Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Major Richard Streatfeild, OC A Company 4 RIFLES


There is no such thing as a normal day in Afghanistan.

One of my platoons has begun to partner a Platoon from the Afghan National Army. The Afghans have already got a small team of UK mentors in their camp, but this move is part of the renewed effort to help the Afghan National Army take on the insurgency with more vigour.

All the planning and conduct of patrols is done jointly. The platoon has worked extremely hard in the last forty eight hours to give their new home enough protection.

The insurgents have responded in a number of ways but today they out did themselves.

The Afghan Army Platoon had received some information that the insurgents were going to try to strap an IED to a donkey and send it towards the camp. Donkeys do not have the reputation of being the most compliant animal, so it was treated with some scepticism at first.

Then in the afternoon the gate guard realised there was something suspicious going on. A group had just let go of a donkey a short way from camp and hurried off. He tried to divert the animal with flares and other warnings.

Obstinacy not being the best quality in that situation, the beast of burden eventually had to be stopped by a rifle shot.

The team went out and established there was something very suspicious under the bundle of hay carried by the donkey.

Eventually one brave ANA warrior set fire to the hay with a flare from a distance, and 30 seconds later there was a considerable explosion. No one was hurt.

Swift appropriate action had saved them from an unusual attack. But it is impossible to report a donkey IED up the chain of command without either a wry smile at the ridiculousness or a feeling that the world is slightly off its axis.


  1. Lordy - the stuff you all have to put up with (and, I'm sure that is the understatement of the year)! Glad this was safely resolved. The thought comes to mind - wow, the insurgents must be desperate - and then, the world of Afghanistan seems like another planet to me.
    Thank you.

  2. The job you have to do is hard enough so after the donkey incident i hope you will not have to face the Animal rights lot. Good job. (Ex 1 RGJ)

  3. Mafia Bod (ex 3rd RGJ)

    Thanks for the laugh, can just imagine the incidentrep..'Exploding donkey plot foiled.'

  4. Snowy ( ex 3RGJ ),thankfully no got hurt,,can imagine the news from all the beaches in the UK, "where have all our donkey's gone",will the MOD issue donkey jackets now to all the donkey's,!!!

  5. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 12/11/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  6. After seeing Ross Kemp's show where the ANA soldiers took every break they had to smoke hash. The donkey borne IED is a new one but in Charlie Wilson's War (the book) they talk about how the mighty Mujahideen warriors were sodomizing and then eating the ISI/CIA provided mules.

    The Afghan people are an odd bunch indeed.

  7. Hi

    I was wondering if any of the boys needed pen pals to get them through the time out in Afganistan. You are all doing a fantastic job, stay safe.

  8. A suicide donkey, nice!!
    Watch out for the exploding monkeys "Baboom"

    Cod (mafioso)

  9. Hi Maj Streatfield, both my husband and I are ex military now living in North Cyprus and a lot of people here, both ex military and not, would like to be able to send email Christmas cards to our troops. Is there an email address that all can access? Would you be able to find out and let me know. Please email me on Many thanks Sue

  10. Been done before on the Isreali borders but normally with some mug or even a child leading the donkey towards the checkpoint. Snipers normally employed to drop the donkey leaving the mug to walk away. (ex 1 RGJ)