Halliburton ambush in Iraq caught on video

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Mr. P, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    1549 Active Member

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  3. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Richmond Times-Dispatch
    September 29, 2006

    Guard Leader Disputes Report On Iraq Convoy

    Says ABC was wrong to report Va. unit fled as civilians were attacked

    By Peter Bacque, Times-Dispatch Staff Writer

    The Virginia National Guard's commander yesterday criticized as incomplete and misleading a television report alleging Virginia National Guard soldiers abandoned a civilian convoy under attack in Iraq.

    "They owe the Virginia Army National Guard an apology," Maj. Gen. Robert B. Newman Jr. said of the ABC story Wednesday that included a video made by one of the civilian truck drivers.

    A monthlong Army investigation of the attack, during which three civilians died, showed the Virginia soldiers reacted properly, the Army said.

    "At no time did any individuals abandon the convoy," Lt. Col. Michelle Martin-Hing, an Army spokeswoman in Iraq, said in a statement.

    "They fought back bravely while waiting for reinforcements and attending to the casualties," Martin-Hing said.

    The Army awarded 16 military decorations to the Virginia soldiers for their response to the attack more than a year ago near Balad, Iraq, Newman said.

    Those decorations included 10 for valor under fire and one Purple Heart for wounds received in combat, the state's adjutant general said.

    The Virginia soldiers were from the state Guard's 1173rd Transportation Company.

    "My soldiers performed bravely and with valor. The reporting provided by ABC is far from the mark," Newman said. "My guys did it right," he added. "Man, I'm proud of these guys."

    ABC posted the Army's statement about the attack on its Web site yesterday, but it did not comment. A network spokesperson could not immediately be reached last night.

    About 165 soldiers of the 1173rd went on federal active duty Oct. 23, 2004. They served at Logistics Support Area Anaconda in Iraq and were released from active duty in December 2005.

    The unit was based in Martinsville and Rocky Mount.

    A video obtained by ABC News showed a military personnel carrier racing away after insurgents opened fire and disabled four Halliburton trucks last September.

    "I do not know who the driver was of that Humvee, but he abandoned us," civilian driver Preston Wheeler of Mena, Ark., who taped the footage, told ABC News.

    Martin-Hing defended the Virginia Guard soldiers, saying, "The individuals at the front of the convoy reacted as they were taught by pushing forward and getting out of the kill zone of the ambush."

    "What is not visible in the video being shown is that they collected the casualties they could reach and laid down suppressive fire with their weapons to help get those vehicles that could move from the front of the convoy out of the kill zone," the Army spokeswoman said.

    The Virginians got the wounded civilians from their vehicles while under heavy enemy fire, from rocket-propelled grenades, small arms and hand grenades, Martin-Hing said.

    Once the Virginia soldiers were out of the kill zone, she said, they set up security and called for a backup unit, air support and medevac for the wounded. They also directed the movements of other gun trucks farther back in the convoy.

    The Army's convoy-leader training handbook says that in an ambush, "If possible, vehicles will proceed through contact zone, increasing speed and interval and taking caution not to bunch up."

    According to an Army presentation on convoy security at the Anaconda logistics base, the bottom line for convoys is to keep moving.

    KBR, Halliburton's engineering and construction subsidiary, did not provide details of the incident in a news release but said the military has control over its convoys and is required to provide security.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.



    Two sides to every story folks. The military did not abandon those drivers as the video and accompanying story implies. Being in the kill zone is not the place to be if you really want to help others....it's called a kill zone for a very good reason!
     
  4. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    I didn't think the video shows abandon. For me it shows the chaos of an ambush.
     
  5. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Yeah, I was talking about the article. The video is as you say...

    Being in the kill zone of an ambush is definitely not a good place to be.
     
  6. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Was that article on the link? What I read was a dialogue of the video.

    I’m hoping that they now have an armed individual in each truck now too.
     
  7. trobinett
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    trobinett Senior Member

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    Sad indeed, anytime I see an American getting killed or hurt.

    Sadder yet, that ABC would try and slant this event to push their "hidden agenda".

    I'm absolutely sure, that the drivers in that convoy knew what they were getting into, plus, and also, civilian contractors get paid mega money.

    I feel sympathy for the families, but lets not get carried away with this whole deal.

    Civilian contractors have been going in harms way for generations.
     

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