Back on June 1st we reported that scores of Taliban were killed when they attacked an outpost in Afghanistan named FOB Salerno. Initial reports were that no Americans had been killed in the attack. A commenter told us that we were wrong, and now the Washington Post supports that commenter.
U.S. military officials said they did not try to play down the severity of the attack on the Salerno base. They said it is their long-standing policy to withhold information about wounded or injured troops. At Salerno, many of the service members listed as casualties went to the base clinic as a precaution to be tested for traumatic brain injury, the officials said.
“When you do look at the number of wounded .?.?. it looks like ‘oh my goodness,’?” said a senior NATO official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the policy against discussing non-lethal casualties. “It’s not a coverup. It is what it is.”
The official said most of the 100 service members who suffered minor injuries returned to duty that same day.
There were two American casualties;
The Defense Department did later identify a soldier who died three days after the attack as Pfc. Vincent J. Ellis, 22, a member of the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.
U.S. officials said Saturday that an American contractor also later died of wounds suffered in the attack, but they declined to provide an identification.
The commenter complained that we were being flippant about the death of their relative (apparently it was the identified contractor), we claim ignorance. We were misinformed and offer apologies and condolences to anyone who was offended by our initial elation at the deaths of scores of Haqqani suicide bombers.
UPDATE: This was sent to us by one of our readers on the scene;
There was no [misreporting] here, gents. The blast of the SVBIED in the initial wave hit the walls, and the overpressure nailed the DFAC tent and the PX, both of which were on the other side, where everyone was eating lunch. It’s policy over here for everyone to be checked out for TBI after exposure to any sort of blast. I had mine done when a RR struck over 50 meters away. Someone got carried away and reported the flood of TBI assessments at the Aid Station as actual casualties. The numbers were much lower, and those were mainly shrapnel and eardrum injuries. Can’t go into details about the KIA’s.
The SIGACT is declassified after 6 days, we just can’t give specifics on casualties or fatalities. I actually printed out the piece for the boss when we heard about it because of the Force protection concerns that swept down from higher after the attack.