Author Topic: It can escalate very quickly  (Read 8679 times)

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Offline Popurhedoff

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It can escalate very quickly
« on: December 18, 2013, 06:51:11 »
Recently, I was at my ECP when my "Terp" received a phone call from a Depot close by... "One of the ECP guards is dead, shot by American Soldiers"

It can escalate very quickly... recently there was a tragic accident at a compound close by. A convoy of 2 MRAM's and 2 B6 armored Suburban's where passing through the ECP gate, the first 3 vehicles when through without a problem and the fourth's front tire caught the Spike belt/Dragon teeth. The spike belt and chain went tight and then snapped impacting the guards head completely caving in his face and wrapping around and crushing his skull killing him immediately.  When the chain snapped it sounded like a gunshot... causing the guards to believe that he was shot.

I immediately exited my compound and ran down the Bagram-Kabul highway to this depot (175yards away) to find a crowd with the US Medic standing there, he briefs me that there is nothing he can do to save him... at his point another APPF guard cocked his weapon next to the American Medic but before he has a chance to raise it I call the guards to prayer immediately de-escalating for the time being.  A NCO circles around and quietly disarms the guard.

At this time the guard force is highly upset and agitated I escorted the US Medic back to the Convoy Commander and brief them to ensure that they are Alert red status and to get inside their armored vehicles and remain here until CID arrives on site.  I was contacted by the Convoy Commander and then CID and relayed actions on to date and a basic situation report via cell phone.

I then went back to the accident site to observe and take photo’s to preserve evidence. At this time my APPF Commander and other APPF Officers arrived to attempt to keep the calm. I noticed that two of my guards (armed) were there, I asked them who authorized them to come over and they said Commander did.

The incident site  Interpreter noticed a guard in the tower closest to the accident ready to fire, he immediately rushes up and disarmed the tower guard through reasoning. The guards were making statements that the last vehicle was speeding adding to the hostility. I then observed that every Officer and NCO from other sites which is adding to the confusion of the situation.

APPF Colonel arrived on scene to start his investigation and wait to the ANP.  I then noticed a crowd of APPF guards forming at the other end of the compound so I went to them to talk and they were very agitated, I then asked if someone could lead us to prayers and prayers we said. At this time an APPF PSD noticed a guard advancing towards the accident scene reading his rifle and he promptly disarmed him.

I arrived back up to the ECP when our Country Manager arrived and while he was near the accident/body I noticed two guards that looked to be circling and fixated on him, I then put my arm around the Country Managers shoulder, turned him about and walked him away.

I then had the lock cut on the adjacent Depot gate to allow local services vehicles and LN workers to leave the compound without disturbing or hindering the investigation. This was also done to allow the CID and QRF to enter the site without contributing to the situation.

At this time the APPF Colonel and a ANP approached the MRAP and wanted the driver out and arrested for drunk driving.  I interjected to the Colonel that according to the US Military SOP’s that they will not leave their vehicles and negotiated that they would stay put and not attempt to leave until directed by US CID and that the body could not be moved until directed by CID. Guards are now making statements that the driver was giving them the finger again adding to the hostility.

It was 2 hours before CID arrived to take over the investigation and another hour before we cold move the body.  This was a very intense 3 hour Mexican standoff but no shots were fired and no further loss of life,  the US Army was allowed to depart and return to their base.

According to the Law of Armed Conflict and the Use of Force rules we were within our rights to shoot the guard when he escalating by charging his weapon... I was a few seconds or less from having to shoot him myself but chose to de-escalate as the Medic and I would have been trapped in the ECP with no cover, the guards would have opened fire on us, my guards would have opened fire on their guards and the US Army would have returned fire with the Ma Deuce and small arms.  This would have turned into the biggest Green on Blue, Blue on Green, and Blue on Blue incident in this country.  The political ramifications of this incident would give the Afghan President the reason not to sign the Security agreement and it would have started the US, ISAF pull out.

The post incident de-escalation and returning the guard force to it normal status required a lot of briefings and explanations as to the actual events not their perceived ideas of what they thought happened.  I have since been over there a few times and then now understand that it was a tragic accident with no single cause but a series of small incidents at the same time with contributed to the accident.  All items of concerns were reviewed by the US Military and the Security Company and both have taken steps so this can no happen again.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the guard killed, the family has been compensated and funeral arrangements made by our company.   Be at Peace Brother.

- mod edit to remove graphic content -

Cheers
Pop
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 07:39:59 by milnews.ca »
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Offline NinerSix

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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2013, 08:41:43 »
Cheers Pop, good work.
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Offline s2184

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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2013, 08:56:31 »
Wow, what a disturbing & complicated story. I can imagine how hard & dangerous being in your position & serve. It was very unfortunate and horrible what happened to that guard.  :o
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Offline Popurhedoff

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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2013, 23:16:19 »
I was called to Camp Phoenix by the TF Commander and Command Sgt. Major and thanked for my efforts.  We had a long discussion about the incident and how to deal with situations like this, and dealing with the LN population.  I also told them I had a selfish reason for doing what I did... I didn't want to filled full of holes either.

They "Coined" me and I have since been back to give them insights and recommendations and apparently next week I am to go back for some kind of presentation from the TF GUAM.  Funny when you think about it... An ex AirForce guy saving guys from an Infantry Regiment... who would have thunk that?



Yes, I had my hand in my pocket... I am a scruffy faced civilian now and can do that without the Sgt. Major getting upset  too much... it was fun to watch him grind his teeth... nice guy though.

Cheers
Pop

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Offline Strike

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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2013, 23:44:50 »
Well done and stay safe my friend.  As for the AF thing, well, our CoC always liked to try to be more army than the Army.   ;)
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Offline Ignatius J. Reilly

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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2013, 06:50:13 »
A riveting read, indeed.
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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2015, 02:51:15 »
Could someone fill in all the acronyms please.
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Offline MCG

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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2015, 14:17:39 »
APPF is/were security police, used for commercial & government convoy escort ... The country runs its truck transportation industry like North Atlantic shipping in the world wars.  APPF are Afghans and wear a camouflage uniform unique to their organization.

TF Guam was the US Army's security organization for Kabul.  It was reserve or National Guard, and I think they were in the process of RiPing out at that time or soon after.

Offline Castus

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Re: It can escalate very quickly
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2015, 20:48:08 »
Recently, I was at my ECP when my "Terp" received a phone call from a Depot close by... "One of the ECP guards is dead, shot by American Soldiers"

It can escalate very quickly... recently there was a tragic accident at a compound close by. A convoy of 2 MRAM's and 2 B6 armored Suburban's where passing through the ECP gate, the first 3 vehicles when through without a problem and the fourth's front tire caught the Spike belt/Dragon teeth. The spike belt and chain went tight and then snapped impacting the guards head completely caving in his face and wrapping around and crushing his skull killing him immediately.  When the chain snapped it sounded like a gunshot... causing the guards to believe that he was shot.

I immediately exited my compound and ran down the Bagram-Kabul highway to this depot (175yards away) to find a crowd with the US Medic standing there, he briefs me that there is nothing he can do to save him... at his point another APPF guard cocked his weapon next to the American Medic but before he has a chance to raise it I call the guards to prayer immediately de-escalating for the time being.  A NCO circles around and quietly disarms the guard.

At this time the guard force is highly upset and agitated I escorted the US Medic back to the Convoy Commander and brief them to ensure that they are Alert red status and to get inside their armored vehicles and remain here until CID arrives on site.  I was contacted by the Convoy Commander and then CID and relayed actions on to date and a basic situation report via cell phone.

I then went back to the accident site to observe and take photo’s to preserve evidence. At this time my APPF Commander and other APPF Officers arrived to attempt to keep the calm. I noticed that two of my guards (armed) were there, I asked them who authorized them to come over and they said Commander did.

The incident site  Interpreter noticed a guard in the tower closest to the accident ready to fire, he immediately rushes up and disarmed the tower guard through reasoning. The guards were making statements that the last vehicle was speeding adding to the hostility. I then observed that every Officer and NCO from other sites which is adding to the confusion of the situation.

APPF Colonel arrived on scene to start his investigation and wait to the ANP.  I then noticed a crowd of APPF guards forming at the other end of the compound so I went to them to talk and they were very agitated, I then asked if someone could lead us to prayers and prayers we said. At this time an APPF PSD noticed a guard advancing towards the accident scene reading his rifle and he promptly disarmed him.

I arrived back up to the ECP when our Country Manager arrived and while he was near the accident/body I noticed two guards that looked to be circling and fixated on him, I then put my arm around the Country Managers shoulder, turned him about and walked him away.

I then had the lock cut on the adjacent Depot gate to allow local services vehicles and LN workers to leave the compound without disturbing or hindering the investigation. This was also done to allow the CID and QRF to enter the site without contributing to the situation.

At this time the APPF Colonel and a ANP approached the MRAP and wanted the driver out and arrested for drunk driving.  I interjected to the Colonel that according to the US Military SOP’s that they will not leave their vehicles and negotiated that they would stay put and not attempt to leave until directed by US CID and that the body could not be moved until directed by CID. Guards are now making statements that the driver was giving them the finger again adding to the hostility.

It was 2 hours before CID arrived to take over the investigation and another hour before we cold move the body.  This was a very intense 3 hour Mexican standoff but no shots were fired and no further loss of life,  the US Army was allowed to depart and return to their base.

According to the Law of Armed Conflict and the Use of Force rules we were within our rights to shoot the guard when he escalating by charging his weapon... I was a few seconds or less from having to shoot him myself but chose to de-escalate as the Medic and I would have been trapped in the ECP with no cover, the guards would have opened fire on us, my guards would have opened fire on their guards and the US Army would have returned fire with the Ma Deuce and small arms.  This would have turned into the biggest Green on Blue, Blue on Green, and Blue on Blue incident in this country.  The political ramifications of this incident would give the Afghan President the reason not to sign the Security agreement and it would have started the US, ISAF pull out.

The post incident de-escalation and returning the guard force to it normal status required a lot of briefings and explanations as to the actual events not their perceived ideas of what they thought happened.  I have since been over there a few times and then now understand that it was a tragic accident with no single cause but a series of small incidents at the same time with contributed to the accident.  All items of concerns were reviewed by the US Military and the Security Company and both have taken steps so this can no happen again.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the guard killed, the family has been compensated and funeral arrangements made by our company.   Be at Peace Brother.

- mod edit to remove graphic content -

Cheers
Pop

That was about three days after I left theatre. Good on you for diffusing the situation; I imagine it was hard to keep guys on both sides from taking the "easier" way out and shooting eachother up. What a crap show that would have been. Out of curiosity (if it doesn't breach OPSEC), where in the city did this happen?