It’s back to the future in northern Helmand province, Afghanistan.
Nearly a year after Marine forces pushed into new, violent areas in and around Sangin district, Maj. Gen. John Toolan will deploy British forces later this year to Nahr-e-Saraj district and the upper Gereshk Valley, according to this report in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The British will take over for the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, out of Twentynine Palms, Calif., which will be among the first U.S. units not replaced in Afghanistan as part of a gradual military drawdown there.
The Brits, of course, had operational control of Sangin before elements of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, out of Twentynine Palms, took over for them there last summer.
Marine officers in Afghanistan quickly overhauled the strategy in Sangin, spreading out 3/7 and — later — 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, in the insurgent stronghold. Dozens of Marines died there last fall and winter, but Marine officials say gains have been made.