In the beginning...

Discussion in 'Afghanistan' started by Draft Dodger, Jul 22, 2013.

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  1. I was curious to hear peoples experiences/thoughts on their time on the early Herricks (and other OPs) before it all kicked off on IV, as from then onward the operation gained a lot of coverage and almost all of the personal accounts i've heard have been from that period onwards. to be honest other than one bloke i know who guarded bagram for 6 months on OP Fingal i havent heard much.

    i knew a ta chef who did a Herrick tour whilst i was on telic 7 (so H3 i'm guesstimating) and from what i recall his job was to cut about with 3-4 other guys from the PRT and ask what people wanted from the gov, what support the gov enjoyed etc etc. they were driving around Helmand in two bog standard landrovers asking questions and the idea of this happening now seems completely insane, but was this the norm? was there anyone on this site involved in laying the groundwork for our move into Helmand or has this whole thing been down to Steve T's dodgy interpreter?
  2. It's all documented.

    Wolf of Kabul - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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  3. not quite what i was after but thanks for reminding me about DC Thomsons Warlord annuals
  4. I was under the impression that the first three Herrick tours weren't in Helmand.
  5. same here, i always thought the only UK effort was in Kabul prior to that. however he was a TA IR working with/for the provincial reconstruction team and by the sounds of it they were going round sounding out the area prior to H4. did you ever hear of anything like this prior to going into Helmand or were you going in blind?

    at the time when he described it it seemed like a pretty dull job but now looking back it seems crazy.
  6. The only int we were getting before the tour was from 82nd Airborne and US SF.
  7. cheers for the info. hopefully i'll bump into him again at some point as i'm more curious about it now than i was then.
  8. I think you will find that your mate may have been working up North in Balkh province, as the Brits originally set up a PRT there, before the move south to Helmand.

    A mate of mine was in Helmand in mid 2005 (I think), but as a part of the SF recce. The one that famously said “There is no insurgency in Helmand, but you will soon get one, if you want one.”All the mail we sent out to him was addressed with a totally different Op name. Ican’t remember what it was now but I had never heard of it before.

    One of my ex bosses (RM) did say that he had taken a patrol down below the Fish hook (The prominent bend in the river Helmand. I got the impression that this was in 2002. But again he was from the more exotic end of the scale, and I not know what they were up too. But at the time I was there the place was very much left to Terry.
  9. I may well have gotten them mixed up as this was a conversation I had about 7 years ago and for some reason it clambered to the top of my booze riddled memory last night.

    Interesting bit about RM, I wonder what else went on. I think pre H4 the UK contingent was relatively small so you just don't hear much about it. I do remember the big RM op in 2002 on bbc news and reports of little or no contacts and footage of large ammo dump demolitions in caves somewhere (my grandad, a WW2 ATO, was unimpressed) but that's about it.

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  10. I think he may have been pushing down to HLS Rhino. This was one of the original entry points to Afghan by the US in 2001. It’s down by the border with Pakistan.

    In 2008 it was planed that the USMC, 24 MEU would reoccupy it (Rhino) and act as a blocking force to Terry’s line of supply from the South. The plan got binned and they ended up clearing the snakes Head South of Garmsir DC, with help from 5 Scots from FOB Delhi.

    What struck me most about what he said was the total lack of any problems they had. The nearest thing to a contact was when they called in a B1 to do a show of force. A few years later you would have to be BG strength plus to go down there. Let alone, just a couple of WMIK’s.

    Prior to H4 I don’t think there was any permanent UK presence in Helmand.
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  11. I find that contrast fascinating as I don't know much about that period and find it hard to square with all the tv/docu/print/anecdotal evidence that came to the fore post H4, plus my own experience on H10.

    The only thing I can compare it to is speaking to lads who were on op telic immediately after hostilities ended telling tales of driving down town in a single thin skinned vehicle to get some scran without a second thought.

    Was the general feeling in 2002 that the taliban were deader than disco and that we'd have the country squared away in no time?

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  12. Things were very different pre-2006. To me it still feels as if pre-H4 was a entirely seperate, unrelated conflict. After Iraq kicked off big time in 2003 the world had mostly forgot about Afghanistan until the move into Helmand in 2006. Those early years in Kabul and the surrounding environs were basically a soft peacekeeping mission much like we were used to in the Balkans. However there was a slightly increased danger. If I recall correctly there was an early IED attack on a British vehicle in Kabul in 2004 or thereabouts. Kabul was pretty safe and friendly. I remember seeing an ISAF soldier just walking around the shops; just him and an interpreter. Most of the locals were very pro-Western and thankful foreign troops had arrived. I could never have imagined what the operation would descend into.
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  13. thanks for the post.
  14. I blame those pesky Paras.

    They ruin everything.
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  15. HHH

    HHH LE

    Here is the official chronologies;

    Ministry of Defence | Fact Sheets | Operations Factsheets | Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, September 2001 - December 2002

    Ministry of Defence | Fact Sheets | Operations Factsheets | Operations in Afghanistan: Chronology of Events, February 2003 - December 2006

    From Here;