#2138 Marine Links Serco’s Red Switch RAF Bypass to The Cake Boy Situation Room, Extortion 17 Wrongful Deaths

Plum City – (AbelDanger.net): United States Marine Field McConnell has linked Serco’s bypass operations of the U.S. Defense Red Switch Network at RAF Oakhanger to the White House Situation Room which was allegedly used to allow a Down Low Club Cake Boy named Barack Obama to deny any responsibility for the wrongful deaths of 17 Navy SEALs, 29 other Americans and 7 unidentified Afghan commandos in the Extortion 17 helicopter crash of 6 August, 2011 in a battle space then owned by TF Warrior led by Lt. Col. Thomas S. Rickard.


To this day, people in Chicago are still scared about being murdered for talking about Barack Obama being gay or about what goes on at Trinity United with the still-active “Down Low Club”. Young, gay, black men are mentored into the club and are eventually paired up with often unattractive and difficult to deal with straight black women who never have boyfriends (since guys don’t want to have anything to do with them). A friend of mine in the “Think Squad” of prominent black professionals I talk to regularly calls these women “heifers” and says it’s very common for “cake boys” to be paired up with “heifers” so that “dummies are fooled” into thinking they are straight.”

McConnell claims that Serco’s National Security Adviser Maureen Baginski structured the White House Cake Boy Situation Room – and its equivalents at 4 or 5 star hotels around the world – so the likes of Obama could fool himself and others that he is or was in charge of operations such as the one where RAF Oakhanger allegedly imputed waypoints for the helicopter flight plan which took Extortion 17 into an ambush less than a mile from the base just vacated by Lt. Col. Rickard.

McConnell claims that Serco is operating the RAF Oakhanger Red Switch bypass within a global matrix of Cake Boy Situation Rooms in an attempt to replace heterosexual leaders of sovereign governments with homosexual pedophiles embedded in the self-styled Islamic State (IS or ISIS).

McConnell alleges that Serco coordinated the Extortion 17 ambush through a Cake Boy Situation Room at Camp Mirage, Dubai, UAE, where it appears to have deployed the Canadian airborne E/W expert Russell Williams to establish a trading post for jockey boys to entrap and extort of leaders of the Arab Gulf States who are now being blackmailed into funding ISIS pedophiles as they torture, murder and enslave heterosexual men, women and children throughout Syria and Iraq.

McConnell recommends that Serco shares be suspended until Abel Danger has completed its investigation into Red Switch bypassing of Cake Boy Situation Rooms and helped the families to prepare a class action suit for damages in re the wrongful deaths of the Extortion 17 victims.

Prequel 1:
#2137 Marine Links Serco’s White-House Cake-Boy Red-Switch Bypass to Navy SEALs TF Warrior Wrongful Deaths

Inside the White House: The Situation Room

Betrayal & Cover-Up: The Murder Of Seal Team 6

Výcvik Anglie – fire training center SERCO


“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to
attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive;
when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far
away, we must make him believe we are near.”

“Extortion 17 Navy SEALs – Family Still Seeks Answers

Posted by
/ In 
Politics / July 17, 2013
The parents of Aaron Vaughn, one of the extraordinary men killed on 6 August, 2011 in Afghanistan,
in the Op known as Extortion 17, appeared Tuesday night on 
Cowboy
Logic Radio
 to speak about
their continued search for answers in their son’s death. Aaron, son of Billy
and Karen Vaughn, a Navy SEAL from 
SEAL Team VI DEVGRU,
along with 16 other SEALs and 29 other Americans, was killed in a fiery Chinook
crash that night in the Tangi River Valley. Sent to assist a group of Rangers,
the crew of 38 consisted of Navy SEALs, other US Spec Ops forces, one US
military war dog, and 7 Afghan commandos. One of the great mysteries of that
night in 2011 involved the Afghan commandos. At the last minute, the men
previously named and documented to board, were substituted with other men. In
fact, the change was so late, that the wrong families were informed their sons
had died and had to be told that actually their sons were alive. To this day,
even after receiving all 1,250 plus pages of documents from the redacted, now
declassified CENTCOM report, and reading them thoroughly, as well as meeting
with several high level military officials, Billy and Karen Vaughn still have
no answer as to who the Afghan commandos were that were actually on board the
Chinook, whether or not they were true allies or suicide bombers, or who
exactly issued the order to remove them and substitute the 7 who really flew
that night with their son and other US servicemen to their deaths.”

New military hotline directly links top brass to U.S.
$20M project, called
Defence Red Switch Network, to be used in times of war, crisis
David Pugliese, The
Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday,
January 14, 2006
Canada is installing a
hotline that will allow military brass and politicians to talk with their American
counterparts during a time of war or in any other crisis.

About $20 million is
being spent on what is called the Defence Red Switch Network. The
communications system is already running in some locations, including the
defence minister’s office and other undisclosed sites for the military’s senior
leadership. The system will provide a link for the Canadian government to
various U.S. military headquarters as well as the North American Aerospace
Defence Command, the joint U.S.-Canada alliance that monitors air and space
approaches to the continent.

After the Sept. 11,
2001, terrorist attacks, there was criticism that senior Canadian officials,
including then-prime minister Jean Chretien, were out of the communications
loop during the initial stages of the terrorist strike.

The Citizen obtained
documents on the red switch network under the access to information law, but
Defence Department officials censored almost all details. They claimed
releasing the material would be “injurious” to the defence of Canada,
its international relations, as well as the detection of subversive or hostile
activities.

The newspaper,
however, found the details of the supposedly secret network, including its cost
to taxpayers, on the department’s own public webpage. Details of a similar
system that would allow U.S. President George W. Bush to communicate with his
top level commanders was also on a Pentagon webpage.

Canadian military
officials were not available to explain why information about the network is
considered secret when such details have already been put out in the public
domain by both the U.S. and Canada.

The red switch network
is considered secure, meaning that it has technology to prevent its
transmissions from being monitored or intercepted. Presumably the Canadian
system can link up with the president’s network.

Martin Shadwick, a
strategic studies professor with York University, said such a system makes
sense in that Canada and the U.S. share a common goal in protecting North
America. He noted that similar communications systems existed during the Cold
War.

But analyst Steve
Staples said the hotline is another example of the growing integration of the
U.S. and Canadian militaries and the increased involvement of the Canadian
Forces in American-led operations. “This system just allows the Canadian
military and government leaders to get their orders from Washington more
quickly,” said Mr. Staples, an analyst with the Ottawa-based Polaris
Institute.

The Citizen requested
information on the red switch network almost four weeks ago, but military
officials have not been available to comment.

But according to the
Defence webpage, the network “allows access to the U.S. system (Forces
wide) and will enhance north/south and internal connectivity — particularly
during times of crisis.”

According to a
Pentagon site, the network provides the president, secretary of defence, joint
chiefs of staff, combatant commanders and selected agencies with secure voice
communications up to the top secret level. The system is for use during war and
other emergencies. Other U.S. defence and federal government agencies can
access the network if they have approval from the chairman of the joint chiefs
of staff, according to the site.”

Col. Russell Williams’ double life?
Top officer facing
murder charges commanded Canada’s largest air base, flew top diplomats
February 8, 2010
The commander of one
of Canada’s largest military bases is in a prison cell today, accused of
murdering two Ontario women—including a fellow service member—and sexually
assaulting two others.

Col. Russell Williams,
a career air force officer, was the top man at CFB Trenton, the same Ontario base that has welcomed
home the flag-draped caskets of every Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan.
But
on Sunday night, police slapped him with another label: serial predator.
 A self-described “avid golfer, keen
photographer, fisherman and runner,” Williams enrolled in the Canadian Forces
in 1987 after earning an economics and political science degree from the
University of Toronto. He received his flying wings in 1990 and two years later
was posted to 434 (Combat Support) Squadron in Shearwater, where he flew the
CC144 Challenger in the electronic warfare/coastal patrol role. He was
subsequently posted to 412 (Transport) Squadron in Ottawa, where he continued
to fly the Challenger, this time hauling VIPs. Promoted to major in 1999 and lieutenant-colonel in 2004, he also
served as commanding officer at Camp Mirage, the ultra-secretive forward
logistics base that the government has never officially acknowledged, but is
widely reported to be in Dubai
. In January 2009, he was posted to the
Canadian Forces Language School in Gatineau, Que., for a six-month period of
French training, his last step before Trenton.”
[British Company Serco – under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office
in the United Kingdom for Crossed Key tagging of prisoners – operates Defense Red Switch
Network for United States!]
 … Building a State-of-the-Practice Data
Communications Network To create a state-of-the-practice data communications
network required Serco to engineer different solutions for each of the AFSCN’s 
[Air
Force Satellite Control Network] unique locations. Each ground station
around the world had to be surveyed in order to develop detailed installation
plans, project support agreements and testing plans.

Furthermore, to assure communications reliability between the ground station
and the operational control nodes, Serco also had to conduct a complete circuit
testing exercise.

After completing the survey, Serco’s team continued with their due
diligence, for developing and implementing a state-of-the-practice solution, by
conducting circuit, system verification and integration, installation and
checkout testing for each of the ground stations, including those located at Diego
Garcia, in British Indian Ocean Territory,
the Royal Air Force Base in Oakhanger, England 
[functions treasonously
transferred to Airbus]
 and the Anderson AFB, in Guam.

In developing this enhanced voice and data communications network, Serco’s
team engineered and implemented an ATM backbone and secure voice system for
each of the AFSCN ground stations. The installed network was based on a Wide
Area Network (WAN) architecture utilizing IP based network capabilities and
proprietary secure communication technologies such as KG-75s, KG-84S and
KIV-7s. Serco ensured Defense Red Switch
Network connectivity and operations throughout the AFSCN
.”

February 4, 2012
Does Obama really lack cool
phones?
In April last year, US
president Obama told some fundraisers that he was 
disappointed by the communications equipment he found in
the White House:

I always thought I
was gonna have like really cool phones and stuff
,” he said
during a Q&A session with contributors at a fund-raising meeting in Chicago
on April 14, 2011.

“We can’t get our
phones to work.” Acting out his exasperation, he
said: “Come on, guys. I’m the president of the United States! Where’s
the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn’t
happen.”

Obama made these
remarks after the press pool had left and may not have realized some reporters
back at the White House could still hear his comments. The president was
probably responding to a question about bottlenecks in technological innovation
and he used his White House experience as an example.

A lot of people would
probably like to believe these remarks of the president, symbolizing the
outdated state of the federal government. But in fact, what Obama said, isn’t
quite true.
In 2006-2007 president
George W. Bush had the White House 
Situation Room completely renovated, providing it with state-of-the-art
communications facilities. Since then the real Situation Room has all the
phones and videoscreens and other stuff, which was before only seen in movies.
Also, when Obama took
over the office in January 2009, he found quite a cool phone on the
presidential desk in the Oval Office: an 
Integrated Services Telephone 2, or IST-2. This is a so called red phone (I’ll explain that term in a
later blog post) capable of making both secure and non-secure calls from one
single instrument:





Not a cool phone? An IST-2 telephone on Obama’s desk, March 29, 2009
(White House photo by Pete Souza)

The IST-2 was
installed in the White House in 2007. It’s a phone specially designed for the
US 
Defense Red Switch
Network
 (DRSN), which
connects the president and the Pentagon with all major military command
centers. These new phones were part of an upgrade of the communications system,
which became necessary after some serious communication problems occurred during
the 9/11 attacks.

Therefore, the
problems caused by outdated equipment should have been solved under president
Bush. This would leave nothing to complain about for Obama anymore.

But there’s an other
interesting fact. Only a few weeks before Obama made his aforementioned remarks
in April 2011, the rather rare IST-phone had just been replaced by two more
ordinary sets:



The Cisco 7975 and the Lucent 8520 on Obama’s desk, July 31, 2011
Also on the desk appears to be the 
iPad Obama got from Steve Jobs in May 2011
(White House photo by Pete Souza)

Now we see a Cisco 7975G Unified IP Phone (with expansion module 7916) behind a
Avaya/Lucent 8520T on Obama’s desk. This Lucent phone is from the most widely
used business phone series worldwide, but is dating back to the mid-nineties.
The Cisco 7975G is a VoIP (Voice over IP) telephone, and as such also one of
the most widely used.

Both are high-end
multiline models, with many functions and large displays, with the Cisco one
even having a full colour touchscreen. This phone is also “cool”, not
because of having the military grade specifications or the exclusiveness like
the IST-2, but because the phone (and its 
ringtone in particular) became an almost iconic item from the highly
popular tv-series 
24:

A Cisco 7970 IP Phone used in the CTU operations center in the tv-series 24
(screen cap by www.24tv.de)

This series, which was
broadcasted between 2001 and 2010, shaped people’s imagination of the
presidency and was in many ways a forerunner of reality. For example there was
a popular black president (David Palmer) years before Obama was elected, and
much of the fancy communications equipment from the series, like video
teleconferencing, was implemented in the real White House Situation Room in
2007. And now the real president also has the same cool Cisco phone as the
heroes used in the tv-series.

So, as we have seen,
Obama didn’t really tell the truth. The story he told the fundraisers was true
during the beginning of the Bush administration, but not during his. Obama
actually has some quite cool phones at his disposal, but maybe the only thing
is that he just doesn’t realize that 😉

 

Links



– Report on CBS News: 
Obama laments lack of
“cool phones” at the White House

– About the renovation of the 
White House Situation
Room

– Pictures of more “Obama Phones” at 
Cryptome.org
– Dutch article about Obama’s gadgets at 
ZDNet.nl
– Extensive German fanpage of the 
24-series

“A Handover Gone Wrong: How COP Tangi Was Lost
This is the tale of a
transition gone wrong. It’s the story of a combat outpost lost to the enemy.
Most importantly, it is a stern warning to the coalition and the Afghans
involved. If readiness, capacities and capabilities of the ANSF aren’t factored
into the equation, if conditions on the ground are ignored due to strategic or
political pressure and if the ANSF are left without without coordinated
follow-up support by the coalition, the whole transition effort is put into
jeopardy.

Based on a Washington
Post article report and my own experiences, I recently provided some analysis
and commentary on the situation in the Jalrez valley. As noted, the strategic
importance of this region cannot be understated. It’s not a coincidence that
the 
last major offensive of
the war
, involving an entire U.S.
combat brigade, is taking place just south of Wardak in Ghazni province. This
influx of additional troops to the area, which was cast as a second-rate
theater during the height of the troops surge, will enable the coalition to
mount a number of large-scale clearing operations and solidify any gains in the
process. However, once the deployment of those troops comes to an end, it if
far from clear if the ANSF are ready to fill the gap.

In Wardak, U.S. troops
levels are already thinning. As a consequence, the capacity of the coalition to
provide material and operational follow-up support to the ANSF is
reduced significantly. This, combined with the apparent lack of readiness
on behalf of the ANSF to sustain themselves has already led to the loss of one
combat outpost (COP) in the Tangi valley, almost immediately after it was
handed over. This puts the capacity of the ANSF to hold other outposts in
contested areas into doubt. In any case, it is worth taking a closer look at
the surrounding circumstances of this handover gone wrong. Even though the
transfer of COP Tangi was not part of the transition process that is led by
the Joint Afghan-NATO Inteqal Board (JANIB), the case perfectly
illustrates the challenges that lie ahead.

Why does the case of
COP Tangi matter? Shortly after COP Tangi was handed over, the ANP who were
tasked with holding it abandoned the base. As a consequence, insurgents took
over and continued to operate in the area more freely than ever. Coalition
forces still patrolled in the valley, but they weren’t able to make up for the
lost ground and the inability of the ANSF to keep it. Insurgents controlled the
area now.

In July 2011, three
months after it was abandoned by the ANP, a CH-47 Chinook was shot down by
insurgents at a distance of 
less than a mile from the
outpost
. 30 U.S. troops, among
them several Navy SEALS, and 8 Afghans perished. Even though it’s pointless to
speculate, it is entirely within the realm of possibilities that with COP Tangi
still under U.S. or ANSF control, the mission to insert the SEALS and their
Afghan counterparts wouldn’t have been deemed necessary in the first place.

From U.S. to ANP to
Taliban hands in a matter of days
The transfer of COP
Tangi from U.S. military control to the ANSF and more specifically the ANP was
scheduled to take place in April 2011. A glowing U.S. Army 
press release offered
a few yet crucial details on the effort. It cited Lt. Col. Thomas S. Rickard,
commander of TF Warrior, which was the battlespace owner at the time:

“As we lose U.S.
personnel, we have to concentrate on the greater populations,” said Rickard.
“U.S. forces will
still patrol the area,” said Rickard. “We are going to continue to hunt
insurgents in Tangi and prevent them from having a safe haven.”

ANSF will soon run COP
Tangi, and TF Warrior will increase operations in Chak [district]. If this trend
continues, within a few years, local residents in Chak will be able to look
solely toward other Afghans for security and guidance, said Rickard. […]

“The Afghan National
Police have already demonstrated their resolve by placing permanent check
points at each end of the valley.” […]

“The MOD (Ministry of
Defense) and the ANA (Afghan National Army) made the decision to move forces
into Chak,” said Rickard.

As it turned out,
things didn’t go according to plan. The Tangi Valley became exactly what it
wasn’t supposed to be: A Taliban safe haven. The New York Times reported that
Taliban seized ground around the COP almost 
as soon as it was
transferred to the ANP
:

Within days of the
transition, the Taliban raised their flag near the outpost, said a NATO
official familiar with the situation. Afghan security forces remained in the
area but were no match for the Taliban, the official said.

Alam Gul, who was chief
of the local council in Sayed Abad district at the time reported what happened
next:

They [the U.S.
military] took their expensive equipment, but left other items, like freezers,
Gul said. The Taliban retrieved the items and had a yard sale, he said. Afghans
from the surrounding area came to shop.

As the plan to
readjust the focus on another district seems to have originated within the
ranks of the ANA, it is unlikely that the ANP gave up the base due to a
strategically motivated decision. After all, there were no plans to close
down the base. It is likely they simply abandoned it out of fear or a lack of
capacity. Ultimately, leaving responsibility for this outpost to the ANP
without ensuring it would remain under their control is to be considered a failure.
In any case, if a base is almost taken over just days after being transferred
to the ANSF, then this warrants a closer look.

What went wrong with
the handover of COP Tangi?

COP Tangi was set up
to establish a presence in the valley with the goal of denying the insurgents
terrain and to reach out to the local population. In retrospect, the
establishment of COP Tangi was a sign of the times. It was set up when troop
levels began to rise in 2010 and a population-centric COIN doctrine was being
touted as the key to stability by General Stanley A. McChrystal, who had
assumed the post of COMISAF in 2009. Three years later, transition or
Afghanization are being touted as the way to the exit and steadily
declining troops levels render the maintenance of a combat outpost in a
sparsely populated yet highly hostile area unfeasible.

In 2011, after
about three years of continuous fighting in the valley and against
the backdrop of reduced force levels and a transition-process that was well
underway, it became evident that in the long run, it wouldn’t be sustainable to
keep COP Tangi any longer. Lt. Col. Rickard, the commander of TF Warrior
clearly stated the rationale behind handing over the outpost – a desire to
focus operations on a more populated district, as stipulated by
population-centric COIN doctrine. He claims the decision to readjust
the focus had originated somewhere within the ANA chain of command and the MoD
in Kabul. While this decision was most likely born out of
strategic necessity, it may also be seen as a subtle admission that efforts to
reach out to the population and bring stability to the area hadn’t gone
anywhere in the Tangi valley.

It is unlikely that in
the run-up to the handover of COP Tangi, Lt. Col. Rickard wasn’t fully aware of
the composition, capability and determination of the insurgent forces in the
area. After all, the Tangi valley had been an insurgent hub ever since troops
from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division 
first entered and subsequently established a presence in the area in 2009
– 2010. For most of those who followed their footsteps, including Rickard’s
men, the deployment was a constant battle against a determined insurgent force.
The enemy wasn’t the unknown factor in this equation. It was the ANSF.

An interesting aspect
of this story is the fact that the ANP and not the ANA were chosen to take over
responsibility for COP Tangi. Usually, the ANP are equipped with light to
medium firearms and weapons such as AK variants, RPKs, PK machine guns, RPGs
and occasionally, a truck-mounted DShK machine gun. Generally, they don’t have
any armored vehicles. After all, they are a police force, tasked with regular
police work, at least on paper. Fighting battle-hardened and determined
insurgent forces isn’t their purpose, though even more often than not, this is
exactly what they do.
It makes sense to put
the ANP in charge of checkpoints or police stations within territory that is
controlled by the ANA and coalition forces, thus enabling those forces to
maneuver on the enemy. In the case of COP Tangi, it is puzzling the ANP were
placed in charge of an outpost that lay in the center of heavily contested
territory. One possibility is the lack of ANA troops to hold the outpost –
after all, they were scheduled to deploy to a neighboring district. Another
possibility is that the ANA chain of command was seeking a convenient way not
to do what they were supposed to: To shoulder security responsibility for this
particular stretch of land. Placing the ANP in charge would be an easy way out.
 It is noteworthy that there have been 
long-standing tensions in Wardak between the ANA, the
ANP and the NDS due to their overlapping mandates and tasks, but more
importantly due to their different political affiliations. Of course,
while entirely conceivable, this possibility can’t be corroborated and thus
remains in the realm of speculation.

Different
possibilities, same outcome: The ANP lose COP Tangi
Regarding the botched
handover, there are several distinct possibilities. First, Lt. Col Rickard
and his staff knew the ANP weren’t up for the task of holding COP Tangi, either
due to a lack of capacity or will. In that case, he most likely would have
raised the issue with his chain of command, who in turn would have alarmed the
Afghans at some point with the intent to get them to reconsider moving their
troops elsewhere. However, it was still decided the ANP would take over
responsibility. As his statements above indicate, it was clear to Rickard that
a prolonged presence in the valley was no longer feasible. Leaving the outpost
to the ANP was a risk he was either forced or willing to take. Engaging in a
photo-op while touring the base with the individual who would shortly after
cede it to the Taliban might either be interpreted as a brazen move or as an
indicator of his cluelessness that trouble was afoot. In either case, the
issue leaves Rickard in a bad light.

The second possibility
is equally unsettling. Lt. Col. Rickard and his staff actually thought the ANP
were able to hold the outpost. This sounds odd at first, but it is a real
possibility. U.S. Army commanders use the Commanders Unit Assessment
Tool or CUAT to rate the individual ANSF units they’re mentoring or
partnering with. Basically, it is a document that features different
quantitative and qualitative metrics to rate an individual military unit or
security force. It replaced the overly qualitative and inaccurate Capability
Milestone (CM) rating system. While it has a higher potential that the CM
rating system, 
it still has its flaws.

Most importantly, the
CUAT doesn’t amount to an unbiased and independent assessment tool.
Essentially, it reflects the performance of the ANSF as perceived by their U.S.
counterparts. Any CUAT may very well be tweaked to reflect more positive
results than reality would actually merit. The context is that U.S. military
field grade officers are under a lot of pressure to report positive news to the
higher-ups in the chain of command if they are to advance their career.
The temptation to put a spin on virtually every aspect that is reported to
superiors or the press is omnipresent. The overly positive tone in the press
release as cited above may serve as such an example. This tendency, coupled with
a sense of detachment from reality on the ground can lead to flawed assessments
and ultimately, to mistakes. The bottom line is: Whatever rating system was
used to assess the ANP at COP Tangi, there is a real possibility this
assessment was flawed, thus leading to the very real belief among U.S.
commanders the ANP would be able to hold out.

To make one thing
abundantly clear: I am not implying any wrongdoing on behalf of Lt. Col.
Rickart and his subordinates. There is absolutely no evidence Lt. Col. Rickard
and his staff have engaged in any deceitful activities. I am merely pointing
out facts and possibilities that are based on my knowledge and my experiences
as a reporter who has spent a significant amount of time with the U.S. military
in Afghanistan.

And there is a third
and rather unflattering possibility. Lt. Col Rickart may have been hoodwinked
by Abdul Ghafoor Aziz, the ANP district police chief. Sayed Abad district
is fraught with countless land and water rights conflicts that pit different
clans and tribes in this area against each other. Consequently, the post of
district police chief is akin to navigating mine fields on a daily basis.
According to this 
grotesquely glossy press
release
, Abdul Ghafoor
Aziz has held this position sine 2010, which is enough time to figure out
if the forces he commands can prevail against the Taliban.
It can be assumed Col.
Ghafoor knew what lay ahead once he was left with responsibility for COP Tangi.
If he abandoned the post on his own or with the knowledge of his chain of
command remains unclear.

ANP abandoned a
mission it shouldn’t have been given in the first place
One dynamic that can
be observed here as well as elsewhere is that as soon as insurgent pressure
reaches a certain threshold, the ANSF tend to cave in and cede ground. The
bottom line is, once ground is ceded, insurgents almost immediately filter back
in and take control, rendering any venture into the territory a dangerous
mission for the ANSF and coalition forces. No matter how smoothly the
transition process may be going – if the end state is to have the ANSF in
control of territory, then it is already evident this goal will not be attained
in all of Afghanistan.

Was there anything
that could have been done to keep COP Tangi? Technically, the answer is yes.
With a sustained coalition presence, the outpost would have never been lost in
the first place. Due to the strategic realignment as initiated by the ANA chain
of command and the drawdown of coalition forces, this was never really an
option. Consequently, the ANP lost the outpost. If their readiness to assume
responsibility was either misjudged or of secondary concern remains unclear.
In any case, the capacities and capabilities of the ANSF should be the primary
concern before additional security responsibility is handed over.

There is a chance that
with proper coordination and sustained follow-up support, the ANP would have
considered holding COP Tangi. As it turned out, the rather vague promise of
future coalition patrols wasn’t enough to make the ANP keep its end of the
bargain. An embedded coalition adviser team could have made a
difference here, providing access to communications, surveillance, close air
support and coalition backup should things heat up. As it seems, the ANP at COP
Tangi were left high and dry. Coalition forces who hand over security
responsibilities are well-advised to ensure material and operational follow-up
support is provided or they risk the ANSF losing ground to the enemy.

In the end, holding
COP Tangi against all odds – the prowess of the insurgents in the valley was
well known to both the U.S. military and the ANSF – was a task the ANP should
have never shouldered. Most likely, it was a task it never wanted. They
knew they wouldn’t be able to hold out very long, so they bailed. In the end,
the failure to hold this outpost enabled the insurgents to establish control
over the area. The consequences became brutally clear three months later. 38
made the ultimate sacrifice; less than a mile from outpost away.

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RAF Oakhanger was the home of No 1001 Signal Unit, responsible for
supporting satellite communications services for the
British Armed Forces worldwide. The unit was made up of four sub-units;
Space Operations, Ground Operations, Telemetry and Control and Support with
subordinate detachments based at 
RAF Rudloe ManorRAF Colerne and RAF Defford. Command and Control of the system was conducted from Oakhanger, with
a planning unit based at Rudloe Manor, co-located with No1 Signal Unit and
Controller Defence Communication Network. The Colerne and Defford detachments
provided a ground anchoring capability for the communications spacecraft. The
Defford detachment was managed by the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency,
later 
QinetiQ.

Space Squadron was
responsible for flying a constellation of Skynet satellites, up to the fourth iteration of
six space vehicles which supported 
ArmyRoyal Navy and Royal Air Force units. The space vehicles were controlled on a permanent basis
from Oakhanger with command and control traffic being passed from one of the
three ground stations. Space Squadron also controlled the flight of space
vehicles on behalf of 
NATO, with an earth station at the nearby NATO
ground terminal. The constellation comprised 
geosynchronous satellites, providing Earth coverage
and higher power coverage over Northern Europe.

Ground services took
responsibility for planning the routing of traffic via the space vehicles, from
a number of locations in the 
United Kingdom to either stationary ground terminals such as GermanyCyprusAscension Islandand the Falkland Islands or tactical ground terminals, mounted
in ships or vehicles and operated by 
Tactical
Communications Wing
, 30 Signal Regiment,
16 Signal Regiment, 264 (SAS) Signal Squadron or the Royal Marines Signal
Squadrons.
[2]

Current use[edit]

Support to British
military satellite communications was outsourced to 
EADS Astrium subsidiary companyParadigm
Secure Communications
 in
2003 in a 
Private
Finance Initiative
 arrangement.
The station was subsequently decommissioned, closed and handed over to Paradigm
at that time. Paradigm Secure Communications is now known as Astrium
Services
.
The three sites are
now designated Telemetry & Command Station Oakhanger, Satellite Ground
Station Oakhanger and Satellite Ground Terminal F4 (operated on behalf of 
NATO). The sites are now
used to support the Skynet 5 constellation.”

 Yours
sincerely,

Field McConnell, United States Naval Academy, 1971; Forensic Economist; 30 year
airline and 22 year military pilot; 23,000 hours of safety; Tel: 715 307
8222

David Hawkins Tel: 604 542-0891 Forensic Economist; former leader of oil-well
blow-out teams; now sponsors Grand Juries in CSI Crime and Safety Investigation

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