Significant lapses led to attack on military base in Afghanistan, report finds
Image from video posted online by a group associated with the Afghanistan Tailban purporting to show the September 2012 attack on Camp Bastion.
October 2nd, 2013
03:43 PM ET

Significant lapses led to attack on military base in Afghanistan, report finds

By Jamie Crawford

The top U.S. commanders of a coalition base in southern Afghanistan "failed to take adequate force protection" measures prior to a September 2012 attack by the Taliban that led to the deaths of two Marines and the destruction of military aircraft, according to a report on the incident.

Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos fired the two senior commanders of the base at the time, Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus and Maj. Gen. Gregg Sturdevant, essentially forcing them into retirement.

The investigation was directed by Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, who leads Central Command, to determine any potential accountability for the attack.

Army Lt. Gen. William B. Garrett III was the investigating officer for the report released Wednesday and his deputy was Marine Maj. Gen. Thomas M. Murray.

Fifteen Taliban insurgents, dressed in U.S. Army uniforms, went undetected as they breached the eastern perimeter of the complex, and then split into three separate teams to conduct the assault on the base.

According to the report, Gurganus, who maintained overall command of security at the American base, "knew, or should have known" about persistent risks to the compound's security, and "underestimated the threat posed by the enemy's capabilities."

Several factors – from inadequate patrolling of the base perimeter, to a faulty assessment of the threat posed by potential enemy infiltrators contributed to security shortcomings at the complex, the report said.

Gurganus narrowly missed being hit in another attack on the base in March 2012 as a disgruntled Afghan interpreter working for coalition forces drove on to the airfield where then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was scheduled to arrive for a visit. The interpreter, driving a commandeered vehicle, was eventually pushed into a ditch before lighting himself on fire.

Despite that incident, the report said the commanders "failed to implement adequate measures" to control the access of pedestrians to the airfield. The perpetrators of the September attack were able to exploit that lapse in their attack.

That incident and others led to a heightened threat environment the commanders should have taken into account, the report said.

The intelligence officer for the regional command had indicated "there were consistent indicators that the Taliban wanted to gain access and attack" the complex, the report said.

Although the United States maintained security at Camp Leatherneck and the British did the same for Camp Bastion, the British base on the complex, the report said Sturdevant "failed to effectively integrate" adequate security for the airfield at Camp Bastion, an airfield shared by U.S. and British forces.

The report said Sturdevant mistakenly assumed that other military units operating on the Bastion airfield would provide protection to U.S. aircraft there.

In an interview with investigators, Sturdevant indicated he had discussions with his British counterparts about the rules of engagement with enemy infiltrators, in which "we realized that there were some very, very different interpretations of (rules of engagement) and self defense."

And security cooperation between U.S. and British forces on the complex appeared to be an issue as well.

U.S. forces never discussed or rehearsed with British forces how they would coordinate a response during an attack the report said.

"At no point prior to the attack did Maj. Gen. Gurganus or Maj. Gen. Sturdevant recognize or attempt to correct this force protection deficiency."

The attack occurred during the deployment of Britain's Prince Harry who was based at Camp Bastion while serving as an Apache copilot gunner.

The investigation "found no evidence that Camp Bastion personnel reduced their security posture on the perimeter to provide enhanced internal security" for the prince.

"The only thing special we did for him was we had a place identified as a safe house in case the base came under attack," Sturdevant said in an interview with investigators. "The night of the attack, he slept through the entire thing. We didn't do anything special for him. He came and went, and you never would have known he was there."

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Marines • Military • Taliban • US Central Command
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. SocialMedia Services2021

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – Our Website: https://smmsupreme.com/

    https://bit.ly/2Hnl7vE

    February 19, 2021 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  2. best independent Italian spot

    Hey there. I found your web site via Google whilst looking for a comparable topic, your website came up. It seems to be good. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks to come back then.

    https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/christinis-ristorante-italiano/Location?oid=2292646

    February 18, 2021 at 8:14 am | Reply
  3. Heather Conales

    Earn $200/Day With Our Secret Passive Income System – Best Autopilot income system 2021

    https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/mrvf3/0

    February 6, 2021 at 4:48 am | Reply
  4. Build Your Own Landing Pages

    Earn 500 a Day With Our Passive Income System Doing These 3 Steps: Step 1: Get our ready made niche websites, Step 2: Setup your Paypal account. Step 3: Run our Unlimited Traffic System from our Free 850 sources of traffic and start earning your income in same day. More info: https://warriorplus.com/o2/a/gp8vk/0

    https://bitly.com/2qChAkX

    January 30, 2021 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  5. Soledad Leib

    You could definitely see your skills in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. "Experience is a good school, but the fees are high." by Heinrich Heine.

    https://www.electricpercolatorcoffeepot.com/10-top-coffee-bloggers/

    January 28, 2021 at 10:07 pm | Reply
  6. Bryan Tilmon

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, and retweets? SMM Supreme uses his own panel system to generate social media traffic to any website. Best Quality-Price Ratio on the market with 714928 orders until now. – Facebook Fan Page Likes: $4.50/1000 – Instagram Followers: $0.78/1000 – Youtube Views: $1.62/1000 – Twitter followers: $2.10/1000 – Paypal Deposit – Payeer Deposit – Automatic order processing – 30 minutes to send to customers

    https://bit.ly/2Hnl7vE

    January 27, 2021 at 1:01 pm | Reply
  7. Kenyatta Altice

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices

    https://bit.ly/3iOPatX

    January 27, 2021 at 3:13 am | Reply
  8. Michale Hanoa

    Do you want get more social network traffic, likes, subscribers? Our Company provide SMM Services that means (Social Media Marketing) that is directly using social network websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote a website. High Quality Services / Our prices are the cheapest in the market, starting at $0.01 / 24/7 Support / API Support for panel leaders / Best prices

    https://bit.ly/2Hnl7vE

    January 26, 2021 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  9. Sybil Plott

    Social network traffic Facebook likes Twitter Followers Instagram Followers and much more

    https://bit.ly/3iVO2Vh

    January 22, 2021 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  10. Maryln Koble

    Exceptional posting! I was pleased with the particular browsing. I’m hoping to view far more from your business. There’s no doubt that you might superb awareness in addition to dream. What i am exceptionally prompted from this advice.

    http://yourmatrixcashmachine.com

    January 11, 2021 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  11. Lorina Gillings

    some stores have really bad customer service while others have topnotch custmer service,

    http://6dollarmillion.xyz

    December 20, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  12. detectives privados pinto

    detectives en arcos de la frontera

    https://www.argadetectives.com/detectives-navarra.html

    December 12, 2020 at 12:38 am | Reply
  13. George patton

    This is terrible, simply terrible! This should never have happened, never! Just ignore this stupid post of mine here. I'm Phunnie boy posting under George patton's name again for my own personal amusement!

    October 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Reply
  14. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    October 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • John McKane

      Thank you, John Smith. Yes, we have done a great deal of damage worldwide and that is disgusting to say the least!

      October 3, 2013 at 10:16 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.