Saturday, August 6, 2011

31 U.S. troops, 7 Afghans killed as insurgents down NATO chopper

KABUL, Afghanistan— ⁠Thirty-one American troops and seven Afghans died in the overnight downing of a U.S. helicopter, President Hamid Karzai's office said Saturday. The Taliban claimed to have shot down the craft.

The deaths represent the largest loss of military lives in a single incident in the course of the nearly 10-year-old war, and are a blow to Western efforts as the United States and its allies begin drawing down forces in Afghanistan in hopes of ending their combat role in the next three years.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, confirmed in a terse statement that a helicopter crash had occurred and acknowledged insurgent activity in the area at the time. A Western military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the twin-rotor Chinook helicopter had apparently been brought down by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Karzai's statement identified the slain Americans as special operations forces. Sensitive to operational secrecy, special forces commanders as a rule are slower than other branches to publicly acknowledge combat casualties, which would account for the military's near-silence on the incident more than 12 hours after it occurred.

The helicopter went down after midnight in the Sayedabad district of Wardak province, west of the capital, Kabul, according to Shahidullah Shahid, a spokesman for the provincial governor. He and other provincial officials said the crash followed a firefight that left eight insurgents dead.

Read more HERE: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-afghan-chopper-20110807,0,7157351.story

Photo shows close up of a U.S. Army Special Operations MH-47 Chinook helicopter with its distinctive refueling boom as a crewmember leans over one of the ship's two 7.62mm miniguns.
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8 comments:

  1. I just posted this story to Theo's. I'm going to check around for reactions and update ...

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  2. shoot...does this mean they were headed to another meeting with bad guys? Man, I pray their families are aware of their loyalty to the American ideal.

    Steve

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  3. Valhalla just gained some Heroes, God Bless them all!

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  4. I wonder if it was a MANPAD from Libya, I recall reports of them disappearing from Qadaffis warehouses and the timing would be about right for it to be smuggled from North Africa to Afghanistan.

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  5. A little close air support would have helped.
    But then,that would not be fair. ROE's and all that crap.
    I wonder how that idiot Mullins feels now?
    His comment about pay should cause hin to retire.

    W.P.Albers

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  6. Heroes, nothing else to say. A relative of the governor of that province worked for me (as a civilian providing military support) and he was a honest man. Such men do exist in that hole of a country. . .

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  7. Hi Stormbringer,

    I have heard from other blogs, that it was a mational guard ch-47 that got hit with the troops, not a MC-47 belonging to 160th SOAR. Can you find out more info on that?

    I thank you for your time

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  8. I can't imagine ST6 riding to work in anything BUT an M-series helo; I'll ask around.

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