Browsing: Marjah

KABUL, Afghanistan — The slower pace of things here in the last few days have given me a chance to reflect on some of the more unexpected things that I’ve seen in the last six weeks while reporting from the southern half of this country. One of those things is just how prevalent animals are — and how differently they are treated than in the U.S. Marines on patrol regularly pass sheep, goats and cattle grazing through the area. When we were in Marjah with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, several things caught me off-guard. Some were sad, while others were…

First Reconnaissance Battalion is on its way to Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, and the 1,000 Marines will soon be joining the fight in Marjah. The battalion’s area of operations will include the Sistani Desert, to Marjah’s west, and Trek Nawa, to Marjah’s east. For more information check out this story by Marine Corps Times Staff Writer Dan Lamothe, who spoke with Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, commander of 1st Marine Division (Forward) at Leatherneck.

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Good morning, friends. Photographer Tom Brown and I successfully hopped a CH-53 flight night last night from Camp Hanson in Marjah to Camp Leatherneck. While that means our time with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, has come to a close, we’ll be posting a variety of photographs and blog entries in the next few days in this space that shows what life is like for those Marines, who took great care of us while we were embedded with them. We’ll also be blogging about life here at Leatherneck again and pointing out some of the more serious…

MARJAH, Afghanistan – When I came to Afghanistan, I expected to find many strange and unusual sights. A gunnery sergeant with a tattoo of Sarah Palin on his buttocks wasn’t one of them. So it is, however. Within minutes of meeting Marines who patrol this former Taliban stronghold from the Yellow Schoolhouse, a rundown former Afghan school here, I was asked my opinion about Palin, a hero to many politically conservative Americans. Before I had a chance to answer, however, I was introduced to fun-loving Gunnery Sgt. Benjamin Lepping’s left butt cheek. Sure enough, there’s a realistic caricature of Palin…

COMBAT OUTPOST REILLY, Afghanistan – Last night, I went on my last foot patrol of this embed assignment. It was eventful, to say the least. Military Times photographer Tom Brown and I pushed north from this outpost east of Marjah with Marines from Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. Two groups – 3rd Platoon’s 2nd and 3rd Squads – left on routine security patrols within a half hour of each other. Tom and I joined 3/3, the second group – 13 Marines, a Navy corpsman and four Afghan National Army soldiers – as they stepped off at about 4:30. It…

CAMP HANSON, Afghanistan — Today, Tom Brown and I said goodbye to the Yellow Schoolhouse, a former school in Marjah where two squads of Marines from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, now patrol from and live. I’m now at Camp Hanson, home to 3/6’s headquarters, and awaiting for potential transportation to another 3/6 company of Marines. In the meantime, however, I wanted to take a minute to reflect on my time at the schoolhouse, which more closely resembles the Marine Corps I hoped and expected to see downrange than anything else to date. To say it’s hard living at…

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Some of you may have read that Marine Corps Times was caught in the middle of a firefight here yesterday afternoon. Well, here’s footage to match, courtesy of Tom Brown, who whipped out his video camera after diving next to me into a Marjah canal: [HTML1] Again: Everyone came out of this safe and sound, and five men were later detained. Sometimes, good luck can be found in Afghanistan.

MARJAH, Afghanistan — It has been a busy day or three here in Afghanistan, but I wanted to take a minute to share Tom Brown’s video footage of the aftermath of an improvised explosive device attack Saturday on a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected All-Terrain Vehicle in our convoy. As you can see, the vehicle sustained significant damage. We were trailing the hit vehicle by about the length of a city block, but could see smoke, dust and small pieces of metal rocket into the air: [HTML1] Important footnote: All five Marines in this vehicle survived, and only one experienced concussion symptoms.

MARJAH, Afghanistan — The bullets snapped overhead angrily, and all I could feel were the insects crawling up and down my legs and the sludgy water seeping into my boots. That’s how I’ll remember an ambush on a Marine patrol today, in which I saw my first warzone firefight. It began at about 12:30 p.m., as 10 members of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, and six Afghan National Army soldiers pushed east on a dirt trail splitting two agricultural canals in central Marjah. The sky was clear and the air temperature had crept into the 90s, as the hot Afghan sun…

MARJAH, Afghanistan — It’s day three for Tom Brown and I today at the Yellow Schoolhouse, a school built by the U.S. in Afghanistan in the 1950s. We went on a patrol with Marines on Sunday, and while it was uneventful, it was clear just how active the Taliban has been recently in this area. The patrol took us through several areas where Marines have been ambushed recently, including one Thursday in which eight to 10 insurgents opened fire on a group of Marines from India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. An Afghan National Army soldier was killed in the…

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