Published December 08, 2015
Shrapnel from two rockets fired at Bagram Air Base struck the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs' C-17 plane Monday night, forcing the Chairman to await a replacement plane in order to leave Afghanistan.
General Martin Dempsey was in his quarters at the time of the midnight attack on Bagram Air Base and was not injured or in any danger, according to his aides. NATO spokesman Jamie Graybeal says the attack did not affect Gen. Dempsey's mission in Afghanistan. He says Dempsey had left by Tuesday morning, though it was unclear if he left on the same plane.
However, two American ground personnel from the base were being treated for light shrapnel wounds and possible traumatic brain injury due to the rocket strike.
The two rockets were fired by remote timer, according to US military officials. The strike occurred shortly after midnight in Afghanistan, forcing Bagram Air Base into lock down mode for more than an hour.
Base personnel were ordered into bunkers. Such attacks occur nearly every two weeks at the main air base used by US personnel serving in Afghanistan.
Gen. Dempsey placed a telephone call to Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai Tuesday morning before leaving Afghanistan to reiterate US concerns about the spate of insider attacks on US and NATO troops, urging Karzai to do more to prevent such attacks.
President Obama told reporters at the White House Monday that he too would be placing a call to President Karzai to reiterate US concerns. On Saturday Defense Secretary Leon Panetta did the same.
It is highly unusual for the Commander in Chief, the Defense Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to each place calls to a head of state, suggesting how urgent US officials view the current spate of insider attacks by Afghans that US forces are attempting to train.
There have been 40 US and NATO deaths that resulted from these insider attacks since the beginning of the year. 10 ISAF service members have been killed by Afghan insiders in the last week alone, 7 of them American.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.