Green on Blue incident strikes high and hard.

(Article by Claudette Roulo, DoD News, Defense Media Activity. 5 AUG 2014. Source.)

An American 2-star general was killed today in Kabul, Afghanistan, when an individual believed to be a member of the Afghan security forces fired into a group of coalition troops, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters.

The coalition troops were on a routine site visit to the Marshal Fahim National Defense University, the Afghan army’s commissioned and noncommissioned officer academy, Kirby said during a news briefing today.

"There are a number of casualties as a result of the shooting, perhaps up to 15, to include some Americans," he said. "Many were seriously wounded. Others received only minor injuries. The assailant was killed."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel extends his heartfelt condolences to the family of the fallen general on behalf of the men and women of the department, Kirby said.

The family notification process is not yet complete, the admiral said, and no further information will be released until that process finishes.

"I’m sure you can understand that we want to respect the notification process and the family’s privacy at this time," he said.

Hagel received an update on the incident this morning from Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the International Security Assistance Force commander, Kirby said.

"And he pledged to General Dunford whatever support he and this department could provide with respect to the investigation," he added.

"The incident will be jointly investigated by Afghan and ISAF authorities," Kirby said. "That investigation is just now getting underway. We need to let it proceed before speculating about any specific circumstances."

Life and Death in the Korengal.

Baker Company, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division in the Korengal Valley, Kunar Province, Afghanistan, August 2009.

(Photos and article by Sergeant Matthew Moeller, 22 AUG 2009.)

KUNAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — As bullets started to rain down on Baker Company’s position, a Soldier sighed, and said, annoyingly, “Well here we go.”

Over the next twenty minutes the service members fired everything from bullets to curse words at the invisible enemy attacking from the surrounding hills.

"Just once I’d like to come out here and not get shot at," said an exasperated U.S. Army Sgt. Graham Mullins, of Columbia, Mo., using a four-foot stone wall for cover. "Just once."

Near the end, two F-15 fighter jets pummeled the insurgent forces with 500-pound bombs, and an eerie silence fell across the battlefield. For the U.S. service members, it was just another morning in the notorious Korengal Valley. 

Nicknamed “The Valley of Death,” the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Soldiers have called the isolated valley, in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, home, since arriving in June.

"This place is definitely its own monster; there are a lot of other dangerous places in Afghanistan, but I would say this place lives up to the hype," said U.S. Army Capt. Mark Moretti, Co. B. commander, and New Windsor, N.Y., native.

"It’s all just a waiting game," said a Co. B Soldier, during a ‘routine’ patrol. "We come out here, and wait for them to open fire on us."

Seeing some of the toughest fighting in Afghanistan on a daily basis, many Baker Co. Soldiers find humor in the idea that many of their fellow Soldiers are envious of their assignment, who often refer to the almost constant battle as the ‘infantryman’s dream.’

"I would tell them to seriously reconsider their thinking positions," U.S. Army Spc. Guadalupe Gardenias, a B Co. Soldier, said, laughing.

Living in conditions that rival the third-world villages they patrol, the tiny U.S outposts dotting the valley walls are in stark contrast to other American mega-bases in Afghanistan, such as Bagram Airfield, which offers everything from personal internet to American fast food restaurants. 

Here, if a resupply helicopter gets cancelled, Soldiers miss not only letters from home, but risk having to ration their food.

At the Korengal Outpost, Soldiers use outhouses and hope to shower once a week to conserve water. At nearby Restrepo Outpost, Soldiers lack any running water, and eat field rations for every meal.

"The conditions out here are tough, and it’s a tough fight," said Moretti. "But given the chance, I don’t think anyone would want to leave."

Despite daily gun battles, poor hygiene and tortuous terrain, the men of Baker Co. seem content living their life in the “Valley of Death.” When asked if they would take an easier assignment, the answer was always the same. “Not unless everyone else came with me.” 

To these Soldiers the debate back home about the war in Afghanistan means little. To them, it’s the brotherhood, born in combat, keeping these Soldiers motivated to stand shoulder to shoulder.

"Before I came into the Army a lot of people would talk about brothers in arms, and I thought it was kind of cheesy, but being out here, I can definitely say that it brings us a lot closer," said Gardanias. "Cause no matter what we say, or what we do, nobody besides us is going to know what we went through, and what it was like."

The International Security Assistance Force Headquarters announced earlier today that four personnel died in a hostile attack in eastern Afghanistan. (Source.)

They were not the only casualties, however, when a suicide bomber attack occurred near a clinic.

Wahid Seddiqi, spokesman for the provincial governor of Parwan province, said that in addition to the soldiers, at least 10 civilians and two police officers were killed when a suicide bomber attacked Afghan and foreign forces near Charakar, the provincial capital. (Source.)

fuckyeahcanadianforces:

Waging Peace: Canada in Afghanistan

An independently funded and filmed documentary on the Canadian experience in the Afghanistan war.

(via taco-man-andre)

USMC Corporal William ‘Kyle’ Carpenter’s Medal of Honor ceremony scheduled for 19 JUN.
Lance Cpls. Kyle Carpenter (left) and Nicholas Eufrazio are pictured in Marjah, Afghanistan during their 2010 deployment.
Summary of Action: Lance Corporal William Kyle Carpenter is enthusiastically recommended for the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life while serving as a squad automatic rifleman, Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) for actions against enemy forces on 21 November 2010 in Marjah district, Helmand province, Afghanistan.Lance Corporal Carpenter’s squad was tasked with establishing Patrol Base Dakota in a small village in the Karez-e Saydi area of Marjah on 19 November 2010. Traveling by foot, Lance Corporal Carpenter’s squad was accompanied by a team of engineers, an interpreter, and Afghan National Army personnel when they set out to establish Patrol Base Dakota.On the morning of 20 November 2010, the squad was attacked by small-arms fire, sniper fire, grenades, and rockets while providing perimeter security and filling sandbags to fortify their positions at Patrol Base Dakota. During this time, Lance Corporal Carpenter was occupying Post 2 which was located on the top of an Afghan storage shed made of mud, straw and small timbers in the southwest corner of the compound when it was struck by recoilless rifle fire. Lance Corporal Carpenter received no injuries during this incident, but two of his fellow Marines were evacuated from wounds received during the attack. Due to the damages sustained to the roof of Post 2, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved within the storage shed located below Post 2 requiring him to utilize an opening in the southeast corner of the wall for observation. The use of the opening had severely reduced the squad’s capability to observe the enemy forces’ movement outside of the patrol base to the south due to its close proximity to the ground.On the morning of 21 November 2010, Lance Corporal Carpenter and Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio were tasked with providing security for Patrol Base Dakota from an observation post identified as Post 1. Post 1 was located in the northeastern corner of the patrol base on the roof of the patrol’s Command Operations Center. It had limited cover and concealment and was built up with the use of sandbags three to four high in a circular design. While on post, Lance Corporal Carpenter was manning a M240B and, together with Lance Corporal Eufrazio, was assigned to observe the north, northwest, and northeast sectors of Patrol Base Dakota.At approximately 0900, Lance Corporal Eufrazio and Lance Corporal Carpenter received sporadic small-arms fire on their position causing them to lower their profile by lying on their backs in order to gain concealment while trying to obtain the locations of enemy positions. Unable to obtain the position of the enemy due to the thick vegetation and structures that surrounded them, Lance Corporal Carpenter’s squad leader loaned him his M4 service rifle in order to maintain a lower profile while scanning for enemy forces.At approximately 1000, Patrol Base Dakota was attacked again by enemy forces through the use of sporadic small arms fire. While attempting to locate their positions, enemy forces had maneuvered in close through the use of the walls of the compound across the street to the east. Once in position, three grenades were thrown over the east compound wall in consecutive order. The first grenade landed in the center of the compound and rolled toward the west entry point of the Patrol Base prior to detonation, injuring one Afghan National Army soldier. The second grenade landed near Post 2, without detonation. The final grenade landed in close proximity to him and Lance Corporal Eufrazio on the rooftop observation post.Realizing the danger that he and Lance Corporal Eufrazio were in, Lance Corporal Carpenter positioned himself between the grenade and his fellow Marine in an attempt to shield Lance Corporal Eufrazio from its blast. Due to Lance Corporal Carpenter’s actions, the majority of the grenade blast was deflected down rather than up causing a cone shaped hole to be blown down through the ceiling of the command operations center. The blast sent debris directly onto the platoon’s corpsman that was lying directly below the observation post where Lance Corporal Eufrazio and Lance Corporal Carpenter were posted. Although Lance Corporal Eufrazio received a shrapnel injury to the head from the grenade, Lance Corporal Carpenter’s body absorbed a majority of the resulting explosion.Lance Corporal Carpenter was severely wounded and immediately evacuated due to a depressed skull fracture requiring brain surgery, multiple facial fractures, a third of his lower jaw missing, a collapsed right lung, and multiple fragment injuries to both of his upper and lower extremities.Lance Corporal Carpenter’s extraordinary demonstration of bravery, decisiveness, and loyalty to his fellow Marine embody the Marine Corps’ values of honor, courage and commitment. His total disregard for his own personal safety distinguishes his conduct above and beyond the call of duty in the face of certain death. Due to Lance Corporal Carpenter’s fearless devotion to duty and heroic actions, he is strongly recommended for the Medal of Honor. High-res

USMC Corporal William ‘Kyle’ Carpenter’s Medal of Honor ceremony scheduled for 19 JUN.

Lance Cpls. Kyle Carpenter (left) and Nicholas Eufrazio are pictured in Marjah, Afghanistan during their 2010 deployment.

Summary of Action: Lance Corporal William Kyle Carpenter is enthusiastically recommended for the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry at the risk of his life while serving as a squad automatic rifleman, Company F, 2d Battalion, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) for actions against enemy forces on 21 November 2010 in Marjah district, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Carpenter’s squad was tasked with establishing Patrol Base Dakota in a small village in the Karez-e Saydi area of Marjah on 19 November 2010. Traveling by foot, Lance Corporal Carpenter’s squad was accompanied by a team of engineers, an interpreter, and Afghan National Army personnel when they set out to establish Patrol Base Dakota.

On the morning of 20 November 2010, the squad was attacked by small-arms fire, sniper fire, grenades, and rockets while providing perimeter security and filling sandbags to fortify their positions at Patrol Base Dakota. During this time, Lance Corporal Carpenter was occupying Post 2 which was located on the top of an Afghan storage shed made of mud, straw and small timbers in the southwest corner of the compound when it was struck by recoilless rifle fire. Lance Corporal Carpenter received no injuries during this incident, but two of his fellow Marines were evacuated from wounds received during the attack. Due to the damages sustained to the roof of Post 2, Lance Corporal Carpenter moved within the storage shed located below Post 2 requiring him to utilize an opening in the southeast corner of the wall for observation. The use of the opening had severely reduced the squad’s capability to observe the enemy forces’ movement outside of the patrol base to the south due to its close proximity to the ground.

On the morning of 21 November 2010, Lance Corporal Carpenter and Lance Corporal Nicholas Eufrazio were tasked with providing security for Patrol Base Dakota from an observation post identified as Post 1. Post 1 was located in the northeastern corner of the patrol base on the roof of the patrol’s Command Operations Center. It had limited cover and concealment and was built up with the use of sandbags three to four high in a circular design. While on post, Lance Corporal Carpenter was manning a M240B and, together with Lance Corporal Eufrazio, was assigned to observe the north, northwest, and northeast sectors of Patrol Base Dakota.

At approximately 0900, Lance Corporal Eufrazio and Lance Corporal Carpenter received sporadic small-arms fire on their position causing them to lower their profile by lying on their backs in order to gain concealment while trying to obtain the locations of enemy positions. Unable to obtain the position of the enemy due to the thick vegetation and structures that surrounded them, Lance Corporal Carpenter’s squad leader loaned him his M4 service rifle in order to maintain a lower profile while scanning for enemy forces.

At approximately 1000, Patrol Base Dakota was attacked again by enemy forces through the use of sporadic small arms fire. While attempting to locate their positions, enemy forces had maneuvered in close through the use of the walls of the compound across the street to the east. Once in position, three grenades were thrown over the east compound wall in consecutive order. The first grenade landed in the center of the compound and rolled toward the west entry point of the Patrol Base prior to detonation, injuring one Afghan National Army soldier. The second grenade landed near Post 2, without detonation. The final grenade landed in close proximity to him and Lance Corporal Eufrazio on the rooftop observation post.

Realizing the danger that he and Lance Corporal Eufrazio were in, Lance Corporal Carpenter positioned himself between the grenade and his fellow Marine in an attempt to shield Lance Corporal Eufrazio from its blast. Due to Lance Corporal Carpenter’s actions, the majority of the grenade blast was deflected down rather than up causing a cone shaped hole to be blown down through the ceiling of the command operations center. The blast sent debris directly onto the platoon’s corpsman that was lying directly below the observation post where Lance Corporal Eufrazio and Lance Corporal Carpenter were posted. Although Lance Corporal Eufrazio received a shrapnel injury to the head from the grenade, Lance Corporal Carpenter’s body absorbed a majority of the resulting explosion.

Lance Corporal Carpenter was severely wounded and immediately evacuated due to a depressed skull fracture requiring brain surgery, multiple facial fractures, a third of his lower jaw missing, a collapsed right lung, and multiple fragment injuries to both of his upper and lower extremities.

Lance Corporal Carpenter’s extraordinary demonstration of bravery, decisiveness, and loyalty to his fellow Marine embody the Marine Corps’ values of honor, courage and commitment. His total disregard for his own personal safety distinguishes his conduct above and beyond the call of duty in the face of certain death. Due to Lance Corporal Carpenter’s fearless devotion to duty and heroic actions, he is strongly recommended for the Medal of Honor.

ISAF Joint Command: Casualties, 10 JUN 2014.

KABUL, Afghanistan – We can confirm five International Security Assistance Force service members died in southern Afghanistan yesterday. 

The casualties occurred during a security operation when their unit came into contact with enemy forces. Tragically, there is the possibility that fratricide may have been involved. The incident is under investigation. Our thoughts are with the families of those killed during this difficult time.

It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

Update (from Army Times article by Rahim Faiez of the Associated Press. Source.)

Provincial police chief Gen. Ghulam Sakhi Rooghlawanay said there was a joint operation by Afghan and NATO troops in the area’s Arghandab district early Monday. After that operation was over, the troops came under attack from the Taliban and called in air support.

“There was a joint operation by the joint Afghan and foreign forces in Arghandab district of Zabul province on Monday. After the operation was over on the way back, the joint forces came under the attack of insurgents, then foreign forces called for an air support, Unfortunately five NATO soldiers and one Afghan army officer were killed mistakenly by NATO air strike,” Rooghlawanay said.

There was no way to independently confirm Rooghlawanay comments. The coalition would not comment and NATO headquarters in Brussels also deferred comment.

US Army Captain Jason B. Jones. 2 JUN 2014.

Died in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, of wounds received from small-arms. Jones was assigned to 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The incident is under investigation.

US Army Private First Class Jacob H. Wykstra. 28 MAY 2014.

Died in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained as a result of a helicopter crash. Wykstra was assigned 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado.

This incident remains under investigation.

Warrior ethos unwavering.
Afghan commandos of 1st SOK and National Army special forces review the mission plan one last time before Special Missions Wing flies in their helicopters, Kabul province, Afghanistan.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Connor Mendez, 24 DEC 2013. Article by Staff Sergeant Joseph Moore, 12 MAY 2014.)
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan commandos assigned to the 1st Special Operations Kandak quickly responded to the aide of one of their own in the Terelay Village, Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province, May 11.The 1st SOK received reports that a 1st SOK commando had been shot by insurgents at his home while on leave. The members of the 1st SOK quickly planned and executed a quick reaction force mission to rescue the wounded commando soon after being notified.Following the arrival at the village, the commandos located and secured the Soldier’s home and discovered he was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen. The training they received from their partnered forces served them well as they proceeded to provide tactical combat casualty care to the wounded Soldier. The commandos transported the injured Soldier to a coalition forces hospital, where he underwent surgery for the gunshot wounds he received. The 1st SOK commando is in stable condition and is on the road to recovery.The 1st SOK commandos exhibited their superior training and demonstrated their capability to quickly plan and conduct independent operations into an uncertain environment. Their training will continue to benefit their countrymen as they protect the people of Afghanistan from insurgents. High-res

Warrior ethos unwavering.

Afghan commandos of 1st SOK and National Army special forces review the mission plan one last time before Special Missions Wing flies in their helicopters, Kabul province, Afghanistan.

(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Connor Mendez, 24 DEC 2013. Article by Staff Sergeant Joseph Moore, 12 MAY 2014.)

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Afghan commandos assigned to the 1st Special Operations Kandak quickly responded to the aide of one of their own in the Terelay Village, Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province, May 11.

The 1st SOK received reports that a 1st SOK commando had been shot by insurgents at his home while on leave. The members of the 1st SOK quickly planned and executed a quick reaction force mission to rescue the wounded commando soon after being notified.

Following the arrival at the village, the commandos located and secured the Soldier’s home and discovered he was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen. The training they received from their partnered forces served them well as they proceeded to provide tactical combat casualty care to the wounded Soldier. 

The commandos transported the injured Soldier to a coalition forces hospital, where he underwent surgery for the gunshot wounds he received. The 1st SOK commando is in stable condition and is on the road to recovery.

The 1st SOK commandos exhibited their superior training and demonstrated their capability to quickly plan and conduct independent operations into an uncertain environment. Their training will continue to benefit their countrymen as they protect the people of Afghanistan from insurgents.

Whispers from a dead man’s gaze.

kidassassin:

jbgyllenhaal:

Afghanistan, Korengal Valley, Kunar Province.

2008

Photos: Tim Hetherington. Magnum Photos.

Amazing photoset.

(via taco-man-andre)