Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Battle of Pump House Flanders, August 12th 2006

On August 12th 2006, 10 soldiers from Bravo Company 2/136 Infantry, 34th Brigade Combat Team, fought one of the most significant and decisive battles that Minnesota National Guard soldiers have fought in the Iraq War to date.

The Bravo Company soldiers were manning defensive positions at Pump House Flanders, a Combat Outpost that protects one of the two water pumps that supplies water from a canal fed by the Euphrates to the US base at Camp Fallujah.

Up to 35 insurgents riding in two fortified dump trucks, and supported by mortars, rocket propelled grenades, and machine guns launched a surprise attack after having approached to within 20 meters of the perimeter. 38 minutes later the fight was over, and 1 Bravo Company soldier was seriously wounded, and more than 20 insurgents were dead.

The following video clip show Captain Chip Rankin, the Bravo Company commander, standing on the wall of the Pump House, giving an account of the fight (recorded in February 2007):


Anonymous said...

As a Commander during this attack, what was CPT Rankins role. It is spoken from a point of involvement. Is that typical?

Eric Bowen said...

At the time of the attack there were only 10 Bravo Company soldiers at the pump house, lead by a Staff Sergeant.

As soon as the attack began they called the company TOC (Tactical Operations Center), which alerted CPT Rankin, and higher headquarters, and dispatched QRF (the Quick Reaction Force) from Camp Fallujah.

Fundamentally these 10 soldier were on their own for more than half an hour, except for (critical) fire support from the mortar platoon back at Camp Fallujah.

Captain Rankin's account is not meant to imply that he was there personally when the attack began. His personal involvement was over the radio, and then on site shortly after the attack.

Anonymous said...

Actually, at the time, CPT Rankin was not the commander of Bravo Company...

Anonymous said...

we relieved these guys at the pump house. i am surprised they could fight there way out of a paper bag let alone anything else. with that being said when we left that AO it was 1000 times better than we took it over. we turned that area around and set up a local iraqi police force. the locals were also happy they left.

Anonymous said...

The person posting above is a real idiot, I don't think he had much insight into this battle. The guard post was comprised primarily of Marines and Soldiers drawn from non-typical combat units (Engineers, Communications, etc.). Needless to say, they did an excellent job in defending the pump house, and are the only reason why the aforementioned poster had fresh water when he arrived to Camp Fallujah.

Day by Day, by Chris Muir (updated daily)

Chris Muir is the cartoonist that I met in Kuwait. He spent two weeks in Iraq at the same time I was there in February 2007, and so thought it would relevant to showcase his work on my site. Here is a link to Chris' humorous travelogue of this Iraq trip: