Posted: 5/23/2002 6:00:06 PM EDT
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
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
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
* 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
* 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
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
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.
* 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."
Great info - thanks!
"go after them till they fear us more than they hate us" I like the sound of that!! [:D]
Great post. Thanks for the info.
That makes the baby jesus so very happy
[b] * Guidance to operators was that Taliban's first contacts with us should
make them not want a second contact. [/b]
It makes me proud!