Browsing: Marjah

I now introduce an insurgent’s worst nightmare. Below is new video of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, better known as HIMARS. It was recorded by Combat Camera recently at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, where Kilo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marines, operates from to assists infantry units downrange: The rockets carry M270 rounds, and are no joke. Military officials say they can be fired up to 186 miles, with the warhead reaching an altitude of more than 31 miles on long-range shots. HIMARS use was briefly suspended in February 2010 after two rockets fired from a HIMARS unit fell about 300…

It looks like the force laydown as we know it in Helmand province, Afghanistan, is evolving. As pointed out in this Marine Corps news release, forces with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, are now operating out of northwestern Marjah, the former Taliban stronghold that Marine forces assaulted in February 2010. The Island Warriors have forces based at Combat Outpost Yazzie, a patrol base that Battle Rattle readers will remember from my May 2010 embed downrange. That means there’s plenty of catching up to do on which Marine units are based where in Helmand. Last summer,…

It’s a time of change in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Marines at Camp Leatherneck are in the midst of a transition from I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) to II MEF Fwd. The change of command from Maj. Gen. Richard Mills to Maj. Gen. John Toolan hasn’t occurred yet, but it likely will soon. First Marine Division (Fwd.), commanded by Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, already has stepped down in favor of 2nd MARDIV Fwd. That unit is known in Afghanistan as Task Force Leatherneck, and will be commanded for the next year by Brig. Gen. Lewis Craparotta. The transition doesn’t end there,…

As I mentioned earlier this week, I had the opportunity to review HBO’s new documentary, “Battle for Marjah,” before it debuts next Thursday at 9 p.m. Here’s the trailer: My take on the 85-minute film just got posted here. HBO says it will air at the following times: Feb. 17, 9 p.m. (premiere) Feb. 22, 1 a.m. Feb. 25, 7.30 p.m. March 3, 12:30 a.m. March 7, 1:45 a.m. It also will air Feb. 23 on HBO2 at 8 p.m. Marjah Marine friends and families, we’d love to hear your take on the documentary. Drop in and say hi after you…

America’s Battalion is taking over Northern Marjah. Second, Battalion, 8th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., has replaced Lejeune’s 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, in Afghanistan, Marine officials said. Marines with 2/9 were preparing to return home as of Jan. 30, according to this Marine Corps news release. The deployment wasn’t easy for 2/9, but it yielded a variety of progress. The battalion deployed to the same volatile area of operations that Marine Corps Times joined 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, in last May, and suffered a total of 15 casualties. Marine commanders now tout Marjah as a success story, however. The…

There’s a new sheriff in town in central and southern Marjah. Third Battalion, 9th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., has taken over in the former Taliban stronghold in central Helmand province, Marine officials said. The unit replaced 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, which began cycling out of the war zone late last month. For 2/6, it was a tough deployment. The battalion lost 17 men in seven months, arriving in Helmand in June, during the heart of its fighting season. Things calmed down considerably during the latter half of its deployment, and Marine commanders now identify their area of operations…

The Marines of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion are expected to return this week from Afghanistan to Camp Pendleton, Calif., after a seven-month deployment. They were replaced during a relief in place ceremony at Camp Leatherneck last week with 2nd Recon, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C. First Recon deployed in the spring, and was quickly dispatched to areas surrounding the former Taliban stronghold of Marjah. They eventually also played a role in Sangin, where Marines have faced a tough fight in the last few months. At the time, Marjah district was likely the most dangerous place in Helmand province for Marines, and…

Maj. Gen. Richard Mills held a press conference from Afghanistan with reporters at the Pentagon yesterday, generating a flurry of headlines about the war. Many of the stories focused on the general’s bold claim that the battle in Marjah district is “essentially over.” Most engagements with the enemy are now on the outskirts of the district, from which the Taliban still launches attacks from neighboring deserts, Mills said. “He still comes out of his hole every once in a while from the desert, comes into town and takes the odd shot at us, but in effect, he has lost the ability…

Marine Corps Times is scrambling to put together next week’s print edition today, but we wanted to take a minute to send a Battle Rattle thank you to our veterans on Veterans Day. A somber reminder: Staff photographer Chris Maddaloni captured this image today at Arlington National Cemtery, where Sgt. Jay An, of 1st Battalion, 6th Marines, out of Camp Lejeune, N.C., visited the grave of Lance Cpl. Kielin Dunn. Dunn died Feb. 18 during the assault on Marjah, Afghanistan, but those closest to him will no doubt remember memories like those shared in this story.

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