Thursday, October 26, 2006

 

What Really Happened at Forward Operating Base Falcon?

Right: Aerial photo of Forward Operating Base Falcon showing damage from fire and explosions. Source: Rense.com

On October 10, Iraqi resistance fighters hit ammunition stored at Forward Operating Base Falcon near Baghdad with mortar rounds. The semi-independent daily Star & Stripes reports:
Insurgent mortar fire hit an American military ammunition dump late Tuesday night, setting off huge explosions and rattling windows and nerves throughout the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, military and civilian officials said Wednesday.

Tank rounds, artillery shells and small-arms ammunition at the Forward Operating Base Falcon site were ignited by the explosion and subsequent fire, casting an orange glow overnight and into Wednesday morning. No injuries were reported by late Wednesday.

According to military spokesmen, the first explosion happened around 10:40 p.m. Soldiers and base workers were evacuated from the area, and emergency workers raced to control the blaze.

FOB Falcon is in the central Rasheed district of Baghdad. A mortar round fired from southern Baghdad caused the blast, officials said.

"Intelligence indicates that civilians aligned with a militia organization were responsible for last night's mortar attack," 4th Infantry Division and Multi-National Division-Baghdad spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathon Withington was quoted by news agencies as saying.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the fire was still smoldering and more rounds were occasionally cooking off and exploding.

Three battalions, including tank and infantry units, are stationed at the base, but the loss of the ammunition "will not degrade the operational capability of [the division]," a U.S. military news release read. The troops at Falcon have been participating in Operation Together Forward, a massive U.S.-Iraqi effort to clamp down on sectarian violence in Baghdad.
Now, the Web and Blogosphere are sporting claims of a Bush administration election-driven coverup of 300 US soldiers killed in the attack and resulting fires and explosions. One site even provides a purported list of casualties. In my own military experience, it seems very unlikely that US commanders would billet large numbers of troops close enough to risk such high casualties. According to a BBC video on the incident the base is quite large.

Is a coverup of large numbers of US deaths possible? Yes, but unless other information emerges it seems highly improbable. Still, a successful attack of this type and so close to the Green Zone shows how miserably the US military is failing in Iraq.

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Comments:
Iraq has been nothing but lies and cover up. Remember it is for home consumption, not history. There are many events "covered up" by the American government. I want to bring to anyone’s attention the Battle Of Baghdad. It disappeared from the radar just when American forces were at the airport. Next you hear it is over. But dig into and you will find mention of a large battle, one where the Americans were not doing so well. Diligent search will find little mention. But something did happen to the 3/7 Cavalry Troopers. Weed through it and it seems like massive casualties on both sides. Some say a neutron bomb was used. There were reports of strange burning of victims. Dig into it. Check out Captain May’s article on it.
 
I was nearby and a friend lived there. First, FOB Falcon is not the largest base. Victory Base Complex is (where I lived). FOB Falcon is basely a square mile in size. Second, no one died, and there were no injuries. The explosions were from a lucky mortar round hit on some CONNEX containers full of conventional ammo. I spoke with a USO performer's handler who was there that night. Third, there were no nukes or chemical weapons. Also, the conventional ammo stored there was hardly enough to make a dent in the overall effort. People from my base helped with the cleanup. There was no battle (just the normal harassment mortars) and no mass casualties. The "facts" that I have read in various blogs makes me shake my head, thinking how foolish the authors look because they did not do fact checking.I spent two tours in Iraq and I am astonished at the conspiracy theorists! Of course, efforts to correct their ideas merely leads them to respond that I and those like me are part of the conspiracy.
 
I thought that this article about 300 casualties was hilarious. I was there on FOB Falcon in 2006 when this happened. First, let me say, this was scary as hell. But once the fire died down and all of the rounds stopped cooking off it really wasn't that bad. It happened on a part of the FOB that the contractors for the FOB lived in. Pretty much all of their housing got burned down from the fire and explosions. My battalion had two Soldiers in the guard tower closest to the AHA and they were pulled out of the tower fairly quickly due to some fast thinking individuals. No cover-up here, just too many people with too much time on their hands to come up with some crazy BS. Sounds to me like someone needs to get off of thier computers and get a real job that requires them to be of service to the greater good instead of trying to tear down our every second of existance with conspiracy theories.
 
I was at ground zero when the AHA got hit. One of the 120-130 KBR Contractors that lived next to it. The major cover up is the massive amount of depleted Uranium that we all breathed in that night from the fully loaded dozens upon dozens of pallets of Armor Piercing Paladin and Abrams Tank munitions that detonated. My lungs are screwed up now and I know what caused it. I can prove nothing after this many years later even though I am fully feeling the effects at my middle age. Here is exactly what happened. There was an Iraqi contractor hired by base ops to scrape the roads around the AHA and he had been driving his road scraper around the AHA doing his job for 2 days prior to the attack. He sold the AHAs exact location to the insurgency, it was by no means a lucky shot. The first mortar round hit right out side the wall of the camp behind the AHA. We thought it was just a near miss. We had no idea that it was a targeting round that the insurgency was using sighting in their mortar tubes directly on the AHA. Five minutes later, the insurgency dropped around 8 direct hits onto the AHA Connexs. A fire broke out and reached the 5,000 gallon fuel tank at the motor pool setting right next to the AHA. When that 5,000 gallon fuel tank exploded, it set off all of the munitions in the AHA and burnt the KBR camp to the ground at the same time. The rest is history. Now you know the truth, No conspiracy theories and no hidden casualties. We all had time to run as the world didn't end until the fuel tank blew around 30 minutes after the initial attack. The facts are though, the stuff that we had to breath in that night stuck in our bunkers and not being able to move has devastating long term effects.
 
Actually.... I was an Army asset that handled counter-propaganda on the ground opcond to a Cav squadron that had just arrived. And since I also handled pro-propaganda, I don't expect anyone to believe me. I say this because I had to convince locals that these 300 deaths and WMD ammo wasn't true. So I had the actual Intel. No it's not classified because Stars and Stripes released the actual story. It was a lucky shot. There was a belief that we were sold out, but there was no legitimate proof of this. The base was constantly harassed with random mortor fire. Enough to have means of trajectory back traced. Enemy SOP was to have tube laid in a truck bed, drive to a spot, fire three rounds, and drive away before counter-battery could respond. So these shots were extremely random in their impacts, from empty fields to the chow all. All of which were pretty centralized in the base. Also, the biggest rounds were 155mm artillery shells. No CBRN stuff, or shady ammunition. There was also very limited tank rounds since tanks weren't used much because of the impact on environment. Hell it Was a pain to get authorization to use anything over a 240b. There were no deaths. The biggest impact on operations was that "non-essential" personnel was restricted to quarters while UXOs were collected for 3 days.
 
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