DOOMED MIS­SION

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

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 ing@wash­ing­ton­times.com.

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