Military stories from past to present, both wars.

LtCol Chris “Otis” Raible and Sgt. Brad Atwell…Marine Hero’s

September 25th, 2012 Posted in Military, Site News

Well guys, a week has passed since LtCol Chris “Otis” Raible and Sgt. Atwell died and you only hear bits and pieces about it on the news.  I just heard Sen. McCain on talk radio mention the deeds of these two, it but he was very vague on the details like when he said it happened three days ago.  Wrong but at least it was getting some airplay.  Also, an “inside” piece was just done posted below.  More and more information will start to make its way out to the general public as the details unravel and it will become Marine Corps legend.

You might ask why this particular attack needs more attention and that’s fair considering others have made the ultimate sacrifice in this war over the years.  This was a complex and coordinated suicide mission against our base in what could have been a total disaster if not for the courage of our Marines. “Otis” was secure in the thought that for the most part, he was behind the wire and this possibility, while there, wasn’t on the top of his to do list but it’s obvious that he prepared for this scenario in his mind.

The night of the attack, he and others raced to the sound of gunfire armed with only their 9mm pistols and a buttload of courage.  Like a fireman who rushes into a raging inferno, Otis ran into harm’s way throwing a kink into the enemies OODA LOOP.

I know his wife and kids have to live with this for the rest of their lives, also the parents and families, so if you ever come across this, please know that the courage both Otis and Sgt. Atwell will be Marine Corps lore for generations to come.  It’s our jobs as Marines to fight and they did it in a spectacular fashion.  True heroic fashion.

Right now, the missions of VMA-211 are being picked up by VMFA-251 who are paying tribute to our fallen brothers as we speak.  Let me tell you that the Taliban have just kicked a hornets’ nest (no pun intended…F-18’s and all) that they really didn’t want to mess with.

Here are some pictures of what the Sqd has done to honor VMA-211, Hat’s off to the T-Bolts!

Also, here is a story of that night and what happened.  More will come out as time passes and like I mentioned before, these brave men deserve more a Silver Star…we’re talking much more.



By Barbara Starr

It was after dinner at Camp Bastion on Friday, September 14, when the first shots rang out. Maintenance officer Maj. Greer Chambless was with fellow U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, the squadron commander, moving some gear.
“We looked up the flight line and quickly realized that the airfield was under attack. There was maybe one second where we were thinking what to do and then Col. Raible sprang into action,” Chambless told CNN.
Before the night was over, a brutal firefight raged across the airfield. As helicopters backed them up with fire from the air, U.S. and British troops fought together on the ground for hours against Taliban insurgents attacking the base in Afghanistan.
It would be become a night of tragedy and heroism for many.

It was an audacious insurgent attack right from the start. Fifteen Taliban fighters infiltrated onto the base by blasting through a security fence along the eastern perimeter. Dressed in American military-style uniforms they quickly divided into three groups of five; one group headed right for the flight line.
NATO releases details of brazen raid on base in Afghanistan
“Col. Raible was positioned to the north of me. We see flaming aircraft. We see the enemy shooting at us. We’re seeking cover. We’re hearing small arms fire,” Chamless said.
“Then at some point soon there after, we see another (rocket-propelled grenade) shot towards us and towards our building. So during this whole time I’m hearing Lt. Col. Raible directing the Marines and positioning them to continue to fight the enemy in order to protect the airfield and protect the rest of the Marines.”
As squadron commander, Raible’s job was to fly the unit’s AV-8B Harrier jets providing air cover for troops on the ground. But many of the Marines on the airfield on that late night shift were maintenance or fuel specialists, getting the planes ready for the next day in the skies over Afghanistan.
That did not matter when Raible initially asked for Marines to go outside onto the field with him.
“They were Marines so he said ‘Hey, I need volunteers to bring the fight to these guys,’ and we had to choose from the volunteers because there were many of them,” Chambless said.
Chamless said what confronted them next was a chaotic scene. “Surreal is probably a better word for it,” he added.
Source: Insurgents got onto Prince Harry’s base through hole in fence
Six jets were on fire and destroyed, the fuel storage area was ablaze. Taliban fighters were shooting at the Marines from behind concrete bunkers on the airfield.
“We’re hearing ammunition beginning to cook off as well as their rounds that they are firing at us. We’re hearing the sounds of fire as the gases release from the aircraft. So, it was, like I said, a surreal scene to behold,” Chamless said.
A short distance away, Staff Sgt. Gustavo Delgado – a supply sergeant – was leading another small team in the counterattack. He had just come from his nightly gym workout when the attack erupted.
He knew he had two Marines on duty on the airfield, and he raced to find them. The Marines all found safe positions from which they could fire back. But Delgado said it was like something out of the movies.
“The fire was huge you can smell it, you can hear all the snapping and cracking and all around the walls, all around you. You see all the rounds that are coming from us that are impacting the wall where we knew the insurgents were. You just smell the gun powder, you see just nothing but rounds impacting all around you.
“I think more or less it’s the sound, that you know that it’s pretty close, especially when it’s – you have your back against the wall and you feel the rounds that are right next to your ear. That’s when you realize that you’re in a firefight.”
Delgado got to the airfield so fast, that he suddenly realized all he had was his pistol, so he ran back for his rifle. But Raible and Chambless stayed in the firefight armed only with those same 9mm weapons. For another Marine, Sgt. Bradley Atwell, and for Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, it would be their final mission. Both men died of their wounds on the airfield.
“He saw a challenge and he took action. He took decisive action. He led his Marines and he led them from the front,” says Chambless of Raible. “He embodied the Marine Corp ethos.”
Taliban video doesn’t show attack on Afghan base
For Delgado, part of the challenge now is talking to all of his young Marines about the loss of one of their leaders.
“We have to dig deep and remember why it is that we’re in the Marine Corps and why we’re here in the first place,” he said. “You know, for some of the Marines, for most of us, we never see some of this stuff on an everyday basis but, you know, as a leader, we have to be able to … let them know, reassure them, hey, everything’s gonna be all right.”
For now, an investigation remains underway on how the Taliban were able to breach security at the base. All attackers were killed during the fight except for one who was captured.
On Monday, NATO reported it arrested one of the Taliban leaders behind the attack.
Military officials are also still looking at two videos posted by Taliban groups that show potential reconnaissance of the base and a group of insurgents training in the field and planning in front of a hand-drawn map that may be of Camp Bastion.


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