Fight For Fuel
At about 0730 this morning a fuels convoy, escorted by us, was contacted by enemy elements in the vicinity of Zheray approximately 9km West of Howz-e-Madad. At about the same time and probably as a result of the contact, a large number of tankers became bogged in soft sand. The contact was intense and prolonged – it was still going strong three hours later. Our guards quickly gathered up the convoy and pushed on towards the destination while leaving teams behind to defend the bogged tankers. These teams were still in contact with the bad guys 6 hours later, taking casualties and running low on ammunition. Despite this, they remained with the stranded tankers.
In the meantime, our LN guard commander of this guard force arrived back at his compound from Kabul and was told of the situation by his 2IC from our Ops Room. He immediately gathered more of our guards, a detachment of ANP Rangers, his ISAF mentor and heavy recovery equipment and moved to the contact. Reports are sketchy but what is certain is that these reinforcements set about recovering the tankers –initially under fire – not stopping until just before 1900 tonight when the last was freed. Those tankers are currently being escorted back to us. After all that, only one tanker was left (after action was taken to ensure the enemy did not get their hands on the fuel) as all attempts to recover it were unsuccessful.
I don’t know how much it would amount to, but our guards’ action today, incurring with it a number of KIA and WIA, would have saved the client a small fortune in lost product and ensured a great deal of fuel will get to where it is needed – the grunts on the ground at the FOBs in our AO.
I don’t mind admitting I’m immensely proud of my LN Mobile Guards today.