Afghanistan - Camp Bastion Attack
HC 830, Thirteenth Report of Session 2013-14 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Defence Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'Afghanistan - Camp Bastion Attack (HC 830)' examines the attack on Camp Bastion that took place in 2012, and concludes that the perimeter security and force protection measures in place at the time of the attack were inadequate.
On 14 September 2012, 15 heavily-armed Taliban insurgents infiltrated the camp and attacked the airfield. The ensuing engagement lasted into the next day and resulted in the deaths of US Marine Corps Lt Col Christopher Raible and Sgt Bradley Atwell, the wounding of eight US personnel, eight UK personnel and one civilian contractor and the destruction of six US Harrier jets. US and UK troops killed 14 of the Taliban attackers and wounded the remaining attacker, who was detained and interrogated.
The report finds that the arrangements for manning of the guard towers around the perimeter of Camp Bastion were exposed by the attack as inadequate. The decision not to man a particular guard tower on the night contributed directly to the failure to detect the insurgents at an early stage which might have limited the impact of their assault. All guard towers at Bastion are now manned constantly.
The evidence from the Chief of Joint Operations, who explained that the number of security incidents was unusually high in Helmand Province in 2012 was not satisfactory. The Committee was told that the focus of International Security Assistance Force commanders had been on security incidents elsewhere in Helmand Province and on threats from insider attack. The Ministry of Defence has declined to provide comparable details of the level of security incidents recorded in Helmand for previous years as this information was classified. This evidence would have allowed the Committee to make an informed assessment of the relative threat levels in the area at the time.
Insufficient attention was given to the fundamental requirement of defending Camp Bastion from external assault. Given that the attack took place in the British sector of the camp, British commanders must bear a degree of responsibility for these systemic failures and associated reputational damage.
|Format||Paperback||Published||16 Apr 2014|
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