Axeghanistan Day Six: Apaches See All

17.06.07

Categorie: Afghanistan, Axe in Afghanistan '07 |

The Dutch mission in Uruzgan province is focused on reconstruction, but building stuff in such a dangerous environment requires lots of security. Hence the heavy weapons at Kamp Holland near Tarin Kowt. When the camel dung hits the fan, the Quick Reaction Force races out in their armored personnel carriers while Apaches buzz overhead.

These are the D-model Apaches, but without the heavy Longbow radar, which was designed to spot large formations of enemy tanks and makes the choppers sluggish in hot and high environments. The Apaches’ main weapon in Afghanistan is the 30-millimeter cannon; sometimes at Kamp Holland you can hear the cannons’ low chatter as they hit targets on the nearby weapons range.

Despite its fearsome weaponry, the Apache is most useful as a surveillance platform. Dutch rules of engagement are very very strict, and in many cases the ground QRF chases suspected bad guys into an earthen hut without being able to positively identify them. A standoff ensues until an Apache appears overhead. With its sensitive infrared and electro-optical cameras, the chopper can peer into the huts, count bodies and weapons and usually give the troops on the ground the info they need to decide whether to open fire. This capability has prevented several attacks that might have resulted in civilian casualties, according to Dutch officers.

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2 Responses to “Axeghanistan Day Six: Apaches See All”

  1. Brian H says:

    Cool. Now what they need next is t-ray sensors. No emitter needed; carbon compounds radiate naturally. That would be bodies and explosives, e.g. The sensors are getting better; the problem is that they penetrate everything including metal rather easily, and sensing means stopping them.

    They fall in between IR and MW on the frequency chart.

  2. [...] Afghan forces held the line as the Dutch moved forward, calling in 155-millimeter artillery fire and Apache attack helicopters firing rockets and cannons. Dutch F-16 fighter jets based at Kandahar swooped in to drop bombs. The fighting continued into the morning, with no additional coalition casualties reported. Dutch army spokesman Major Erik Jonkers said that at least 30 Taliban had been killed. [...]

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