Friendly fire is anything but “friendly”- and members of the 101st Airborne Division’s Rakkasans learned this the hard way in Afghanistan after they were allegedly “lit up” by trigger-happy Army National Guardsmen.
In a 2014-published video, a gun battle can be seen taking place between Taliban and members of the 101st Airborne’s 187th Infantry Regiment (who go by the name “Rakkasans”) somewhere in Afghanistan.
Embedded with Afghan National Army troops, the “Raks” began to return fire toward the village the Taliban were firing from.
“Halfway across this giant field we took contact, seemed like it came from everywhere,” one Soldier said in the video description, claiming to be a NCO on the ground that day. “So we hit the first bit of cover available- this small a*s ditch. We got lead rained down on us.”
Around ten minutes into the fight, a National Guard supply convoy rolled into the area of operations (AO), apparently not tracking force movement. Seeing a gun battle unfold, they opened fire on the Raks.
“Our battalion was not aware they were on the road, therefore [no one] had their frequency to jump in and call a ceasefire,” the NCO wrote. “These guys just rolled in blind.”
From 300 meters away, the “weekend warriors” began opening up with their vehicle-mounted weapons.
“They assumed they had been engaged and doing what supply units are not taught to do,” the NCO recounted. “[They] stopped their trucks, spun their turrets, and engaged what they saw- us, in that ditch, bobbin’ up and down trying to figure out where the bad guys were.”
In fact, the National Guard was so good at laying down fire on the 101st, the Taliban packed up and went home.
“They lit us up so good, the Taliban broke contact shortly after,” the sergeant recalled. “Guess they were like, ‘The National Guard will get’em for us.’”
During this time, the Afghan National Army troops continually spooked and endangered the Raks, firing RPGs in close quarters without warning.
“Ay, a**hole,” one US Soldier can be heard shouting at the ANA soldier firing rockets. “Warn us next time, you dumb motherf**ker!”
One Afghan soldier began babbling to another Soldier in his native tongue, only to be cut off by a frustrated GI.
“Unless you speak English, Dont talk to me!” the Rak shouted.
Once again, the National Guard opened up on the Raks, forcing them to stay low in the ditch and find a way to call off the barrage.
“Dumb f***s,” one Soldier said.
The 101st apparently still hold a grudge against the National Guardsmen, who allegedly saw the signals and had to eventually be reached by radio.
“We had a JTAC [Joint Terminal Attack Controller] and he was tossing smoke, yelling into his own net, and cursing in every direction,” the NCO said, noting that he had been wounded in the battle. “It took them a minute to even believe us that trucks were lighting us up! That convoy was just a bunch of idiots trying to earn their [Combat Action Badges], they did a million things wrong and yes, we hate them.”
At one point, a “beloved platoon sergeant] was shot through both arms,” and the Soldier’s account sarcastically alludes that the National Guard likely played a part.
“Not saying those Guard turds shot him, [I] don’t want to give them credit for having any accuracy whatsoever,” he said. “But we didn’t take wounded till they showed up with 14 trucks and [crew-served weapons].”
The platoon sergeant was apparently sent home, forcing the NCO retelling the tale to take his place.
The video has been viewed 516,588 times, and features plenty of jabs at the sub-par National Guard and Afghan National Army troops.
“National Guard and ANA,” YouTube user “Doctor Schnabel” began. “I can’t think of a deadlier combination for friendlies.”
It is unknown which National Guard unit opened up on the Rakkasans, or if any corrective actions were taken later.
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