Reaper drone and Apache helicopter involved in the Camp Bastion battle that wiped out the U.S. Marine Corps Harrier force in Afghanistan September 19, 2012Posted by Richard Clements in : Military Aviation , trackback
Further details of the attack on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan by a squad of 15 Taliban fighters on Friday 14. Sept, that took out several US Marine Corp Harriers with the loss of two Marines including the Harrier squadron commander have begun to emerge.
The British tabloid newspaper “The Sun” has run an article in which the battle against the insurgence is described in a little more detail.
Although highly embellished, the article was linked to from the RAF Facebook account, meaning that some of the points described must be fairly accurate. It would appear, once the scale of the attack became apparent, a British Reaper (Predator B) drone was diverted from its normal operations to provide over-watch of the battle whilst members of the RAF regiment, whom provide airfield protection, joined the U.S. Marines in repelling the Taliban attackers some 12 minutes after the attack began.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force
The RAF soldiers used the main runway (although this might be just the ramp the Harriers were parked on) to advance towards the fight using their Jackel Armoured fighting vehicles, whilst at the same time the US Marines out flanked the Taliban to stop their escape and pinned them to one part of the huge sprawling complex.
Whilst this was taking place the British scrambled an Apache helicopter to provide air support, which indeed engaged several of the attackers, killing them.
During the fight it’s thought that the British Airmen used some 10,000 rounds.
CNN has an excellent video that describes the attack along with actual footage taken after the attack and shows smoke rising into the air.
Richard Clements for TheAviationist.com
- Marine Attack Squadron loses eight Harrier jets in worst U.S. air loss in one day since the Vietnam War (theaviationist.com)
- Commanding Officer of the Harrier squadron decimated at Camp Bastion among the Marines killed in the Taliban attack (theaviationist.com)