Michael's Dispatches

Marine Statement on Bastion Attack


01 October 2013

Commandant Announces Decision in Afghanistan Attack Investigation

HEADQUARTERS MARINE CORPS, Washington, D.C. - The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen James F. Amos, has concluded that  two high-ranking Marine commanders must be held accountable for the consequences of last year's insurgent attack on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.

After reviewing the findings of a four-month investigation conducted by U.S. Central Command at the Commandant's request, Gen Amos agreed that MajGen Charles M. Gurganus and MajGen Gregg A. Sturdevant "did not take adequate force protection measures within the range of responses proportionate to the threat."

LtCol Christopher Raible and Sgt Bradley Atwell lost their lives repelling the assault on Sept. 14-15, 2012.  The attack also wounded eight personnel and destroyed six aircraft.

In reaching his decision, Gen Amos acknowledged the inherent risks of combat and the challenges faced by both commanders in striking the proper balance between aggressively pursuing the enemy and safeguarding their forces.  He also commended them for their superb leadership in executing a complex mission throughout a vast area of southwestern Afghanistan.  At the same time, Gen Amos declared command a "sacred responsibility" and concluded that the commanders, in overseeing the camp's force-protection plan, did not exercise the level of judgment expected of General Officers.

"While I am mindful of the degree of difficulty the Marines in Afghanistan faced in accomplishing a demanding combat mission with a rapidly declining force, my duty requires me to remain true to the timeless axioms relating to command responsibility and accountability," Gen Amos wrote in endorsing the investigation's findings.  "Responsibility and accountability are the sacred tenets of Commandership."

The Commandant drew distinctions in assigning accountability.

As overall commander of Regional Command Southwest, MajGen Gurganus bore final accountability for the lives and equipment under his charge, Gen Amos concluded.  While he worked to accomplish a challenging mission in the Helmand and Nimroz Provinces, MajGen Gurganus made an error in judgment when conducting his risk assessment of the enemy's capabilities and intentions at the Bastion/Leatherneck/Shorabak complex.

Gen Amos found that MajGen Sturdevant, who commanded the aviation arm of the Marine force, did not adequately assess the force protection situation at Bastion Airfield.  Though his forces were positioned on the UK Bastion Airfield complex, MajGen Sturdevant remained responsible for assessing vulnerabilities and mitigating them with his own forces by having a layered, integrated, defense-in-depth.

"Marines can never place complete reliance for their own safety in the hands of another force," Gen Amos wrote.

In light of these conclusions, Gen Amos has recommended to the Secretary of the Navy that MajGen Gurganus's nomination for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant General, currently on hold at the Senate, be rescinded, and that MajGen Sturdevant receive a Secretary of the Navy Letter of Censure.   The Commandant has asked both Generals, in spite of long and distinguished careers, to retire.

The Commandant concluded his endorsement by invoking the Marine Corps' time-honored ethos.

"In the final analysis, every Marine is a rifleman and every Marine commander must properly position his command and his Marines to both successfully accomplish the mission and defend itself in any clime and place," Gen Amos wrote.  "We owe this duty to the courageous Marines like LtCol Raible and Sgt Atwell, who so faithfully served our Corps."

Division of Public Affairs

Say something here...
You are a guest ( Sign Up ? )
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    John - Capt in ANG · 8 years ago
    Accountability for command. This is why I, at times, wish I'd joined a different branch. It's a sobering reminder of the responsibilities for being in command. Sorry to see two careers ended, but sometimes you tear down to build up stronger.

    On a practical note, I was extremely surprised they were able to physically get to that many USMC aircraft with that little resistance.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Larry · 8 years ago
    I wonder if the faulty Rules of Engagement had anything to do with this attack at Camp Bastion.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sun Tzu · 8 years ago
    This smells of BS to high heaven :-?

    Who was over these two generals :-?

    Doesn't he or she have SAME command force protection responsibilities as these two :-?

    Why isn't he or she being drummed out of the Corps. :-?

    I also ask what decisions by the Obomination and it's pit of vipers, caused the sited force protection measures to be weakened :-?

    Could it be the asinine policy of appearing to draw down while forcing commanders to relinquish force protection to the stupid corrupt locals :-?

    These two generals are the victims of idiocy leading all the way back to the Obomination and it's pack of Muslim terrorist sympathizers :sad:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    oldenuff2no · 8 years ago
    If $200 million of Harriers had not been destroyed and one officer killed, nothing would have happened to these generals. Don't know of any instances when higher command was punished when enlisteds were KIA regardless of bad decisions by command.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sun Tzu · 8 years ago
      More CYA from the DOD stacked full of Obomination criminal cronies :sad:

      We can't have any deplorable instances like this appearing to be the result of the asinine policies of the NIC :-x
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bud · 8 years ago
    Where's the accountability for Benghazi? For the Extortion 17?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sun Tzu · 8 years ago
      Have we seen ANY accountability out of the Obomination sewer pit :-?

      That NIC will never own up to anything but pandering to the terrorists along with hand outs for his human trash constituency, i.e. NR-care, Welfare, Food Stamps, Free Phones, Free Housing, any and everything FREE, for the NR's :eek:
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Spatcher · 8 years ago
    Maybe these Generals pizzed someone off in a big white house!
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Americuss · 8 years ago
    More of this administration's sleight of hand. Gen Amos is using this incident to distract from the incident of being exposed by the Marine Maj on the pi$$ing Marines and his orders to prosecute and convict them regardless of a trial. Just another coverup attempt.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Fair-&-Balanced · 8 years ago
    Obama and Bush are both politicians. They are both pieces of dung. We would not be in this mess were it not for Bush and his cronies, and we are still in this mess because of Obama and his cronies. Demos & Reps both suck. Nothing but puppets for millionaires and billionaires manipulating the game to line their pockets with gold and distract everyone they are stealing from to fight amongst themselves. People earning $150k are fighting with the people earning $50k over scraps. Meanwhile how many bankers, brokers, or executives have gone to jail or returned the money they stole?

    But let's stop whinning about administrations and unrelated matters from the topic at hand and go back to arm chair quarterbacking the issues presented
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Sun Tzu · 8 years ago
    I see the Obomination trolls have been busy marking down true comments about their massa :-x

    Too bad nobody gives a damn what they think as they are soon be extinct once America gets enough of their dung and throws the whole lot out :-?

    It's back the projects for old Obammy and his ugly Communist mammy, Meechell :-?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Fair-&-Balanced · 8 years ago
      Centuries later, The Art of War, is still an important military treatise. However, Sun Tzu, your distasteful racist comments, name calling, and personal attacks are devoid of value. Is it possible to stay on topic in a civil discussion and not resort to ad hominem attacks and name calling?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Fair-&-Balanced · 8 years ago
    Maybe things have changed at the top

    http://usatoday 0.usatoday.com/NEWS/usaedition/2012-11-14-General-entitlement_ST_U.htm

    http://news.yahoo.com/general-demoted-lavish-travel-spending-0 5724 15.html



    http://fosterfriess.com/blog/201 /01/0 /three-star-general-forced-into-retirement-for-bullying/

Reader support is crucial to this mission. Weekly or monthly recurring ‘subscription’ based support is the best, though all are greatly appreciated.  Many methods are available to keep the work rolling. Click the image for a more info.



Quick Link to Paypal

Recurring Donation

QR Code

QR Code


To support using Venmo, send to:


My BitCoin QR Code

Use the QR code for BitCoin apps:


Or click the link below to help support the next dispatch with bitcoins: