They missed the Drop Zone?


"The Islamic State (IS) terrorist group has published online photos of the seized humanitarian aid, intended for besieged Syrian troops in the city of Deir ez-Zor. Acording to terrorists, the aid was seized on Monday. The photos were posted by the IS Amaq news agency.

According to the published photos, terrorists managed to capture containers and fuel for Syrian military. Mistakenly, the cargo landed not in the city, but several kilometers to the north-west of it, on IS positions.

On Sunday, the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring parties in Syria reported that Russian planes delivered more than 20 tons of humanitarian cargo to the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor. Perhaps, terrorists managed to seize some part of this supply."  southfront


Some time back I suggested that in a long series of supply drops by parachute into a perimeter like Deir al-Zor some would end up outside the perimeter in enemy hands.  At the time I was assured that modern guided cargo parachutes would prevent this.  This made the old turcopolier feel sad and obsolete.   But, now, we have this picture of a pallet of fuel drums.  IS took the picture.  The turcopolier feels better about himself.  pl

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39 Responses to They missed the Drop Zone?

  1. A. Pols says:

    One wonders why such drops aren’t provided with self-destruct devices…

  2. SAC Brat says:

    Too bad it wasn’t a pallet of poor quality Chinese AK-47 ammo and grenades and mortar rounds with dubious fuses like were found along the Ho Chi Minh trail.

  3. Outrage Beyond says:

    Is the ISIS terrorist in the first shot wearing US-issue digital camo?

  4. John Minnerath says:

    A topic that shouldn’t have the liberals coming out of the wood work and swarming it.
    Something I have a bit of experience with, so I’ll make a brief comment.
    “Guided Cargo Parachutes”, didn’t even know they existed, but not surprised I guess, and also not surprised they can fail.
    I saw many more drops come down far from the intended DZ than hit where they were supposed to.
    We also made many jumps, usually on a dark night, where we came down miles from the intended location. Those were always a mess totally FUBAR.

  5. turcopolier says:

    Outrage Beyond
    There are camo factories all over eastern Europe making this stuff in a multitude of patterns. Romania is a big source. I have been in a number of units and projects that designed our own camo for foreign procurement. Some of it was deliberately bizarre. pl

  6. turcopolier says:

    SAC Brat
    As you know I was in Black SOF operations in SE Asia in the long ago unpleasantness. My outfit provided a lot of such defective arms and ammunition to the enemy in exactly the way you describe as well as burying it their own arms caches that we had found. pl

  7. Peter AU says:

    Between UN aid and Russian aid, Russia has been delivering a large amount of supplies to Deir Ezzor
    #SYRIA Last week, Russian aircraft delivered 122 tons of humanitarian aid provided by the UN in Deir ez-Zor besieged by ISIS terrorists

  8. Andy says:

    Guided parachutes are still pretty rare and expensive. Most cargo is still air-delivered the old-fashioned way.
    Here’s a fairly recent video of a US airdrop with some spectacular failures:

  9. turcopolier says:

    Extremely funny. thanks. pl

  10. John Minnerath says:

    Yes, anyone who spent time in airborne units saw that stuff happen often.
    It was hilarious except when the screwballs got all their wires crossed and came in over you with a heavy drop while everyone was still on the DZ.
    Then it was every man for him self trying to get out of the way.
    When ever we needed a new truck we’d loan it to a nearby BG to use on a drop because we knew there was a good chance it would end up as a pile of scrap metal. Sometimes maybe a case of beer for the heavy riggers to make sure. 🙂

  11. SAC Brat says:

    Yepper. Some of the the SOG programs were incredibly clever and corrosive. One can only imagine the psychological impact of not trusting one’s gear. I still don’t know why the US and Russians don’t have a PR campaign to make everyone believe all the attack aircraft and helicopters are flown by female pilots.
    I would like to think that some of the dinosaurs from the Secret War period could have rolled these Jihadis up in a ball as their beliefs appear stiff and brittle. The US and the British used to do this very well. Is there a memo instructing everyone to play nice or are your group’s talents no longer PC?
    (It is understood that we won’t know about some programs for twenty years)

  12. turcopolier says:

    SAC Brat
    Yes, but we still (US/RVN) still lost the war IMO because of extremely effective IO ops conducted in the US. But… Some of the projects we had I would hesitate to tell you about because of the possibility of creating ill will where hardly any exists any longer. But, in addition to the cross border raiding and recon force (large) we had a number of other projects in a psy-war branch. I was in the field with a project and then brought in to headquarters on Pasteur Street in Saigon as deputy staff intel guy and the head intel guy. I was a major then. We all held jobs that in line outfits would have gone to more senior officers. My favorite thing that the psyops guys did was to have huge amounts of NV money printed by the same banknote company in Europe that printed the real NV money (dong). Ours had a strip on one end of the notes that said that these were “inflation warning notes” and were not to be spent under any circumstances. We bombed the north with this stuff by the millions and millions. It fell like snow all over the north. They all cut the little note off and spent the money. pl

  13. J says:

    I guess they forgot to watch Meet Corliss Archer’s The Algebra Problem.

  14. turcopolier says:

    mauisurfer et al
    You seem to ask my opinion of the marine nudie picture problem. I have no idea if the dastards are still on active duty (serving) I have no idea if what they did is actually illegal but they should not have spread this material around without the consent of the women involved. Having said that, I would agree with Bacevich that this is not a world shaking event. IMO this matter should be dealt with in a disciplinary way with a minimum of hysteria. I have had men all over the world insist on showing me nude pictures of women in their lives. I always thought their impulse to do that incomprehensible but since many of them were men on whom I relied to keep us alive I did not think it worth chewing their ass about it. they were not philosopher-kings but why should they have been? pl

  15. Booby says:

    In the summer of 1968 my Marine helo squadron at Quang Tri began doing limited parachute resupply missions. We would guide off of a TPQ radar beacon to a designated fix & release the load. At a predetermined altitude the chute would open & the load was suppose to land at a Marine Firebase. The loads usually missed the drop zones & went to the NVA. Few loads landed on their targets. One exception was a load that had a chute failure. The 2000 pound “rock” scored a direct hit & destroyed a 105mm howitzer. & We could not comprehend why we were attempting parachute resupply in good weather. Later we would find out that we were doing R&D on the ability to support the 9th Marines who planned to go into the Ashau Valley for a sustained operation (Dewey Canyon) during the monsoon in February 1969.
    The Marine KC-130’s did a good job of keeping loads in the DZ at Khe Sahn by using extremely low level drops.

  16. Linda says:

    Speaking of bizarre camo – remember the Pink Panthers Syran Defense Companies?!

  17. Linda says:

    I think you underestimate the effect of such a thing on the woman. They were already going all out to do their best at succeeding in a man’ world and the Marines are surely that. So, they have at least partly made it and then nude photos come along and take away all their hard earned acceptance as a fellow professional.

  18. Peter in Toronto says:

    Conspiracy theories of America and Israel supplying ISIS aide, it is plainly clear that the principle supplier of arms and war materiel to IS and the other insurgent groups are the dysfunctional, fatally corrupt Iraqi and Syrian armed forces.
    Today, the “HTS” (ex-Nusra, de facto West Syrian IS branch) launched some sort of counter-strike in one of the countless festering pockets of resistance the inept government has been incapable of clearing, with a freshly captured Russian T-90A spearheading the assault…

  19. Walrus says:

    The Turcopolier has successfully avoided schadenfreud.

  20. MRW says:

    Were you at the MACVSOG conference in 1992 in Vegas?

  21. turcopolier says:

    No. Presume that was an SOA event and I had not joined until much later. pl

  22. turcopolier says:

    It was good! pl

  23. turcopolier says:

    Yes. I understand the mental trauma suffered by women marines, but it is not the most important thing in the world. IMO the notion that women can serve in the armed services in large numbers without experiencing this kind of indignity is illusory. Grunts have little sense of what is appropriate. I remember that the Defense Companies wore some sort of pinkish camo, but more than that I remember the “murabitun” in Lebanon who actually did wear pink camo. pl

  24. turcopolier says:

    Special Operations Association. pl

  25. Bandolero says:

    A bit OT, but regarding an airdrop in eastern Syria there is just an interesting article in the Telegraph, quote begin:
    “US airdrops special forces near Raqqa in surprise attack on Isil
    The US-led coalition has airdropped American paratroopers and allied Syrian fighters near the Isil-controlled city of Raqqa in a surprise attempt to cut off the jihadists’ main route out.
    The operation aims to secure the strategic Tabqa dam across the Euphrates river and isolate the capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil’s) so-called caliphate from the rest of the group’s territory in Syria.
    Five helicopters, supported by five fighter jets, dropped US Marines and dozens of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters near the northern town of Shurfa on Wednesday afternoon, according to local media reports. …”
    Quote end. Source:
    On Twitter there is a map of the area supposedly secured by this operation south of lake Assad:
    South front reports the story, too, but as unconfirmed so far.
    If true, it looks like US SOF + YPG/SDF are well on the way to completely encircle Raqqa as east of Raqqa SDF units are also already all along the Euphrates, and may cross the river east of Raqqa anytime soon, too.

  26. turcopolier says:

    I am waiting to know more about this. pl

  27. LeaNder says:

    Linda, I may get what’s on Pat’s mind (Arab Democratic Party?), not quite what may be on his mind concerning his specific allusion to a specifically female US Marines trauma beyond his reality check.
    But what exactly is on your mind?
    Pink Panthers Syran Defense Companies

  28. Joe100 says:

    Curious to know if the director of the MAC-V Combat Operations Center would typically have been briefed into in-country SOG operations (vs. cross-border ops)?

  29. Bandolero,
    Military Times had this to say about it.
    “U.S. aircraft have transported more than 500 Syrian Arab Coalition fighters and provided them with close air support in an operation to take the Taqba dam. The operation launched yesterday is intended to “reclaim the last route in and out of Raqqa,” said Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon. ”
    The article also reported the SDF said a few Marines were also transported in with their forces. Perhaps it’s an ANGLICO or equivalent team to spot for the 155 battery. I have no idea where that battery is deployed.
    In a different report, someone offered his opinion that this is an effort to prevent the SAA from being the ones to take Tabqa. Who knows.

  30. Peter in Toronto says:

    Indeed an interesting development, and it would provide some very welcome respite to the Syrian garrison of DeZ.
    Perhaps we’re finally seeing some of Trump’s influence at work, that is, defeating IS at all costs rather than in some measured way, such that Syrians and Russians won’t appear to benefit.

  31. turcopolier says:

    Are you a historian? I am working on 45 year old memory. In my memory we informed MACV of cross border operations. We did not have operations within the borders of the RVN. Our mission was external to the RVN, but we had facilities for billeting, support and the like within RVN and would have notified MACV of those. Our external recon operations in Laos and Cambodia were originated in monthly target coordination meetings with MACV J-2. I was the attending staff man from our side during my tenure. These meetings were negotiations because the MACV J-2 people didn’t care how suicidal their musings might end up being. pl

  32. Joe100 says:

    Not a historian! Just curious as a family member was MACV COS director from NOV 66 to MAY 68.

  33. turcopolier says:

    Who would that have been? Singlaub? Simons? pl

  34. Wunduk says:

    This happened on 11 April in the exercise area of Hohefels / Grafenwöhr in northern Bavaria (Germany). Lines connecting the cargo and the chutes ripped. Exercise “Saber Junction 16” got a lot of farmers heavily recompensated for the crops damaged.

  35. Joe100 says:

    Sorry, I got my acronym wrong – I meant the MAC-V Combat Operations Center (COC). So not a special operations job.

  36. turcopolier says:

    I don’t know what that was so I can’t comment. Maybe it was a voice at the other end of a secure phone from Honolulu or DC. pl

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