first published on April 5, 2016 by Will
A JLENS at FOB Shkin captures a Taliban raid in its entirety, from infiltration until they are picked apart by U.S. Special Forces gun trucks on their retreat.
A large group of insurgents, possibly Taliban, can be seen amassing around a kalat as they prepare to assault an Afghan Border Police checkpoint. They are spotted and identified as a threat. A U.S. Army field artillery team begins to fire on their position with high explosive rounds. Rather than retreating, the insurgents continue to advance toward the ABP checkpoint.
As they enter an exposed area, an artillery round set to proximity burst detonates over their position, as more rounds set on point detonation mode explode among the group of enemy fighters. Again they continue on with their mission.
Soon they are within rifle and RPG range of the ABP. Muzzle flashes and rockets can be seen originating from both sides, as the Taliban continue to violently creep toward ISAF units. Eventually artillery begins to fall on their support by fire units in the rear, but the front line fighters are much too close to friendly troops for the artillerymen to engage. This was a common tactic called “grab their belt to fight them” used by enemy forces in the Vietnam War, in which American artillery and air power is rendered useless due to the close proximity of the enemy to friendly troops. Taliban RPGs continue to burst on the fortifications, but eventually, their resolve is broken.
As they begin to retreat under covering fire, a U.S. Special Forces unit rolls out of nearby FOB Shkin to assist. The detachment intercepts the fleeing Taliban and opens up on them with mounted weapon systems, inflicting more casualties on the enemy element.