Close Air Support of COP Kahler at Wanat

BY Herschel Smith
4 years ago

From the Wikileaks link for the defense of COP Kahler at Wanat (unfortunately, you must bear with the capital lettering, there is nothing I can do about it):

S: UKN A: SAF L: FRIENDLY: 42S XD 73985 80487 23:54 ROCKL: ENEMY: 42S XD 74488 80992 T: 12 2353 JULY 08 U: TF ROCK: C.CO R: SAF, 155MM TF ROCK REQUESTS CAS AND CCA ISO TIC 2358z: COP HAS RECEIVED EFFECTIVE SAF AND RPG ATT. ONE VEHICLE IS ON FIRE ATT. ALL PERSONNEL HAVE BEEN MOVE FROM THE VEHICLE. 0000z: COP KHALER HAS SUSTAINED 2XCASUALTIES ATT. 0004z UPDATE TO CASULATIES NOW HAVE 3XURGENT SURGICAL CASUALTIES. 0006z: AAF ARE LOCATED 100M WEST OF COP KAHLER. CURRENTLY ENGAGING WITH 155MM AND 120MM, CONTINUING TO RECEIVE EFFECTIVE SAF AND RPG 0014Z BONE-23 ON STATION 0016z: COP KAHLER IS CONTINUING TO RECIEVE EFFECTIVE SAF AND RPG. OP KAHLER IS UNDER EFFECTIVE SAF AND RPG. 0022Z DUDE-27 ON STATION 0024z: COP KHALER HAS A TOTAL OF 9 CASUALTIES ATT. STILL RECEIVING EFFECTIVE SAF. 0028Z SIJAM DEVIRTED 0029z: AAF ARE MANUVERING IVO OP KHALER. AAF ARE VERY CLOSE TO THE WIRE OF COP KHALER. AAF CONTINUING TO ENGAGE WITH EFFECTIVE SAF AND RPG. 0035z: CAS IS PREPAIRING TO REATTACK CAS TGT A. 0048Z DUDE-15 ENROUTE 0053z: COP KHALER IS RECEIVING SPORADIC SAF ATT. CCA CURRERNTLY MOVING INTO THE VALLEY ATT. 0056Z BONE-23 DROPPED 3xGBU-38s 0100z: CAS (DUDE-27) IS PREPAIRING TO CONDUCT A SHOW OF FORCE IN THE VALLEY. 0102Z CASEVAC AND SWT (2x OH-58 WEAPONS TEAM) PERPARING TO LAUNCH 0103z; CAS (DUDE-27) HAS COMPLETED SOF ATT. 0104z: MEDEVAC IS CURERNTLY INBOUND ATT TO COP KAHER FOR 1ST LIFT. 0108Z W/U JBAD ENROUTE TO COP KAHLER 0113Z BONE-23 DROPPED 1xGBU-38s 0122z: WILL UTILIZE THE OH’S TO ESCORT MEDEVAC A/C AND WILL CONTINUE TO USE AH’S TO SUPPORT COP KHALER. 0123z: AAF ARE CURRENTLY LOCATE WITHIN 400M TO THE WEST OF THE OP. CONTINUING TO UTILIZE AH’S ISO COP KAHLER. 0125z: MEDEVAC IS CURERNTLY W/D AT COP KAHLER ATT FOR FIRST LIFT. 0128z: ABLE COMPANY IS CURENTLY ENROUTE TO RE-ENFORCE COP KHALER ATT. 0138z: CHOSEN QRF HAS ARRIVED AT COP KHALER ATT. ABLE CO QRF WILL MOVE DIRECTLY TO COP KAHLER IOT RE-ENFORCE COP KHALER. 0152z: INTEL REPORTS HAVE INDICATED AN IED THREAT IN THE WANAT VALLEY IVO 42S XD 744 795 AND 42S XD 746 776. 0157z CASEVAC A/C ARE CURRENTLY W/D COP KHALER ATT. ABLE CO QRF IN MOVING INTO WANAT VALLEY ATT. 0203z: COP KHALER IS STILL RECEIVING SAF AND RPG’S ATT. 0215Z DUDE-27 ENGAGED ENEMY TARGETS WITH 1xGBU-31 0234z: CAS IS CURERNTLY ENGAGING CAS TGT. CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO-20. 0235Z DUDE-27 HAD DROPPED 4xGBU-38′s 0302Z HARDLUCK (2xAH-64′S) W/U BAF ENROUTE TO COP KHALER 0312Z DUDE-27 HAD DROPPED 1xGBU-31 0324z: UPDATE FOR COP KHALER: AAF IN WANAT ENGAGED COP KAHLER AND THE HEDGEROW ELEMENT FROM THE NORTH SIDE OF THE WANAT BAZAAR, THE MOSQUE, AND FROM DWELLINGS IN PROXIMITY OF THE COP. THE AAF MOVED THROUGH THE POPULATION. GOV WAHIDI (KONAR GOV) HAS ALREADY BEEN NOTIFIED AND DOING HIS OWN PRESS RELEASE. 0324z: COP KHALER OP IS RECEIVING EFFFECTIVE PKM ATT/CURERNTLY HAVE AN ADDITIONAL 3XWIA AT THE OP. 0327Z: D/O ELEMENT IS CURRENTLY ENROUTE ITO P/U ADDITIONAL CASULTIES. ~ 0355z: (AWT:HL76/74) LINKED UP WITH MEDEVAC (DO36/34) EN ROUTE TO FOB BLESSING. 0356z: CAS (B-1:BE11) CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 PREPARING TO ENGAGE CAS TGT M. 0410z: ABLE 6 LINKED UP WITH CHOSEN 6, CONDUCTING RECONSOLIDATION, REORGANIZATION, AND EMPLACING SECURITY. 0413z: CCA (AWT:HL76/74) ON STATION CONTROLLED BY CHOSEN 6. 0415z: CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 PREPARING TO ENGAGE CAS TGT L, CAS TGT O, AND CAS TGT P. 0434z: CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 PREPARING TO ENGAGE CAS TGT J AND CAS TGT K. 0452z: CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 PREPARING TO ENGAGE CAS TGT R AND CAS TGT S. 0530z: CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 ENGAGING CAS TGT Q AND CAS TGT Q.1 0549z: CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 PREPARING TO ENGAGE CAS TGT T AND CAS TGT V. 0600z: C6 REPORTS LRAS AND ITAS DESTROYED IN THE ATTACK, NO GBISR AVAILABLE AT COP KAHLER. 0607z: CAS RIP- CAS (A-10:HG53) ON STATION CONTROLLED BY VINO 20. 0642z: CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 ENGAGING HG TGT A. 0645z: CCA (AWT:HR50/53) ON STATION CONTROLLED BY C6. 0658z: CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 20 ENGAGING HG TGT B 0758z: PREDATOR OBSERVES THREE AAF MOVING EAST IVO XD 779 837. 0815z: PREDATOR PREPARING TO ENGAGE THREE AAF IVO XD 779 837 WITH HELLFIRE. 0821z: PREDATOR ENGAGED WITH HELLFIRE. CAS CONTROLLED BY VINO 24 PREPARING FOR RE-ATTACK. 0855z: REINFORCEMENT ACFT W/D COP KAHLER. 0903z: (AWT:HL74/76) ON STATION ISO COP KAHLER. 0940z: CURRENT FORCE AT COP KAHLER: 43 CHOSEN PAX 30 ABLE PAX 4 LLVI PAX 17 BATTLE PAX 5 ENGINEERS 1 THT 2 MEDICS 3 ETT 3 TERP 19 ANA 1130z: ROCK TAC(-) W/D COP KAHLER 1226z: PREDATOR, WARRIOR-A, AND CAS OBSERVING TWO PERSONNEL MANEUVERING IVO XD 742 792. 1442z: PREDATOR IDENTIFIED THREE PERSONNEL CARRYING EQUIPMENT IVO XD 7924 8248. 1448Z PT67(299) PT72(595) (WANAT RE-SUPPLY) W/U BLE ENROUTE COP KAHLER ~ 1555z: B-36 PID 2 AAF PAX MANUVERING INTO A FIGHTING POSITION LOCATED NORTH-WEST OF B-36 POSITION. CURRENTLY ENGAGING PID AAF PAX WITH SAF AND CCA IS MOVING TO B-36 POSITION ATT. 1559z: CCA IS CURRENTLY ENGAGING PID AAF PAX ATT. 1612z: LOCATION FOR PID AAF 42S XD 7424 8054. 1651z: TWO NEW INTEL EFFORTS HAVE BEEN MADE.ONE REFERENCES ICOM TRAFFIC AND THE OTHER IS A THREAT REPORT FOR COP KHALER. 1757z: AFGHAN COMMANDOS ARE CURERNTLY BEGINING CLEARENCE OPERATIONS OF DRAWS AROUND COP KHALER. 1846zCAS(SLASHER) HAS CHECKED ON STATION ATT. 1921:z BAJA (F-18) HAS REPORTED THEY HAVE RECEIVED SOME TYPE OF S/A FIRE THAT ORIGINATED 6 KILOMETERS TO WEST COP KHALER IN THE HIGH GROUND. 2121z: SLASHER HAS SPOTTED 4XPAX MOVING IVO 42S XD 778 807. CONTINUING TO OBS PAX ATT. 2147z:SLASHER IS STILL OBSERVING PAX. PAX ARE MOVING IN A MILITARY TYPE(STYLE) OF FORMATION. 2152z: SLASHER IS PREPAIRING TO ENGAGE PID AAF PAX. PID HAS BE EN DETERMINED BY PATTERNS OF LIFE IN THE AREA, PAX ARE MOVING IN ENGAGEMENT AREA AND PAX ARE TRYING TO AVOID CF A/C. 2156z: SLASHER IS ENGAGING PID AAF PAX ATT. 2201z: CCA IS MOVING INTO SLASHER ENGAGMENT AREA ATT. 2315Z: COP KHALER IS CURENTLY CONDUCTING STAND-2 ATT. 0110z:COP KHALER HAS BEEN REC EIVING INCREASED ICOM CHATTER. MAJORITY OF ICOM CHATTER IS IN NURISTANI AND UNABLE TO BE TRANSLATED. 0214z: AFGHAN COMMANDOS ARE CURRENTLY CLEARING HOUSES AND STRUCTURES TO THE NORTH AND SOUTH. MULTIPLE AK-47′S AND BLASTING CAPS HAVE BEEN FOUND FROM THE SEARCHES. IT APPEARS THE AAF USED A LARGE HOUSE TO STAGE FROM FOR THE ATTACK. 0226z:PRED CURENTLY HAS EYES ON 8XPAX MOVING IVO 42S XD 80070 82425. ~ 0350z: SUB-EFFORTS WILL BE USED FROM THIS POINT FORWARD.

There is more at the link.  Note that at 0100 Zulu time, CAS (Close Air Support) DUDE-27 (call sign) prepared to conduct a show of force within the valley.  DUDE-27 later attacked with GBU-31 (see 0215 hours Zulu), or in other words, a JDAM.  This show of force was conducted after COP Kahler had taken nine casualties, was receiving heavy incoming fire, and had stated that the AAF (Anti-Afghan Forces) were “very close” to the wire.

I find it simply remarkable that CAS was conducting a show of force with casualties being sustained.  It had been stated that AAF were maneuvering IVO (in the vicinity of) COP Kahler 32 minutes prior to the decision to conduct a show of force.  DUDE-27 didn’t deploy its JDAMS then.  DUDE-27 conducted a show of force.  Perhaps there is an explanation, and if so, I am willing to post it.  Until then, this is simply remarkable.  Just remarkable.  A show of force.



  • Warbucks

    Over to the two references of “AFGHAN COMMANDOS “.

    Herschel, Do you see a pattern of references to the mention of AFGHAN COMMANDOS in your readings? Can you establish the uses under which they are being used? I have a hunch, Afghan Commandos is a term that denotes a level of trust backed up by material support.

    If you are able to run a filter on your readings that bring forward each instance in which Afghan Commando (AC) appears in the Wikileaks material, I’d like to read it. Maybe its worth a post ?

    I think the AC will turn out to be the real force. Would like to understand.

  • rrk3

    Calling off the airstrike does not surprise me one bit even though it should be criminal. My brother is an AC-130 gunship pilot who just got back from Afghanistan. They were called off of targets in the open with no troops or buildings around. This caused him and his crew a great deal of frustration as they were flying all night missions and doing nothing but calling in contacts.

    What is interesting though he was there for a short after McCrystal left and suddenly the ROE was liberalized.

    Something we have not heard about is our aircraft are being engaged by AAA fire that is heavier than 12.7 and 14.5 mm. There seems to be some 23mm and 37mm mixed in as well. With the Wikileaks documentation talking about MANPADS as well this could present a problem for our aircraft especially for our helicopters. It seems Mullah Omar’s call to bring heavier weapons into the theatre is being fulfilled.
    http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=60068

  • davod

    Of course one way to combat heavier AA weapons is to make it suicidal to use one. Something even liberalised ROE are not likely to allow.

  • rrk3

    Davod,
    To follow up on your statement they are free to engage a AAA unit that is firing on them and a 105mm howitzer still outranges the systems that are being used against them. Much to the detriment of the crews manning these weapons.

  • Pingback: Air power disaster–”Show of force”; first tool out of the bag in an all-out fight « ELP Defens(c)e Blog

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  • JJM

    the comments about the show of force show a lack of understanding of the situation at Wanat. the show of force was conducted to distract the enemy. the CAS could not fire on the enemy directly because they were too close to friendly positions but if they flew low with afterburners on, the enemy would hit the deck and stop firing at the American defenders as they would not know that the CAS wouldn’t attack them. Given the distances between the forces, this was the only practical thing fast movers could do to affect the battle without accidentally killing friendlies. One of the SOF ac almost hit one of the Apaches during its gun run, BTW– you can clearly see this on the wanat guntapes.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Afghanistan,Battle of Wanat and was published July 27th, 2010 by Herschel Smith.

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