Okay, I'm totally fired up about this ambush in Ganjgal that needlessly took the lives of three Marines, a Corpsman and nine Afghan security forces.
A huge thanks to Mike j who forwarded me Jonathan Landay's audio report from the battle. It's about 15 minutes long and I gotta say, it is a MUST listen. I had a visceral reaction to it.
The audio report fleshes out the earlier story (as does the accompanying Landay piece) on just what happened in the ambush and how the village was oriented. As usual, this sounded like a horseshoe valley running east-west with high hills on the north-south rims. From the story and audio, it sounds like a well-supplied enemy force with plenty of ammo and even some body armor and helmets -- all conducting military-style flanking maneuvers while pressing the attack.
It looks like the force -- which was not small by any means, comprising some 80 Afghan security forces and 12 trainers -- came from FOB Joyce. Judging from pictures of the base available online and this video shot at the base, there was more than enough room for a COIN plane landing strip and the minimal logistics to handle the upkeep and arming of, say, a COIN configured Air Tractor.
This battle, like the Wanat COP battle in 2008, should be a wake up call for better support from CAS and arty.
Couple other things:
Pedestrian, please don't tip me off to Danger Room posts...we've been talking COIN air forces before they jumped on the bandwagon. And I agree with Ed on the UAV logic...too small, not enough weapons and I want human eyeballs in that cockpit -- preferrably two sets. The way I see it, if this force was so well supplied, a low, slow, prop plane could have caught the action in time to snuff it out. And "asdfg" -- we reported at Military.com a few months ago that the Corps was looking to outfit their KC-130Js into Spectre "lites" in the coming year. I'll look into updating that story for you...
I'm not letting this one go, folks.