Never underestimate Intel! (Max quote 10/18/19)
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October 18, 2019 at 1:52 am #124133
Never underestimate Intel!
A friend of mine had his patrol out on the ground when we were in Afghan after 9/11. It was night and they came under sustained fire as they moved near a compound. He won a medal because he told everyone to NOT FIRE. They took cover in a wadi. The compound Afghans had detected them and thought they were a threat. They were just defending their home.
In the early days of OEF in Afghanistan I’ve been involved with many “first contact” situations.
You have to remember that in many of these situations the last time these Afghani villages had foreign military “visit” their village was the Soviet Army!
Needless to say that experience left a bad taste in their collective memory.
As we approached a village the woman and children would vanish (always a good sign, NOT), then armed village men would take positions.
So main group would stop, a single vehicle would approach within say a 100 meters, then you get out and make a display of shifting slung rifle to your back and with outstretched hands approach closer accompanied by your interpreter. Hail them to discuss situation and state your peaceful jntentions. Ultimately have tea with village elders and make friends, follow up with some humanitarian aid in the form of a LMTV filled with supplies.
Then reap the rewards as your new found friends provide valuable information for analysis into intelligence.
Been there, done that, and it can be a bit unnerving being the individual with terp, but that’s why we get the big bucks! (Tax free pay, hostile fire pay, isolated duty pay, etc..)
October 19, 2019 at 3:10 am #124294First SergeantModerator
We entered a village in 2006 in southern Afghanistan and had the same issue. The last Army they has seen were Soviets. The women were not happy.
Signal Out, Can You Identify
Je ne regrette rien
In Orbe Terrum Non Visi
October 19, 2019 at 3:43 am #124295
These type of missions demonstrate the need for experienced leadership, far too many were too quick to want to start fights when it wasn’t necessary.
When we made the approach you needed a calm confident appearance with associated body language. To look like all those weapons trained on you were of no concern.
After we got involved in Iraq and the very different approach taken there, we had great difficulty with those that had deployed to Iraq before coming to Afghanistan. Something lost on many that I stressed is how would you react to armed foreigners kicking in your doors without justification.
The villagers knew when we went after legitimate targets and we were making great strides.
Then we got lost with “the why” and fucked everything up trying to make them into something they would never be.
I’ll stop before I get into a rant.
- This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Joe (G.W.N.S.).
June 5, 2020 at 12:44 pm #148585
Given current events this is worth a bump.
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