News: Battalion helps recover ambushed convoy
Story by Staff Sgt. Justin Weaver
FORWARD OPERATING BASE RAMROD, Afghanistan — A civilian convoy carrying U.S. government supplies headed to Helmand was ambushed and set on fire by insurgents July 20 on Highway 1, approximately 60 kilometers west of Kandahar.
U.S. Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, stationed at Forward Operating Base Ramrod, helped Afghan national police secure the site after the ambush. According to the ANP, one driver was injured after insurgents pulled the truckers out of the vehicles and set fire to their trucks.
"We were returning from a mission when we drove up on the ambush site," said Capt. Samuel Shepherd, Headquarters Company commander, 1-12th Regiment. "We immediately setup 360 degree security around the trucks and attempted to put out the fires."
Three of the trucks continued to burn as Shepherd radioed Ramrod for recovery assets to help secure the two salvageable containers.
"As we waited for recovery assets, we began receiving intelligence reports of Taliban returning to attack the ambush site," said Shepherd."We then adjusted our 360 perimeter and prepared a platoon to respond if we were attacked."
One of the trucks in the convoy was carrying a container full of water, and local Afghans used the half-liter bottles of water to help extinguish the flames. The two containers left intact were then taken back to FOB Ramrod.
"It was important to bring the remaining containers back to Ramrod, because we didn't know what was in them," said Capt. Todd Wise, Echo Company commander, 1-12th Regiment. "Depending on the items [weapons, radios, generators], we didn't want them falling into Taliban hands."
Four Soldiers used a wrecker and a flatbed tractor trailer to recover the containers, while Soldiers chained the burnt trucks to the back of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected truck and pulled them 100 feet from the highway, clearing the lanes so traffic could pass.
Highway 1 is the country's main road as the route between Kabul and Kandahar, the country's second largest city.