embedded reporter on Operation Anaconda. After Franks retired he got full co-operation from everyone involved in AC. It goes into great detail about the personal battles everyone fought. As one officer stated AC became a Sgts battle.
June 11th, 2005  
jackehammond
 

Topic: Operation Anaconda and USAF General Trebon


Folks,

After reading 304 pages of NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE you at last see what the author is laying the ground work for and why some in the US Army passed information on to the author even though CENTCOM tried to prevent it and why General Franks stonewalled FOI request till early 2004 almost two years after the battle (ie knowing it could not be published before the election) and why the Pentagon co-operated all of sudden with the Discovery Channel in making the very realistic re-enactment of Takur Ghar to deflect attention from the release of the book.

To wit, if US Army Special Forces Captain Blaber is correct in what he has told the author USAF General Trebon decisions caused the disaster at Takur Ghar and it was not just a bad decsion, but one made out of a desire to advance his career as many US Army officers did in the Vietnam War (ie if anyone disagrees with that statement you are welcome to take it up with the C-in-C of US forces in Desert Storm 1991 and quite a few other combat veterans of that war). Of all the decisions made, it was Captain Bladers decision to infiltrate three reconn teams that saved Operation Anaconda from being a total disaster and then Trebon who had mostly ignored Operation Anaconda decided it was his turn to take over and direct tactical operations even though he knew hardly anything about it and then ...well you have to read the book.

This is a serious charge folks. Men got killed for that decision. That is understandable, but not when the decision is made for military-politics.

Finally, maybe you agree or not agree, but one of the worst things that can happen in any military force is to see those that did the wrong thing praised and rewarded and those that did the right thing ignored or even punished.

Jack E. Hammond

NOTE> The author of NOT A GOOD DAY TO DIE made repeated requests to interview Trebon, Kernan and Hyder but CENTCOM refused to all the interviews.
July 3rd, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackehammond
In fact the US Army and Marines should both consider a one time buy of stocks of M72s for use in places like Afghanistan. They are perfect for bunker busting and taking out light armor but not powerful enough to be a threat to US Abrams or Bradleys if captured by the bad guys.


Finally, there is one weapon I can not figure out why the US Army is so resistant to. That is rifle grenades. Not the one that is fired from the unit located below the barrel of the assault rifle but those that are stuck on the end of the barrel of a rifle. They make them now with bullet traps so you don't have to load a special round (ie or worry about accidently using a real battle round), that can be fired from the shoulder (ie use to be if you fired a rifle grenade from the shoulder you would break it) and they have pop up sights and a good rifle grenades man can put them through windows and bunker slits. The USMC in the late 1990 tested the Israeli rifle grenades and were all for them, but the US Army (ie while the US Army does not control the USMC they can effect its purchasing) was totally against rifle grenades. Go figure.('')

According to a couple of 0351's and 0352's I know who are on active duty the Marine Corps should soon be issuing the M72 LAAW as a supplement to Javalin and the AT4.

As far as Rifle Grenades well thats debatable. The M203 already serves that purpose to a large extent. A good Greanadier can use the 203 to the same effect.
July 12th, 2005  
RnderSafe
 
 
I think we get the point about Not a Good Day to Die.
Sean Naylor is good to go, I know him personally and this particular book is worth the money for those interested in learning more about this incident.
April 27th, 2006  
jamariop
 

Topic: Interviewees?


Hi, can anyone tell me all of the servicemen who were interviewed on this program (Operation Anaconda: The Battle of Roberts' Ridge)? I didn't catch the program and would like to know who was interviewed. I'm conducting research on the battle. Thanks for your help!
May 1st, 2006  
Dean
 
 
There were lots of people there. In fact, the world's record sniper kill was set by Canadians who were operating in support of US troops during Anaconda. The kill was confirmed at 2430 metres.

Dean.