View Full Version : Action at Combat Outpost Tampa: Mosul, 29 December 2004

Tom Odom
08-20-2008, 07:30 PM
Latest history lesson:

"En route to the new location, Hossfeld had noticed a dump truck parked beside a road leading to MSR TAMPA. While the truck was somewhat out of place, the area included several vehicular maintenance shops and could have had a legitimate reason for being there. What the Cobra com¬mander did not know was that the truck was loaded with about 50 South African-made 155-mm artillery shells and propane tanks. The driver, a suicide bomber, was just waiting for the order to execute his mission: an assault on COP Tampa. After Hossfeld’s group departed the area, the truck waited for the battalion TAC/Recon group to pass by to the south on MSR TAMPA. After it passed, the truck driver pulled up to the MSR, got out of the vehicle, and made a final statement to a video camera carried by his superiors to film the attack. Then, at about 1430, the driver climbed back into the vehicle, crossed over MSR TAMPA to the northbound lanes, and sped toward the combat outpost."

This installment of the BiWeekly History lessons uses a chapter from In Contact: Case Studies in the Long War, edited by Glenn Robertson of the Combat Studies Institute. "Action at Combat Outpost Tampa: Mosul, 29 December 2004" by John McGrath tells the story of a platoon COP under a complex insurgent attack.

Stryker Task Force 1-24 or Deuce Four as its Soldiers referred to it faced a sustained insurgent campaign to disrupt Coalition and Iraqi government operations in the key city of Mosul in the weeks prior to the 2005 elections. Using tactics ranging from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and suicide bombers to complex attacks, Deuce Four's enemies tried to wrest control of western Mosul from the Americans and their Iraqi allies. The insurgents failed.

As McGrath points out, the height of the insurgent effort came with the complex attack on COP Tampa. Established before the publication of Field Manual 3-24 made the combat outpost a virtual icon of a shift in US tactics toward smaller outposts, COP Tampa challenged the insurgency in its own backyard. Deuce Four leaders LTC Michael Erik Kurilla as battalion commander and CPT Christopher Hossfeld as Cobra Company commander expected the enemy to rise to that challenge. 2nd Platoon, C Company under 1LT Jeremy Rockwell and SFC Mark Gallegos held COP Tampa when the expected attack came.

You may download all of In Contact at CSI Press. (http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/download/csipubs/robertson_contact.pdf)