Kit Up!

The Hardcore Insurgent Kit


We were fortunate enough to sit in on a brief today with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team staff and other government agencies who gave a "one over the world" of the battle space we're covering here in this section of RC-East.

They call it P2K -- which stands for Paktia, Paktika and Khost.

One of the interesting bits of intel is how the command here is able to distinguish the difference between local insurgents, known here as "anti-Afghan Forces," or AAF, based on their equipment.

The harcore fighters, who come primarily from the training camps and madraasas controlled by Jalaluddin Haqqani's son Saraj just over the border in Pakistan, are moving across the border in well organized, platoon-sized groups of 20-40 men and sporting brand new equipment. A high-level BCT source said these guys are wearing new tennis shoes, as opposed to the cheapo rubber sandals of locals, donning full-on chest rigs, packs, newer weapons and sporting high-end, military-style field jackets.

US forces here aren't trying to plug the nearly 300 mile border with Pakistan in their AO. Instead they're raiding where the bad guys lay up in transit to other battlefields throughout the country, hitting them at mosques and compounds where they rest and refit before moving on.

On one raid, US troops killed a bunch of Haqqani fighters and found about 30 high-end sleeping bags at their hide. A source told us these sleeping bags are no-joke mountaineering bags bought for high altitudes and warmth, rather than the chintzy blankets most locals use. I'm sure these guys can't afford Arc'teryx or Patagonia, but they're clearly moving up on the level of supply through their own version of SysCom -- which speaks to the fact that they're getting the funds to kit up for a fight.

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