Mail Call!

U.S. Army soldiers in four-wheel drive vehicles wait as bundles of fuel are air delivered by a C-17 Globemaster III to Forward Operating Base Waza K'wah in Paktika province, Afghanistan. Jan. 30, 2011

U.S. Army soldiers in four-wheel drive vehicles wait as bundles of fuel are air delivered by a C-17 Globemaster III to Forward Operating Base Waza K’wah in Paktika province, Afghanistan. Jan. 30, 2011

US troops killed by attackers in Afghan uniforms. Again.

2 US troops killed, 4 wounded in Afghan attack

Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in an attack Wednesday by gunmen wearing Afghan security force uniforms in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. defense officials said.

It’s not clear whether the attackers were actually members of the Afghan military or simply in disguise. The story notes that the frequency of “insider attacks” has declined since the Afghans took the lead in combat roles.

UPDATE: Afghanistan frees 65 inmates U.S calls ‘dangerous’

Afghan authorities released 65 detainees from a detention facility Thursday in direct defiance of protests from the United States, which said the men were connected to the killing of Afghan civilians and coalition forces.

The U.S. command says more than two dozen of the men were freed have been linked to the deaths of 32 U.S. and allied troops, have ties to the most violent terror groups in Afghanistan and were caught with weapons and materials for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs), according to documents obtained by USA TODAY. They were being held at the Afghan National Detention Facility-Parwan.

Sometimes attackers are dressed as Afghan politicians instead of Afghan soldiers.

MRAP to Scrap

US military chops up $1-million vehicles

A lot of folks were concerned that the military was overbuying the MRAPs by a pretty significant margin.

It costs about $12,000 to crunch and dispose of a single MRAP here, said Mark E. Wright, a Defense Department spokesman. To ship one back to the U.S. and rebuild it to current standards would cost $250,000 to $450,000, he said. Selling the vehicles as scrap instead of shipping them home and refitting them will consequently save about $500 million, Wright said.

They’re too advanced for the Afghan forces to operate and maintain. Despite over a decade of assistance and training, most of their military appears to be at the irregular foot soldier stage.

Afghan troops are not known for their dedication to maintaining equipment; they prefer to run vehicles rough and hard until they break down.

Yah don’t say.

Squad Leader

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Burks, a squad leader with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, provides security during a mission rehearsal at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2013. The unit was preparing for a partnered operation with Afghan National Army soldiers. (DoD photo by Cpl. Kowshon Ye, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ryan Burks, a squad leader with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, provides security during a mission rehearsal at Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 27, 2013. The unit was preparing for a partnered operation with Afghan National Army soldiers. (DoD photo by Cpl. Kowshon Ye, U.S. Marine Corps/Released)

Ty Michael Carter

President Barack Obama awards U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C., Aug. 26. Visit www.army.mil/medalofhonor/carter/index.html to learn more about Staff Sgt. Carter and to view the "battlescape" recreation of his heroic actions in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller)
President Barack Obama awards U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ty M. Carter the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C., Aug. 26. Visit www.army.mil/medalofhonor/carter/index.html to learn more about Staff Sgt. Carter and to view the “battlescape” recreation of his heroic actions in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller)

From his citation:

Specialist Ty M. Carter distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Scout with Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kamdesh District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on October 3, 2009. On that morning, Specialist Carter and his comrades awakened to an attack of an estimated 300 enemy fighters occupying the high ground on all four sides of Combat Outpost Keating, employing concentrated fire from recoilless rifles, rocket propelled grenades, anti-aircraft machine guns, mortars and small arms fire.

Specialist Carter reinforced a forward battle position, ran twice through a 100 meter gauntlet of enemy fire to resupply ammunition and voluntarily remained there to defend the isolated position. Armed with only an M4 carbine rifle, Specialist Carter placed accurate, deadly fire on the enemy, beating back the assault force and preventing the position from being overrun, over the course of several hours. With complete disregard for his own safety and in spite of his own wounds, he ran through a hail of enemy rocket propelled grenade and machine gun fire to rescue a critically wounded comrade who had been pinned down in an exposed position.

Specialist Carter rendered life extending first aid and carried the Soldier to cover. On his own initiative, Specialist Carter again maneuvered through enemy fire to check on a fallen Soldier and recovered the squad’s radio, which allowed them to coordinate their evacuation with fellow Soldiers. With teammates providing covering fire, Specialist Carter assisted in moving the wounded Soldier 100 meters through withering enemy fire to the aid station and before returning to the fight. Specialist Carter’s heroic actions and tactical skill were critical to the defense of Combat Outpost Keating, preventing the enemy from capturing the position and saving the lives of his fellow Soldiers.

Specialist Ty M. Carter’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Bravo Troop, 3d Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.

Much more info here.

M240B

U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Newell scans the area while training to maintain his tactical skills as a member of a quick reaction force on Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, June 7, 2013. Newell, an M240B gunner, is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's Company C, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. As of June 18, 2013, Afghan forces have taken the lead in providing security for their country. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown
U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Newell scans the area while training to maintain his tactical skills as a member of a quick reaction force on Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, June 7, 2013. Newell, an M240B gunner, is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s Company C, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. As of June 18, 2013, Afghan forces have taken the lead in providing security for their country. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown

Everyone Looks Like the Army These Days

U.S. Navy Lt. Mike Quaglino, right, an operations officer with the Farah Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), walks to a tactical vehicle after a meeting with the Farah provincial director of telecommunications in Farah, Afghanistan, May 1, 2013. Members of the Farah PRT met with local leaders to talk about telecommunications infrastructure in the province and to deliver donated computers. The mission of the Farah PRT was to train, advise and assist Afghan government leaders at the municipal, district and provincial levels. (DoD photo by Chief Hospital Corpsman Josh Ives, U.S. Navy/Released)
U.S. Navy Lt. Mike Quaglino, right, an operations officer with the Farah Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT), walks to a tactical vehicle after a meeting with the Farah provincial director of telecommunications in Farah, Afghanistan, May 1, 2013. Members of the Farah PRT met with local leaders to talk about telecommunications infrastructure in the province and to deliver donated computers. The mission of the Farah PRT was to train, advise and assist Afghan government leaders at the municipal, district and provincial levels. (DoD photo by Chief Hospital Corpsman Josh Ives, U.S. Navy/Released)

Punished

Army removes XM25 from service after incident

The Army’s XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement system has been removed from service after a training accident injured a soldier in Afghanistan early last month.

A soldier was injured during a Feb. 2 live-fire training event during which the primer of a 25mm high-explosive air burst round ignited as a result of a double feed, according to Army spokesman Matthew Bourke.

The injuries were superficial.

The Army really hypes this thing, but Murdoc has heard that the 25mm round is lacking in lethality.

Nocturnal Activites

Afghan National Army (ANA) commandos with the 3rd Company, 7th Special Operations Kandak fire at targets to check the accuracy of their nighttime aiming devices March 11, 2013, in Washir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan. The ANA commandos and their coalition forces mentors trained together to increase combat effectiveness. (DoD photo by Sgt. Benjamin Tuck, U.S. Army/Released)
Afghan National Army (ANA) commandos with the 3rd Company, 7th Special Operations Kandak fire at targets to check the accuracy of their nighttime aiming devices March 11, 2013, in Washir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan. The ANA commandos and their coalition forces mentors trained together to increase combat effectiveness. (DoD photo by Sgt. Benjamin Tuck, U.S. Army/Released)

Let’s hope they aren’t going to be using their skills against US troops.