Nightly News   |  November 29, 2013

US troops scramble as rockets strike Afghan base

Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division based at FOB Torkham, Afghanistan, scrambled to get inside their bunker after their base came under rocket fire as they were preparing to go patrol by the Pakistani border. NBC News’ Richard Engel reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> later. in afghanistan a close call from members of a u.s. army unit that brought a sudden and violent end to their brief thanksgiving break. it's a real reminder of the danger facing u.s. forces . as their military campaign winds down and they prepare to make their exit, in some cases under inthecoming fire. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel was there at forward operating base torcom in eastern afghanistan .

>> reporter: blacks on, weapons ready, radios checked. today the job was a patrol by the pakistani border. gabriel was the platoon sergeant .

>> you see different people. [ shouting ]

>> get own.

>> reporter: incoming. the men sprinted to a bunker. first priority, roll call .

>> here, sir.

>> reporter: make sure nobody still out there exposed or worse.

>> you got your people?

>> reporter: some soldiers were sleeping and showed up shirts off. flak jackets thrown on, in flip-flops. the soldiers think that was an incoming rocket. they have been accounted for and are waiting for the all clear. they filed out. the patrol was still a go. u.s. troops are still under fire here as the united states draws down from this. the chinook spun expertly into position, hovered and lifted away old weapons. they will head back to the states. specialist paul catern will head home this winter to his two boys.

>> reporter: his wife sends lots of pictures of them.

>> they're goofballs, but great kids.

>> reporter: third platoon returned. their patrol was quiet.

>> another day. another mission down.

>> reporter: soon they are back in the bunker. another oh rocket. to ease tension they played the squad fight song . take me home tonight

>> reporter: what the troops here don't do much anymore is head out and chase down their attackers.

>> would we want to? maybe. that's not our mission.

>> reporter: this is supposed to be a training mission now. but evidently nobody has told the enemy. richard engel , nbc news, fire base torcom, afghanistan .