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080405ZAPR08 TF DESTINY Reports Minor SAFIRE (SAF) IVO FOB Massoud
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WHO: AZREAL 47/53 (2 x OH-58, SWT 1) AZREAL 56/57 (2 x OH-58 SWT 2); PRIMAL 11 (USMC 88B) WHEN: 08APR08; 1) 0405Z 2) 0456Z 3) 0520Z WHERE: 42S TA 804 661 (HDG 330, 70KTS, 200FT AGL) WHAT: At 080355ZARP08, while conducting reconnaissance of a village, AZREAL 47/53 (2 x OH-58, SWT 1,) observed 2 x insurgents repositioning weapons towards compounds IVO 42S TA 8050 6647, 3.43km northeast of FOB Massoud, Qalat District, Zabul Province. As SWT 1 made a northwesterly pass IOT further develop the situation, AZ 53 observed insurgents in doorway of compound #1 aiming weapons toward A/C. At 0405Z, the SWT 1 declared hostile intent and engaged with rockets and .50cal fire. As AZ 47 (lead A/C) initiated the engagement, AZ 53 observed AZ 47 (HDG 330, 70KTS, 200FT AGL) being engaged with a large volume of SAF from compound #2, approximately 100m southeast of compound #1 IVO 42S TA 80407 66065. As the SWT 1 maneuvered to re-engage, they continued to receive SAF. At 0420Z, SWT 1 conducted battle-handover with SWT 2 (AZREAL 56/57), and broke station to re-arm and re-fuel at Qalat. At 0456Z, SWT 1 returned to the engagement area, and AZ 47 was again engaged with SAF from a tree grove at 42S TA 80579 65861, south of compounds #1 and 2. The SWT 1 engaged the POO with rockets, and contacted PRIMAL 11 (Harrier 88B) for CAS. At 0459Z, PRIMAL 11 dropped one GBU 38 on compound #2 with positive effects. At 0520Z, SWT 1 re-entered the engagement area to conduct BDA. While the SWT 1 was conducting BDA, they were engaged by sustained SAF again at 42S TA 80570 66029. SWT 1 suppressed the POO with the remaining ammunition, and conducted a hasty battle-handover with SWT 2 at 0523Z. SWT 2 engaged the tree line and compounds with approximately 500 x rounds .50cal and 13 x rockets. At 0525Z, EAGLE ASSAULT 5 instructed the SWTs to break contact and RTB to Qalat. AZ 53 contacted PRIMAL 11/12, and requested that they conduct a strafing run of the tree grove (POO site) IOT cover the SWTs egress from engagement area. At 0528Z, PRIMAL 11/12 engaged the tree line 200 x rounds of 20mm. The SWTs returned to Qalat for refuel, NSTR. Ordinance spent: SWT 1 - 600 x .50cal, 40 x 2.75 PD rockets; SWT 2 - 500 x .50cal, 14 x 2.75 PD rockets; PRIMAL 11 - 1 x GBU 38, 200 x 20mm BDA estimate: 25 EKIA TF EAGLE ASSAULT ASSESSMENT: There have been 0 SAFIREs within 10NM in the past 30 days. Based upon the ferocity and number of fighters engaging the A/C this engagement is assessed as a target of opportunity hasty coordinated attack (Major SAFIRE). Likely weapon systems used were RPKs and AK-47s based upon pilot debriefs. The area the engagement occurred in assessed as moderate risk area and will continue to assessed as such.