Forward Operating Base Sarkari Karez
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Forward Operating Base Ramrod.|
Forward Operating Base Sarkari Karez is a foreign military base in Maywand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The base was initially established, secured and named by the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry "Ramrods" in 2008. It was built by the Bravo Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion based in Fort Hood. After President Barack Obama expanded the US presence in Afghanistan, several thousand U.S. Army soldiers were stationed at the base.
In June 2011, the FOB was renamed Sarkari Karez after 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kansas assumed responsibility.
FOB Ramrod soldiers charged with murder
In May 2010, an investigation into the alleged use of hashish by members of Bravo Company of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment and the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division uncovered what appeared to be a murder conspiring ring. Five soldiers were charged with deliberately targeting innocent civilians and killing them for sport. Body parts of the victims, such as finger bones and a skull had been collected as war trophies.
- Donna Miles (2009-05-07). "Gates' Afghanistan Visit Focuses on Troop Needs". American Forces Press Service. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
But the main focus of the day, Gates told reporters before arriving here, was to talk directly to the troops. He held an outdoor town hall session with Marines at the massive new Camp Leatherneck facility being built at a frenzied pace outside the primarily British Forward Operating Base Bastion in Helmand province. From there, he choppered into Forward Operating Base Ramrod, an outpost about 50 miles west of here, where the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, is based.
- Mike Mullen (2009-07-17). "All Hands Call Forward Operating Base Ramrod: As Delivered by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Forward Operating Base Ramrod, Maiwand District, Afghanistan Friday, July 17, 2009". Joint Chiefs of Staff. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- Tech Sgt. Jill Lavoie (2009-02-12). "62nd Engineers establish combat outpost in Southern Afghanistan" (PDF). Fort Hood Sentinel. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
Within six hours of arriving, Soldiers assigned to Company B, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Eng. Bde., had built a protective berm.
- Elisebet Freeburg. "Army Reserve Command Moves All U.S. Troops, Supplies Into Afghanistan". United States Army Reserve. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
With the number of units in Afghanistan increasing weekly, mobility provides those units with Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. The need is evident at Forward Operating Base Ramrod where thousands of Marines have arrived and need a vast number of MRAPs to become functional.
- "Army charges 3 more in Afghan civilian killings". CNN. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
Pfc. Andrew Holmes, 19, from Boise, Idaho, and Spc. Adam Winfield, 21, from Cape Coral, Florida, each face one count of murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Holmes is accused of killing Afghan civilian Gul Mudin in January with a grenade and rifle. Winfield is accused of killing civilian Mullah Adahdad in May in a similar manner.
- "US troops charged in Afghan deaths". Hurriyet Daily News. 2010-06-17. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
The charging sheets, with the names of the accusers and officers involved blanked out, say Morlock and Gibbs shot Agha and used fragmentary grenades and their rifles to kill Mudin and Adahdad. Holmes is accused of throwing a grenade at and shooting Mudin, Winfield of doing the same to Adahdad, and Wagnon of shooting Agha.
- Barbara Starr (2010-09-10). "Army: 12 soldiers killed Afghans, mutilated corpses". CNN. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
Gibbs is also charged with telling another soldier to lie about the incidents including the platoon's involvement in illegal drug use. He is alleged to have told Spc. Adam Winfield, 'I'm going to send you home by dropping a tow bar on you,' if Winfield revealed information to investigators.
- Martha Kang (2010-09-09). "Army: Lewis-McChord soldiers kept killed civilians' body parts". KOMO News. Retrieved 2016-07-21.
Gibbs is also accused of instructing a soldier to "lie to CID investigators when questioned about (his) platoon's involvement in drug use and the unlawful killings of Afghan non-combatants," the document said. Investigators said Gibbs also threatened the soldier by saying, "I'm going to send you home by dropping a tow bar on you." Holmes and Winfield have been charged with wrongful use of hashish.
- "Additional charges filed in Afghan civilians' deaths". Seattle Times. 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- Mike Archibold (2010-08-26). "12 soldiers face 74 charges". The Olympian. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
- "US soldiers 'plotted to slay Afghans'". The Australian. 2010-08-27. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
Sergeant Gibbs formed a "kill team" to randomly execute Afghan civilians while on patrol, the documents said. Sergeant Gibbs has denied any involvement in the killings. The three who were killed were shot. Two were also hit with grenades in one of the most serious war-crimes cases to emerge from the Afghan war.
- Hal Bernton (2010-08-24). "Stryker soldiers allegedly plotted to kill Afghan civilians". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-09-15.
Last December, Army Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs began joking with other soldiers about how easy it would be to "toss a grenade" at Afghan civilians and kill them, according to statements made by fellow platoon members to military investigators.
- "U.S. soldiers accused of murders". National Post. 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
CNN reported he is alleged to have told Specialist Adam Winfield, 'I'm going to send you home by dropping a tow bar on you,' if he revealed information to investigators.
- "Twelve U.S. soldiers face trial after Afghan civilians 'were killed for sport and their fingers collected as trophies'". Daily Mail. 2010-09-10. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
The new details about Winfield's efforts to alert the Army and his son's pleas raised questions about the Army's handling of the case and its system for allowing soldiers to report misconduct by their colleagues.