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Posted: 5/23/2002 5:00:06 PM EST
I found this report on another website from someone who attended this dinner: "On 26 April, 2002, BGen Mattis (Commander, TF 58, Operation Enduring Freedom) addressed the Ground Dinner sponsored by PP&O for GCE Advocacy. A variety of interesting comments from BGen Mattis, in no particular order: * KC130 is aircraft that made it all happen * Marine pilots landed where and when others wouldn't * If we had V-22, they could have gone straight to Kandahar and toppled it 30 days earlier. * SeaBees are MAGNIFICENT! There are no better military engineers-they have unheralded initiative and innovation * Dust was truly unbelievable * Common bond w/ SF was desire to engage enemy relentlessly; made for effective on-site partnership based on a handshake, even if macro organizational relationship remains complex * Sea-Basing was key; also all landing was night ops only to reduce vulnerability (political as much as any) and ARG withdrew OTH each morning * Marine Corps Intelligence Agency (MCIA) responsiveness and products via reachback were outstanding: route Rhino to Kandahar across hellish terrain in 12 hrs; Tora Bora LZ study right on target in ~ 4 hours * Intel is getting so good that risk of having so much info that can't process it * CSS gave the operation legs. Huge impact from a few CSS Marines (headcount tightly managed). CSS was definitely his focus, as MEU, etc. could take care of the tactics as long as the order and intent were right. Despite distances and other myriad challenges, tactics were never constrained by CSS. * Time for non-aviators to call for CAS. * Left arty on the boat. Air filled gap nicely. Would have needed Expeditionary Fire Spt System (EFSS) if had a more capable enemy. * Relationship with JFACC was key; needed to be face-to-face in order to build trust then get what you need. Can't do that through ATOs and VTCs the latter the curse of today). * NEED UAV AT ALL LEVELS. IT WILL ALWAYS BE SO VALUABLE THAT YOUR HIGHER WANTS IT. NEED FOR CO COMDR AND ALL THE WAY UP. NEED TO BE SMALL AND CAPABLE, BUT SUFFICIENTLY EXPENDABLE THAT LOSING ONE OR TWO IS NO BIG DEAL. * Lack of a sniper night scope created strategic impact. * JTF Enabler Package (C2 - theater comms package for JTF) very good. * Thinks USMC should go inside the tier I force-not to try to duplicate, but to establish liaison and get entry to a world that is relevant to tier II, MEU(SOC), etc. * Questioned on whether getting rid of ANGLICO a good idea- can't have enough liaison folks or enough teams that can employ broad spectrum of supporting arms. * Don't enter caves. Seal them by blowing them up. Need a way to find all outlets, so can blow all of them up. * Had only "inch by inch" mine clearing capability until Norwegian flail arrived. Need to fix that. Dogs? * The other countries were sending the best of the best. Highly capable coalition forces (the 1st world imports). (cont)
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:01:04 PM EST
(part two) * Aussie got order from BGen Mattis then had permission to execute from Prime Minister in 2 1/2 hours. Need to have that kind of responsiveness in NCA / can't say that. * "Go after them until they fear us more than they hate us." * Guidance to operators was that Taliban's first contacts with us should make them not want a second contact. * Advice to junior officers: Never say that you own a piece of Afghanistan. Just a few Army notes: * The enemy is as tactically proficient as we are. They are professional soldiers, even if they don't wear helmets and patches. They are superior marksmen, not only with rifle and machine guns but with mortars and RPGs as well. They specifically targeted our mortar, but not necessarily our leaders (more on that later). They adapt quickly and change tactics as required. They take notes and study us. Yes, some of their caves were as complex as the schematics in the magazines, with vents for air and to mitigate overpressure effects of munitions, with carved corridors as wide and tall as your office, with escape route, with twists and turns to slow enemy assaults, etc. * Our soldiers are GOOD. A Chechen commander was killed. On his body was a diary that compared fighting the US with fighting Russians. He noted that when you take out the Russian leader, the units stops and mills about, not sure of what to do next. But he added that when you take out a US leader, somebody always and quickly takes his place with no loss of momentum. A squad leader goes down, it may be a private that steps up to the plate before they can iron out the new chain or command. And the damn thing is that the private knows what the hell he is doing. When units came under fire immediately after disembarking from a helicopter, it was not uncommon for two members of squad, without orders, suppress the enemy and do the buddy team IMT. No need to fret about the quality of our troops from O-3 on down. * Yes there was close combat, although just reading news reports gives the impression that we were in holding positions enduring long range mortar fire. Our boys chased the Al Qaida and ran them down even with all of the battle rattle we were carrying. And we did it on their turf, in their environment. Gotta be in shape to do that. The body armor saved lives. At the end of the day folks were finding huge bruises on their bodies, but no holes. Also note that a great percentage of wounds are in the lower extremities. (cont)
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:01:40 PM EST
(Part three) * A word on helicopters. The Blackhawk has a tail rotor issue with thin air, probably why they aren't being used. The Chinook doesn't have that issue. The Apaches are there, and are in force, even though all the pictures we see are of USMC Cobras. The Apaches are being hit, making it back, and being returned in 48 hours or less. They proudly display patchwork on the airframe. One Apache ran for 30 minutes without oil...As advertised. In the hot LZ fight we all heard about, all but one Apache was hit but none went down. * FM Radio and Tactical Satellite are the primary means of tactical communications. The only vehicles out there are the 4 and 6 wheeled little John Deer type tractors, which the troops say are great. (What does that say about our massive infrastructure of bureaucrats supporting Army R&D?). That means no vehicle radios. Tactical Operation Centers are more like the poncho and red-lens flashlight affair. * USAF is great, but screwed up at the hot LZ. The troops were within sight of the LZ when they were asked to orbit for 5 minutes until the USAF prep could get in (they were running late). Rather than circle (in Chinooks, not Blackhawks) in full view of the enemy and wait on the Air Force, the Battalion Commander went on in. Can't fault him there."
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:08:18 PM EST
Great info - thanks!
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:14:15 PM EST
"go after them till they fear us more than they hate us" I like the sound of that!! [:D]
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:19:06 PM EST
Great post. Thanks for the info.
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:31:20 PM EST
That makes the baby jesus so very happy
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 5:47:21 PM EST
[b] * Guidance to operators was that Taliban's first contacts with us should make them not want a second contact. [/b] Kick ass. Aviator [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 5/23/2002 6:01:16 PM EST
It makes me proud! [marines]
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