A couple of days ago, by way of assistance to another of our regions, I sent a large guard force up to Herat Province – a bloody long trip from here that necessitated a stop-over and replen at Camp Bastion. Yesterday, the teams were en route to Farah Intersection from Camp Bastion when, at 0820hrs, they ran into a massive ambush on HWY 1 at a location in Farrah Province. The ambush was initiated with a large IED, planted in a road culvert. The blast, luckily, missed my escort vehicles but devastated the road leaving a crater about 5m long x 3m wide x 3m deep into which one of my guard vehicles plunged, severely wounding the occupants.
The initiation was followed up by sustained and accurate small-arms and RPG fire to the front, middle and rear of the convoy from the high ground on both sides of the MSR. My guards de-bussed and returned fire, moving straight into their counter-ambush drills. The engagement lasted for a little over two hours and left a number of the escort vehicles badly damaged with the one in the crater totalled. The teams suffered five seriously wounded and, after the bad guys broke contact, they withdrew to Bastion for medical care.
My contacts have told me to expect more of the same as a number of teams have been infiltrated into that area by the insurgents with the express aim of cutting the MSR and destroying our convoys that ply the road with monotonous, and dangerous, regularity.
And it’s only mid-July!