1/5 Marines launch Operation Zapoonki Guzaroona

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Marines with 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, and Afghan soldiers patrol May 23 through a wheat field during Operation Zapoonki Guzaroona in Afghanistan's Upper Sangin Valley. (Photo by Cpl. Benjamin Crilly)

It goes without saying that Marine operations in Afghanistan get some pretty interesting names.

There’s Operation Khanjar, the 2009 offensive in Helmand province that seized several districts south of Camp Leatherneck, including Khanashin, Nawa and Garmser. It meant “dagger” in Pashto, an imposing message. The operation was commonly called Strike the Sword in English.

There’s Operation Khareh Cobra, the 2009 offensive to seize control of Helmand’s Now Zad Valley from insurgents. The operation was known as “Cobra’s Anger,” in English, which still sounds like the title to a “G.I. Joe” episode.

And there’s Operation Moshtarak, the 2010 offensive in Helmand that seized Marjah, a collective of farming villages in Nad Ali and Lashkar Gah districts. It meant “together,” in Dari, a concerted effort to note Afghan forces were involved in the assault.

Now comes word that 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., has launched Operation Zapoonki Guzaroona in volatile Sangin district. In official accounts so far, the Corps hasn’t said what the phrase mean, but we’ll pass it on when we find out.

The operation itself sounds significant — and dangerous. Marine officials said Bravo Company 1/5 cleared more than 250 compounds north of the battalion’s area of operations to push insurgents away. They have exploited the boundary between the company and 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion, which is based to the north of Sangin district.

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About Author

I’m a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

6 Comments

  1. This news Blog is outstanding. It is the only way I can keep up with 1/5. My son is in B Co 1st Platoon and is the Platoon Leader. Their lives have been a living hell for the past 4 weeks. I do not hear from him much due to his job and where they are. I can only keep praying for them all and pray that october will come quickly. Keep up the good work on the reporting.

  2. PROUD MOM..MY SON IS ALSO A 1/5 BRAVO COM..MARINE…GOD BLESS U ALL ARE PRAYERS ARE WITH U ALL ..LUV U MIJO

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