“Our platoon was ordered to move four kilometers directly south from our patrol base leaving at first light. About half way into the patrol we spotted a Taliban dicker watching our movements.
We were just arriving at the compound we were going to occupy and the Taliban ambushed us from the west. I had a lot of close calls but that was the closest a bullet ever came to hitting me was that initial burst of machine gun fire. The Taliban were firing at us from the west and east, there was a lot of confusion with all the bullets whizzing past in both directions with us stuck in the middle fighting back from the compound rooftops. The fighting went on and off all day and got pretty intense but the two snipers attached to our platoon were racking up some good kills.
After that first day I was exhausted and dehydrated and so was everyone else, the heat was unbearable. During the night our reconnaissance platoon managed to sneak to our location in the compound and re-enforce our position, it was great to see them, I had a close friend in the reconnaissance platoon.
The next day we were ordered to pull out but the Taliban were waiting for us. They ambushed the three Jackel vehicles that had moved out first to give us dismounted troops protection, detonating an IED under the middle vehicle in the convoy. We were all under attack from three sides, it was absolute chaos. The lads that got hit were in bad shape and four hundred meters away from us and still being attacked. The medic and some others from the reconnaissance platoon had to sprint over the open ground to get to them while being shot at, I have no idea how none of them got shot.
We eventually fought the Taliban off and chinooks came in and picked up our casualties. The next 24 hours we waited for recovery and support vehicles to arrive before the rest of us marched further south to a designated landing zone for extraction.
I will never forget the feeling seeing those chinooks arrive.
I was glad to be getting out of there.
I will never forget those three days in Koshkawah.”
-Corporal Ross Smith. 1 Platoon,Alpha Co. The Highlanders. 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment Of Scotland. Op Herrick 14 Helmand Afghanistan.
This interview was conducted by Battles and Beers (TM) As we always here: Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.