Commanding Officer of the Harrier squadron decimated at Camp Bastion among the Marines killed in the Taliban attack

Sep 17 2012 - 15 Comments

The Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 “Avengers” that was decimated on Friday Sept. 14, when a force of insurgents attacked Camp Bastion, in Helmand, has not only lost two Marines and eight of the ten AV-8B+ Harrier jets deployed in Afghanistan.

According to, Marine and family sources have confirmed that Lt. Col. Chris “Otis” Raible, commanding officer of the Yuma squadron is among the killed in action of the unprecedented attack that resulted in the destruction of six jump jets and significant damage (possibly beyond repair) to two more Harriers belonging to the VMA-211, the unit he commanded.

The VMA-211 is part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing headquartered in San Diego at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Raible led the “Avengers” when the unit, deployed to Afghanistan in April 2012, relocated from Kandahar Airfield to Camp Bastion on Jul. 1 and he’s depicted in most of the images released by the U.S. Marine Corps to give account of the transfer.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Camp Bastion was in close proximity to all the units they supported and this gave the VMA-211 the opportunity to conduct more combat operations and communicate more effectively with the ground combat element.

Unfortunately neither Raible nor the rest of the “Avengers” could predict the attack that cost the U.S. the worst air loss to enemy fire in one day since the Vietnam War, that has rendered the Squadron unable to support the troops in the ground and compelled the Marine Corps to fly the remaining two airframes back home.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

  • captain cooked

    They were caught napping. This even wasn’t the first attack of its kind. Apparently it followed the pattern of an earlier attack, according to Aljazeera

  • lorne hammond

    My condolence’s to the families.

  • Bill G.

    Obama’s “leadership” continues to impress…

    • Marco

      There’s nothing more disgusting that taking a cheap shot for political gains on the backs of killed men.

      • Joan Morris

        NO, a cheap shot is what happened to our Marines. Obama doesn’t know what leadership is. Had he been leading this would not have happened!! Wake up America, before we are all “desimated”. I am so very sorry for the loss we suffered!

        • What, specifically, could President Obama have done to prevent this attack?

      • Mark Dennis

        No cheap shots. Marco, you need to get educated on B.O.’s rules of engagement. Obamas ROE has resulted in triple the amount of deaths in the past 3 years, than 7 years of G. Bush. Our Muslim president is killing our guys and gals in uniform by restricting how and when they can shoot. Google Obamas ROE and quit defending this man, it is indefensible. .

  • MoS

    The unit wasn’t “decimated.” That term refers to a Roman punishment where a poorly performing unit would have one in ten soldiers selected and killed as group punishment. The squadron was certainly devastated but not decimated.

    • Laura Anderson

      Jordan, You’re absolutely right, but you have to understand, if my baby drops his spoon – it’s Obama’s fault. If I trip and fall, it’s Obama’s fault. Who else can we blame? We thank God when something good happens, but he’s nowhere in sight when things go wrong – but Obama is.

  • Tim Cheney

    Rest In Peace Sir.

  • Ken Macaulay

    The Haqqani network was finally listed as a terrorist organisation by the US two weeks ago – this is very likely their response.

    They are probably the largest & most sophisticated terrorist linked organisation in world, with connections to numerous intelligence agencies, most of the major insurgent groups in Afghanistan, & have excellent financial resources thanks to their control of major smuggling routes, as well impressive links to the GCC financing arm.

    They were believed to be behind the Camp Chapman attack – a highly secure CIA run FOB, which killed 7 CIA operatives, including the chief of the base, & a number of other sophisticated attacks.

    This attack is right up their ally, & they certainly have the resources to carry it off.

  • bret

    In 1942, VMA 211 lost 8 of its 10 aircraft on the ground on Wake Island, stationed in the middle of a warzone. Look at VMA211’s shoulder patch. How macabre that history repeated itself so exactly.

  • Not exactly a repeat of the attack on Wake Island. The squadron, then VMF 211, had been stationed there before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese attacked Wake a day after the attack on Pearl, resulting in the loss of 7 aircraft. The squadron was left with 5 aircraft with which they mounted numerous attacks against the Japanese forces. Unfortunately the Navy at the time decided it was too dangerous to send in reinforcements so the remaining Marines left on the island were eventually overrun and taken prisoners.
    I have not read all the details on this attack at Camp Bastion so it is hard to comprehend at this time how this could have been pulled off
    given the number of U.S. troops in the immediate vicinity.

  • Allen

    Laura, I can’t get past that you are comparing Obama to God. How dare you. If America would put God first like we should and how our forefathers did, and how this great country was built on we would not have Obama in office. He is a disgrace to our country and God.

  • Laura Anderson

    Allen, You misunderstood my comment. I didn’t compare Obama to God. What I said was that we blame Obama for anything and everything that we see as a problem, while giving credit to God for anything good that happens. Obama has been the best thing that has happened to our country in a long time, and I am thankful that he was re-elected, but he is mortal and I don’t consider him a God, just a great president.