1 Introduction |
1. On 14 September 2012, at around 2200 local time,
15 heavily-armed Taliban insurgents dressed in US Army uniforms
cut the perimeter wire on the eastern perimeter of Camp Bastion,
Afghanistan and commenced a coordinated attack on the Camp Bastion
airfield. The ensuing engagement with ISAF forces which lasted
into the early hours of 15 September resulted in the deaths of
US Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Raible and Sergeant
Bradley Atwell, the wounding of eight other US personnel, eight
UK personnel and one civilian contractor, the destruction of six
US Harrier jets, and significant damage to several other aircraft,
vehicles and the infrastructure of the base.
2. Quick Reaction Forces, supported by other US and
UK personnel and helicopters, killed 14 of the Taliban attackers
and wounded the remaining attacker, who was detained and interrogated.
3. We pay tribute to the bravery of all those
ISAF personnel who engaged the enemy during the attack on Camp
Bastion that night. We express our deepest sympathy to the families
of Lieutenant Colonel Raible and Sergeant Atwell for their profound
US ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW
4. On 30 September 2013, General James Amos, US Marine
Corps commandant,announced that following a review of the attack,
focused on determining accountability, he had asked for the retirement
of Major General Charles "Mark" Gurganus, who was commander
of Regional Command Southwest (RC(SW)) in Afghanistan, and Major
General Gregg Sturdevant, who was commander of the 3rd Marine
Aircraft Wing (FWD) at the time of the attack.
5. A redacted version of the US Department of the
Army report ("the US report")of the investigation into
the attack was published on the internet in October 2013 along
with a series of associated exhibits and enclosures.
6. We launched an inquiry to examine the events surrounding
the insurgent attack on Camp Bastion of 14-15 September 2012 and
the subsequent response from the UK and ISAF. Our purpose was
to establish the authority, responsibility and accountability
within the UK chain of command for security and force protection
at Camp Bastion at the time of the attack.
7. We held an oral evidence session on 17 December
2013 in which we took evidence from the Chief of Joint Operations
and senior officials from the Ministry of Defence. Following the
public evidence session, the meeting continued in private in order
to examine details of the attack which could not be discussed
in public for security reasons. A redacted transcript of this
private evidence session has been published and is referred to
in this report.
8. Following the evidence session, the MoD released
a redacted copy of the Operational Learning Account and After
Action Report (OLAAAR) produced within 48 hours of the attack.
We asked the Secretary of State for Defence for access to a copy
of the subsequent Administrative Review conducted by Lieutenant
General Bradshaw, then Deputy Commander ISAF, but this was refused
on the grounds that it was owned by ISAF.
9. Members of the Committee were able to view the
location of the attack during a visit to Camp Bastion in October
2013. Members visited guard towers close to the point where the
perimeter fence was breached and spoke to RAF Regiment personnel.
This gave us a better understanding of the topography between
the perimeter and the airfield and the extent of the security
measures now in place.
1 "Two generals asked to retire in wake of Bastion
attack", USA Today, 30 September 2013 Back
US Department of the Army Report, Army Regulation (AR) 15-6
Investigation of the 14-15 September 2012 Attack on the Camp Bastion,
Leatherneck, and Shorabak (BLS) Complex, Helmand Province, Afghanistan
(redacted version), 19 August 2013 Back
Ministry of Defence, Operational Learning Account and After
Action Report (redacted version), 16 September 2012 Back