Forward Operating Base Armadillo
FOB Armadillo (forward operating base renamed "Budwan" in 2010) was a military base located near Gereshk in the Helmand province of Afghanistan. It was occupied by ISAF forces from Britain and Denmark as part of Task Force Helmand during the War in Afghanistan (2001–present). The armadillo was the mascot of a Danish company commander, Major Anders Stæhr Storrud, who was killed three months before the base was first established.
It was one of three smaller forward operating bases (FOBs) used by British and Danish forces around Gereshk (the others being FOB Sandford and FOB Keenan) in addition to their headquarters at FOB Price. The closing and disassembling of Armadillo started in December 2010. The last troops and equipment left in late January 2011. The units stationed there were relocated to other bases around Gereshk.
Danish troops use small hand launched RQ-11 Raven drone to relay video footage of the area and call in air strikes or 105mm artillery from supporting bases. It also show mortar fire mission from the base. The Danish troops interact with the local population and perform foot patrols supported by Piranha armoured fighting vehicles.
The film shows several typical operations where the Guard Hussars infantry patrol small villages and come under fire. Several fire fights between these patrols and Taliban fighters are captured on film. It shows scenes where a patrol receives fire from a compound and engages the enemy position with a Carl Gustav recoilless rifle. In another scene five Taliban fighters are killed at close range with a hand grenade and small arms fire. The Taliban hid in an irrigation ditch covered in vegetation. The bodies are pulled out to recover the weapons revealing how heavily armed the Taliban fighters were with RPG-7 rocket propelled grenades and two PK machine guns in addition to other rifles and at least one sidearm.
It was this last scene that generated a brief political controversy in Denmark when the Danish Socialist People's Party accused the soldiers of deliberately breaking the rules of engagement during one of the engagements, and demanded an investigation. Following procedure, the Danish military Legal Corps conducted an independent investigation, and the soldiers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
- Geoffrey Macnab (3 June 2010). "Armadillo: the Afghanistan war documentary that shocked Denmark". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Den Kongelige Livgarde (27 January 2010). "Baser får afghanske navne" (in Danish). Retrieved 5 December 2010.
- Anthony Loyd (21 January 2008). "Moving day Helmand style: how to turn a farm into a fortress". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 5 December 2010.
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