Die Redaktion dankt Konrad Alder, dem “NACHBRENNER”-Herausgeber, für den Hinweis auf den folgenden Bericht aus Kandahar, Afghanistans zweitgrösster Stadt, im traditionell von den Taliban beherrschten Süden des Landes.
- Die Reportage berichtet von 20 Operations einer legendären britischen Spezialkräfte-Formation. Die Soldaten des Special Air Service (SAS) wurden in Kandahar von einer Taliban-Einheit eingekesselt. Über Funk riefen sie um Hilfe und Entsatz.
- Die Royal Air Force sandte in der Dunkelheit eine C-130 Hercules in den Raum Kandahar. Schon aus taktischen Gründen konnte sie nicht auf dem Luftwaffenstützpunkt landen. Mit den Eingeschlossenen wurde ein geheimer Treffpunkt in der Wüste vereinbart.
- Die Piloten fanden dank Nachtsichtgeräten einen Landestreifen, auf dem sie ihre Hercules absetzen konnte.
- In der Nacht schlugen sich die SAS-Operators in die Wüste durch, fanden die C-130 und wurden gerettet. Der folgende Text stammt vom 24. August 2021 und erschien in mehreren Medien, so auch in Asia Times. Der Autor ist der Militärkorrespondent
The Hercules transport from RAF 47 Squadron flew low and slow, heading for a secret coordinate deep in Afghanistan, in pitch darkness.
The crew — sporting special digital night-vision equipment — were looking for a makeshift desert airstrip. One they hoped they could into and out of, without getting shot up or suffering some other kind of unforseen disaster.
The situation on the ground, was indeed getting desperate.
A team of 20 elite Special Air Service soldiers (SAS) were left stranded in the province of Kandahar, hundreds of miles from friendly forces when militants took over.
As enemy Taliban fighters closed in for the kill — there would be no mercy in this part of the world — they sent an SOS request to Special Forces bosses back in Britain calling for immediate extraction.
But they could not use Kandahar airfield, once home to 26,000 international troops at the height of the military campaign, because it had already been overrun by Taliban.
The SAS unit was forced to fight their way to a secret desert location where they went into hiding. The coordinates of the location were then relayed back to Special Forces headquarters in a series of coded messages.
According to a source who spoke to the Daily Mail: “It was a very hush, hush mission. Kandahar had fallen to the Taliban on Friday and the guys were down there for five days after that. The enemy were rampant and killing a lot of Afghan Special Forces whom the SAS had been working with. So it was a very urgent mission.”
The dramatic desert rescue operation, which was put together by the Joint Special Forces Aviation Wing, all depended on the C-130J and its crew. If not, 20 of Britain’s most highly trains special forces would be dead within a week.
A daylight rescue was ruled out as too dangerous — it would have to be in total darkness.
The Hercules is the RAF’s major tactical transport aircraft and in its current versions, has been the backbone of UK operational mobility since it was brought into service in 1999.
Praised as “highly flexible” by the RAF, it has the ability to airdrop a variety of both stores and paratroopers, while landing and taking off from natural surfaces, such as a desert strip.
To conduct these missions, Hercules crews are highly skilled in low-level flying and trained to perform in both day and night.
According to military website Elite UK Forces, the RAF Herc is fitted with a suite of sensor systems as part of a Enhanced Vision System upgrade.
It features a SIGMA Thermal Imaging system in a Titan 385 turret under the aircraft’s nose, and a Low Light Level Television (LLLTV) camera in a fixed array above the nose.
These sensor packages allow it to better operate at night and in poor weather conditions.
On Wednesday night online flight trackers picked up a UK Hercules transport aircraft flying over the Gulf — until it turned off its Identification Friend or Foe sensors, disappearing into the night.
This ensured flight radars could not follow its route towards the area of desert scrub which SAS troops had identified as a possible landing strip.
One could only imagine what was going on in the minds of the crew — would they receive a rough welcome? Would the strip be sufficient for landing and takeoff?
What if they blew a tire on landing? And how would they find this remote landing area, in the dead of night?
A million things could go wrong.
In a mission that will go down in British military history, the big Herc came down on the desert wasteland at the covert rendezvous point, scooped up the SAS troops and was airborne and back on its way to safety, in minutes.
According to the source: “Credit to the Hercules crew from 47 Squadron for landing the aircraft at night on rough terrain and getting her airborne again with the guys and their equipment aboard. It was textbook.”
The dramatic desert operation was a success.