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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/14/2005 2:54:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/14/2005 2:54:43 PM EDT by Airwolf]
www.rednova.com/news/oddities/206908/donkeys_get_marines_around_in_afghanistan/index.html



Donkeys Get Marines Around in Afghanistan

KANDAGAL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. military has gone low-tech. Frustrated with the limitations of using its fleet of modern Humvee four-wheel-drives in rugged mountains with few roads, a battalion of Marines has enlisted the help of transport vehicles that Afghan villagers have been using for centuries - donkeys.

About 30 of the animals have been rented from local farmers to haul food and bottled water to hundreds of Afghan and U.S. troops on a major two-week operation to battle militants deep in remote mountains in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province.

"With all the smart bombs and the modern stuff in war nowadays, this is the best way for us to resupply our troops there," said Lt. Col. Jim Donnellan, commander of 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, which is based in Hawaii. "It's also much cheaper for the U.S. taxpayer for us to rent the donkeys than for everything to be air-dropped."

Using aircraft to resupply the forces is also dangerous.

In late June, militants in the area shot down a special forces Chinook helicopter, killing all 16 troops on board, as it tried to land in one of the many steep-sided, wooded valleys that snake their way through the mountains.

The operation, which began Friday, is aimed at flushing those fighters out of the valley and U.S. commanders are nervous about risking other choppers in the process.

From a temporary resupply base in a corn field near Kandagal, a tiny village, at one end of Korengal Valley, where the militants are suspected of hiding, squads of Marines with heavy packs on their backs led out lines of donkeys, each laden with two boxes of water, a box of food rations and a sack of grain.

While each Marine carried enough food and water for themselves for two days, the donkeys gave each squad supplies for an extra 48 hours. Once finished, the animals would be led back to the resupply base to load up again and then return to the mountains.

Before coming to Afghanistan, some of the troops received training in handling donkeys at the Marines' Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Nevada, said Capt. John Moshane.

"Marines have used donkeys since the American revolution," he said, as each animal was being spray painted with a number for identification.

Still, the donkeys' stubbornness to cooperate and their determination to try to mate with each other whenever they were untied persistently frustrated their handlers. When one Marine slapped one of the animals on the rump in exasperation, the donkey promptly gave him a sharp kick with one of its hind legs.

Donkeys have long been used by armies in Afghanistan, including by mujahedeen independence fighters against Soviet troops in the 1980s. They have also been popular with smugglers who use them to sneak loads of opium, illegally mined gems and timber across the country's mountainous borders.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 2:58:21 PM EDT
Sigh...more jarheads making asses of themselves...

(just kidding guys...)
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 2:58:55 PM EDT
When I was a boy scout in about 1998 our scoutmaster was a Marine Lt Col. and he told us about the USMC training with mules for moutian warfare. The subject came up when we were learning knots.

I think it's kinda cool. I think I remember seeing pictures of the SF guys using horses early in Afghanastan.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 3:03:20 PM EDT
Makes sense to me.They always start in the cold mornings and they dont break down. You can also eat one if it came down to it.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 3:04:50 PM EDT
Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 3:34:40 PM EDT
We sent a bunch of mules to Afgan during the time the CIA was funneling arms to rebels.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 3:35:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CZ75_9MM:
Improvise, Adapt and Overcome.



Excellent idea, if you asked me.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 5:21:32 PM EDT
"...So a Marine and a Jackass walk into a bar..." Couldn't resist, man seriously though whatever works in that godforsaken place good for them. But do you have to PMCS it? And do they have "Motor Stable Monday?" alright I'll quit. Keep it up guys ya'll rock
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 5:25:46 PM EDT
Donkeys?
Being used for transport and transportation?
Where have I heard that before?

Oh, yeah. That's right.
The service who's mascot is the mule.

And everything old is new again ...
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 7:03:54 PM EDT
I took care of donkeys at a camp for several summers. They are not bad animals and they are really strong.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 7:48:38 PM EDT
Can you pintle mount a .50 cal on a donkey?
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 8:08:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By napalm:
Can you pintle mount a .50 cal on a donkey?



Where do you think they get the term "kick's like a mule" ?
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 8:25:47 PM EDT
I wonder what's the speed of a fully loaded donkey?
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 8:27:15 PM EDT
How long before the left starts jabbering about the troops not having enough armour for their donkeys?
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 8:28:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By madmann135:
I wonder what's the speed of a fully loaded donkey?


African Donkey, or European Donkey?
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 8:42:42 PM EDT
I though I read once that most of the donkey's over in Afghanistan were from Tennessee
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 9:06:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dpmmn:
I though I read once that most of the donkey's over in Afghanistan were from Tennessee



We sent about 5000 mules from Kentucky and Missouri to Afganistan in the late 1980's but that got none of the press that the 500 Stingers did even though the mules were as much or more important.

Link Posted: 8/14/2005 9:17:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
How long before the left starts jabbering about the troops not having enough armour for their donkeys?



Not long.

A few years ago PETA send a letter to Arrafat urgeing him not to use donkeys in bombings.

www.peta.org/feat/arafat/
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 9:24:40 PM EDT
Those are mules not donkeys
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 9:25:41 PM EDT
But this is also more advertising for DARPA's search for a working exoskeleton.

A machine with legs could (in theory) cross that country with good speed.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 9:29:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By FredM:
Those are mules not donkeys



Nope... look again at their size. Way too small to be mules! Look at the two Marines in the back of the photo and the size of the animals next to them. Not mules.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 10:03:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DasRonin:

Originally Posted By FredM:
Those are mules not donkeys



Nope... look again at their size. Way too small to be mules! Look at the two Marines in the back of the photo and the size of the animals next to them. Not mules.



The one in the far back is a donkey.

The white one in the foreground is a mule.
Link Posted: 8/14/2005 11:36:22 PM EDT
OMG


My BN used donkeys in Afghanistan once to carry mortar baseplates on about a 4-mile hike. They fell out


This was in June '04, 22 MEU BTW.
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