View Full Version : US 101st Airborne lessons

10-26-2009, 11:32 PM
Tom Ricks comments
I've been reading a monograph compiled by the 4th Brigade of the 101st Airborne (AKA 506th Infantry) in which its company commanders were surveyed about what they learned during their deployment to southeastern Afghanistan from March 2008 to March of this year. They also were asked for their advice on how to prepare for deploying.

With a summary provided as the document was behind an AKO wall.

See: http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/10/26/8_lessons_from_afghanistan_a_report_from_the_front

In fact the AAR appeared last week on www.cryptome.org as: af-barrel-02.zip Afghan Cdr AAR Book (Currahee Edition) 16th October 2009.

Take a peek, lots of gems there; there are some odd features to the document and maybe some things have disappeared (from a SWC reader far more familiar than I with US Army documents).


10-27-2009, 03:21 AM
..but it's still an interesting read, although I'm not really surprised by any of it.

Just so you know: few soldiers in the 101st are paras. The 101st is a helicopter assault force; they don't jump.

The 101st keeps the name Airborne because that was the original role of the division. It's a history and heritage thing. Much like a British cavalry regiment might still be called lancers but they don't carry lances.

It's been that way since Vietnam.

10-28-2009, 06:34 PM
I set my expectations low and wasn't disappointed. Nothing was particularly insightful, it all bordered on common sense. A couple points made me ask, "Yeah, but whose fault is that?"

Don't assume you own the Afghan night

"We own the night in Iraq, we sometimes are able to borrow the night in Afghanistan," reports Danny Pederson.

Don't underestimate the enemy

You say the road seems unusually clear lately, so maybe you've got the enemy on the run? Better tighten your helmet and body armor. "Several times, the enemy would allow our forces to get deep into an AO [area of operations] and then back-seed the roads with IEDs."