The command in Kabul did not have a quick-reaction force (QRF) on standby the night a Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, killing 30 Americans, including 17 Navy SEALs.
A former senior member of the special-operations community told reporter Rowan Scarborough that, because there was no QRF set up, commanders hastily assembled a team and sent the CH-47 Chinook into battle on Aug. 6. The source said an Army Ranger captain called for the reinforcements to intercept retreating Taliban during a firefight.
The Chinook troops were “pulled together very quickly,” said the source.
The transport chopper was piloted by an Army National Guard crew, as opposed to a special-operations unit. The Taliban shot the helicopter down with a rocket-propelled grenade as it descended to a landing zone.
Col. Gary Kolb, a command spokesman in Kabul, said, “The investigating team will look at all aspects of the mission. Not in a position to comment while the investigation is ongoing.”
Bill Gertz can be reached at insidether email@example.com.