How A Few Good “Bastards” Delayed The Fall Of Kabul Airport

TF Bastards

For many, “Bastards” would be considered an insult. However, that is not the case for Task Force 1-194, better known by their moniker, “Task Force Bastard.” The nickname dates back to 1941, when Gen. Douglas MacArthur left the 194th with no backup and no reinforcements, making them a chess piece apart of his bigger military scheme.

The nickname is a blunt reminder that utilitarianism is not welcome anywhere in the military and that the lesson learned at Bataan should not happen again. It also honors those who lost their lives and those who returned different people because of the experience.

The soldiers in this task force wear the name proudly and are happy to help their fellow troops when duty calls, something they did successfully in Afghanistan.

Backup Plan

Task Force Bastard had been prepping for months in Kuwait, just in case things in Kabul did not go well at both the embassy and the airport. Instead, things started smoothly but quickly deteriorated.

The Taliban began taking over districts quickly, and the military knew that the Afghan National Army was not strong and their air support was rather unreliable.

Their Special Operations Command, which stood the best chance against the Taliban, was stretched thin and becoming tired. At the time, the military thought Kabul would be able to hold off the Taliban for months.

Task Force Spartan Analytic Control Element (ACE) intelligence chief Maj. Ravneet Puri said, “Power brokers and government officials are making deals. Logistics lines are being cut off. The northern alliance is broken. The big challenge for the Taliban, who above all want and need international legitimacy in the event of a takeover, will be to govern and to deal with ISIS-K.” 

Puri then told Capt. Charlie Anderson that the “bastards needed to be ready.” So ready they became.

Protecting the Airport

The Bastards came under constant fire while stationed in the north perimeter towers. They learned not to hesitate. Even the snipers would find themselves with green laser dots from the Taliban on their vest, though the shot was out of range.

The team held the perimeter against constant Taliban antagonization to get as many people through the airport gates as possible. The team arrived without vehicles and soon had a hodge-podge of vehicles at their disposal.

One of their biggest jobs was keeping everything secure, so the Afghan people could go free.

Sources: 1, 2

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