Showing posts with label personnel-recovery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label personnel-recovery. Show all posts

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Moldovan Chopper Crashes in Faryab Province

A Moldovan contract Mi-17 helicopter crashed-landed in a Taliban-held area of Faryab province. Two Afghan soldiers and a Moldovan flight engineer were killed in an initial firefight shortly after the crash. Another 13 ANA were taken hostage. Reports state there were two foreigners captured as well; believed to be Moldovan crew. The aircraft was privately owned by the Valan ICC company in Moldova and had been chartered to fly for the Afghan security forces. The Afghan National Army is attempting to rescue the captured personnel. Read more in "Afghan army launches operation to rescue hostages held by Taliban", The Guardian, November 25, 2015. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) do not have a personnel recovery capability so prospects for the recovery of personnel from downed aircraft in situations like this are dim. As the personnel are already captured recovery efforts become more complicated and will likely fall to the Special Operations Kandak (SOK) stationed in the north (with its complement of SOF advisors) or to one of the Afghan national mission police units based in Kabul. As of Saturday the Afghan security forces were still trying to determine the location of the captives (VOA News, Nov 28, 2015).

Thursday, April 16, 2015

LTG Sacolick & Hostage Policy Review

The Obama administration has faced some harsh questioning on its hostage policy. For years the United States position has been that it won't negotiate with terrorists - and for the most part the country doesn't. However recent events have put that policy into the spotlight - the trade of five Taliban commanders (long-term residents of the Guantanamo detention center) for SGT Bowe Bergdahl, failed rescue attempts in Yemen and elsewhere, and the beheading of U.S. citizens in Syria. In addition, some hostage family members feel that they are not kept informed by the U.S. government of attempts to release or recover hostages. The Department of Defense has a Personnel Recovery (PR) program (see Joint Personnel Recovery Agency or JPRA) that educates its service members on avoiding capture, surviving captivity, and coordination personnel recovery. However, while this PR program and structure is robust in war zones (like Iraq and Afghanistan), it isn't as mature or developed in other trouble areas of the world and usually does not extend beyond the military. American citizens who are in the news media, humanitarian organizations, business, or in the wrong place at the wrong time are subject to capture - but many feel there is not a coordinated effort among all U.S. agencies for their recovery. LTG Bennet Sacolick, a long-time Special Forces officer, is tasked with a review of the hostage recovery program. Read more in "Meet the General Shaking Up America's Yemen, ISIS, and Hostage Rescue Plans", The Daily Beast, April 15, 2015.

Friday, November 14, 2014

TAAC East Recovery Team Stands Ready

The Train Advise Assist Command - East recovery team stands ready to extract personnel and equipment off the battlefield. Should an aircraft go down the "Red Team" will be called upon to rescue or extract personnel in need. Read more in "Pathfinders remain vigilant as forces draw down in Afghanistan", DVIDS, November 13, 2014.