American Elephants

Worst Loss for Marine Squadron VMA-211 Since Wake Island. by The Elephant's Child

The U.S. Marine Corps has suffered its worst air squadron catastrophe since Vietnam. The VMA-211 squadron has taken its worst hit since the defense of Wake Island in World War II. On Friday, September 14, at around 10:15 p.m. local time, a force of Taliban gunmen attacked Camp Bastion, in Helmand Province — the main strategic base in southwestern Afghanistan.

Fewer than two dozen insurgents wearing U.S. Army uniforms, divided into three teams, breached the perimeter fence and assaulted the airfield. That includes the  U.S. Camp Leatherneck and the U.K.’s Camp Bastion where Prince Harry, an AH-64 Apache pilot is stationed. The Taliban reportedly are anxious to get Prince Harry, who would prefer to be treated just like anyone else.

The attack killed VMA-211 squadron commander Lt. Col. Christopher Raible and destroyed or permanently disabled eight of the ten top-of-the-line Harrier AV-8B attack aircraft in his squadron. The Harrier has been out of production for more than a decade, and the aircraft can never be replaced.

The attackers had RPGs, AK47s, perhaps mortars, and used a suicide vest to breach the perimeter fence. Two Marines were killed in the fighting.

This is a serious loss for the Marines. With the loss of the planes, the coalition ground forces cannot count on the close air support provided by the Harrier. The Marines were compelled to buy second-hand RAF Harrier GR9s to keep the AB-8B in service beyond 2030 when it will be replaced by the F-35B.The Marines, I believe, have a long history of ‘making do’ for their equipment usually arrives after everyone else is supplied.

This is all terrible news, and not widely reported. The media arm of the Obama campaign doesn’t want to cast any shadows on his claim of foreign policy expertise, though he’d doing a fair job of that to himself.


4 Comments so far
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I’m trying to understand––what is Obama’s justification for not doing anything about this? Is he trying to play Jesus and turn the other cheek? Is he saying to himself: “America deserves this for being in another’s soil”? Or, is he hiding in his campaign bus until after the the polls are closed?


Comment by rayferlaw

It’s the mainstream media that, for the most part, is not mentioning this. I may have confused by sarcastically referring to the mainstream media as the media arm of the Obama campaign. If Obama is attending his intelligence briefings (he often does not) he may be aware of the situation. My guess would be that by having announced a withdrawal date, he’s taken care of Afghanistan. Now that he “got bin Laden” it’s of no further interest. I suspect that he would not really understand that to some it might be a big deal. Couldn’t talk to Netanyahu, but couldn’t miss an appearance on the View or a campaign event with Beyonce and Jay—Z. I belong to the big deal crowd.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

It is truly disturbing what we DO know at this point about this administration. It will be mind boggling when it ALL comes out what they were doing? The military as a whole has taken the hardest hit from this coward of a president and his cronies. The loss we have sustained in the area of SpecOps, especially the SEALs is beyond comprehension. The losses sustained from our guys in Afghanistan from those they have trained and then turned on them. The number lost in Afghanistan since Obama took office. But most of all, the intelligence lost since the day he let that CIA info out on the EITs and then made that appearance at CIA after he did it.

And right there at every turn of these incompetent releases and leaks. Leon Panetta, Tom Donilon and above all else, Hillary Clinton.

I think Ambassador John Bolton had it right about why Hillary didn’t go out and explain the Libya attack. Because as always is the case with her, she didn’t want to be tagged as the one in the lie. It think that is why she made sure an underling was pushed out to the Congressional hearing explaining the Fast and Furious issue?

I’m frustrated at the lack of attention from republican leadership. I’m pissed as hell at the loss we have sustained and blood and treasure spent by this incompetent crew. But I’m more afraid that we will lose our country if we don’t stop them in November. And for the life of me, I don’t understand why more people don’t see what many us have been seeing for the past four years?


Comment by Paula

I share your frustration. A statistic I ran onto the other day from the Pew Research Center:Only 15% of Democrats believe that recent economic news is mostly poor. Boggles the mind. We are on the brink of another recession, and a coming fiscal cliff, and nobody knows? Too many people are underinformed, and have no basis on which to make judgments. Jon Stewart is not a news channel — who knew?


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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