In the first of a seven-part series on 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, NPR correspondent Tom Bowman revisits the seven-month deployment with an interview with Lt. Col. Jason Morris, who commanded the battalion during the deployment from September 2010 to March 2011.
The 3/5 had 25 Marines and corpsmen killed in action, the highest casualty rate for any single unit in Afghanistan in 10 years of war.
“It was just over a year ago that Morris took nearly 1,000 Marines to a place in Helmand called Sangin. It was a haven for Taliban fighters and drug traffickers, a place where the British lost more than 100 troops in four years. But the British failed to push out and pursue the enemy, and the Taliban continued to control much of the area. It was Morris’ job to take it back,” Bowman writes on the NPR web site.
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines were the first leathernecks up in Sangin following the British; 3/5 took over for them and 1st Battalion, 5th Marines just came home from its own seven-month deployment there. More than 40 Marines and sailors have been killed in action there during that time, both from units assigned to the area and specialty detachments and individuals assigned to those units.
Now, 3/7 is back in the fight in Sangin.
You can read and listen to the NPR story on 3/5 here.