FOB Fenty and Attacks in Jalalabad

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 10 months ago

No one could report as clearly as Tim Lynch on the recent attacks in Jalalabad.

Last Wednesday morning the local Taliban sent eight guys to attack the US Army base at Jalalabad Airfield known as FOB Fenty.  They initiated the attack with a car bomb in a rarely used entry point on the southeastern side of the airfield which is well away from the Torkham to Jalalabad road.  The remaining attackers tried to bum rush the damaged gate and got shot all to hell by the American soldiers who man the guard towers.  Adding insult to injury there just happened to be a section of fully armed and fueled Apaches in the air and they were instantly able to pounce on the survivors of the futile charge at the damaged gate as they fled back towards a small village called Moqamkhan.  A joint force of ANA and 101st Paratroopers went into the village and finished off the survivors in a short fire fight.  FOB Fenty was back to normal by noon but the attack did generate plenty of news which may have been the point.

The Washington Post reported that:

Earlier Wednesday, insurgents detonated a car bomb outside the gate of an air base that serves as a NATO military hub in eastern Afghanistan and engaged in a gun battle with guards in the latest unsuccessful attempt by militants to penetrate a military compound.

At least eight suspected militants were slain in the attack on Jalalabad air base, Afghan officials said. The Taliban asserted responsibility for the operation, the Associated Press reported.

After the initial blast, NATO officials said, insurgents attacked the base’s guards with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms, wounding two.

NATO officials said the air base’s perimeter was not breached. “Afghan and coalition forces are always prepared to deal with attacks on this facility,” Maj. Mary Constantino, a NATO spokeswoman, said in a statement. “The response this morning was immediate.”

It would be good to get some clarification on this.  My contact (a contractor in Jalalabad) says that the outermost perimeter, manned by ANA, was indeed breached, but the U.S. forces responded quickly and didn’t allow incursions into the FOB (i.e., the inner security wasn’t breached).  Either way, Tim continues:

The attack on FOB Fenty has had zero impact on the local citizens or the troops stationed on the FOB – it was stupid and recognized as such.  But Jalalabad has had a series of IED attacks in the Safi Bazaar which is in the main downtown area.  The word on the street is that these are bombing targeting “un-Islamic” stores but they have hit cell phone stores and a juice bar which clearly fall within the definition of being properly Islamic. These attacks are very concerning but to date none of the local security offices have been able to turn up a night letter.  This area of the bazaar has had its share of problems over the past few years with several firefights breaking out between vendors with the local ANP joining in for good measure.  This could be score settling or the Taliban may feel strong enough to operate in openly in Jalalabad (which I doubt.)

I agree with Tim, and it isn’t clear to me what the insurgents were trying to accomplish.  There wasn’t any possibility of overrunning FOB Fenty.  Enemy tactics include massing of forces when they are attacking much smaller outposts.  Tim ends with an interesting and heartening account of the goings-on in Jalalabad.

Right now things are not looking too cool in Jbad for us internationals but there could be change afoot.  Lost in all the news surrounding the appointment of Gen Petraeus is the amazing (one sided) fights which have been happening in both Kunar and Nuristan Provinces.  Last week the troops stationed at the Nuristan PRT in Kala Gush spent several hours watching video feed of some 200 fighters climbing the mountain to the west of them in order to stage a massive attack.  Or something.  By the time these guys had humped all the heavy guns, mortars, rockets, ammo, etc… up the mountain there were B1’s stacked above them with 2000 lbs JDAMS.  Talk about an ass whooping – these kind of attacks really piss off the local tribes because their young men join the fighters and losing young men for nothing is not covered in any part of the Pashtunwali code.

Good.  As long as we are aggressively chasing and killing the enemy, we are doing what I have advocated.  We can do more, but we can’t do any less than that and win.  The best place to kill them is away from the population.  When they invite us to do so, we must oblige.

  • Warbucks

    “On July 2, 2010 at 9:41 am, Warbucks said:
    Perhaps there may be a politically (deceptive) work-around to the ANA level of competency (a question posted here on The Captain’s Journal

    “What can not be accomplished quickly on a large scale in readying the ANA to function, may be achievable on a much smaller scale and be quite adequate: develop a special-ops delta-force within the ANA. Surely they already have something going in this department on their own, probably under a totally different label……”

    In today’s paper (July 11, 2010 evidence emerges for the first time to my limited awareness, that indeed there appears to be some effort at developing “Afghan Commandos.”

    “International and Afghan commandos have been conducting near-nightly raids to capture or kill insurgents ……” Citation:

    What I would like to understand, since this report is the first I have read mentioning “Afghan commandos,” … does anyone have any information that they will post on TCJ as to whether or not the thesis of developing an elite force (Afghan commandos) as discussed in the above referenced Captain Journals ( has merit?

    Intuitively, the elite force concept, I believe carries the highest potential for success in building out the ANA to do its job by enlightening and sparking a cause-and-effect awareness in the minds of the average ANA soldier that their individual lives have meaning, purpose, and power which will shift foundational traditions away from sheikdom-privilege embedded in tribal priorities over to more democratic notions of nation building.

    I understand there will be risks in developing elite teams. My personal intuition suggests the faster we can do it, the better the outcome in Afghanistan.

  • Nadine DeSimone

    Thanks for the reporting -I have a nephew at FOB Fenty.


    Thank you for the reporting as well, I have a SON there at Fenty.. I am also glad to hear we are going after them wish they could do it harder, faster and sooner but then I am not PC. How can I follow your reporting on this area of Afghanistan?

  • Gamma J

    (Q) What is the definition of insanity? (A) …doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

    Let’s try something new, like letting the good guys fly and fight like they are trained to. Then they can ALL come home and take care of us!

  • Sasha

    I’ be been offered a civilian contractor job; with an assignment on Fenty
    I can’t seem to pull up any information or photos of this FOB. Does someone
    Have any information that they are willing to share with me?

  • Timothy G

    I was there when this attack started. I have to give special thanks to the arny for keeping our FOB safe, and was given the chance to return to my Family! Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do!

  • Timothy G

    I was there when this attack started. I have to give special thanks to the arny for keeping our FOB safe, and was given the chance to return to my Family! Integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do!

  • Ray


    Small, not a lot of amenities. Single chow hall, Green Beans, Smallish PX that’s not been well stocked since the Pakistani troubles a couple of months back. Hot in the summer, mild winters.

    B-Hut living quarters, open bay for at least a couple of months then eventually a 10 X 10 room, no indoor plumbing.

    All in all, not a horrible place to work compared to some places I’ve been and seen.

  • ron

    its a shit hole like the whole damn country. to obama or whoever the hell gets in next… pull them all out now and let the afgans kill the shit out of each other like they have done for thousands of years

You are currently reading "FOB Fenty and Attacks in Jalalabad", entry #5186 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Jalalabad and was published July 8th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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