Browsing: Infantry

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 – It was a sobering reminder in more ways than one. Marines here marked Memorial Day this morning with a ceremony honoring veterans of all wars, but with a special emphasis on those who have sacrificed their lives here in Afghanistan. With the flags of the U.S., Afghanistan and Great Britain flying overhead, a single bell tolled once each in the name of 15 Marines and a Navy corpsman who have died since I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) took over April 12 as the command element of Marine operations in southern Afghanistan. Fifteen of those 16 service…

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 – How hot is it here? Hot enough that the air-conditioner-powering generators decided to take a vacation. The generator for close to a dozen tents overheated midday Sunday, going down as the air temperature soared over 100 degrees. It went down again briefly today, but power was restored quickly. To combat the overheating, Marines hung cammie netting this morning above each generator, giving the machines some shade from the hot sun, said Lance Cpl. Zach Warrilow, a mortarman here with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. He’s to the left in the photograph above.

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…

COMBAT OUTPOST REILLY, Afghanistan — Marine Corps Times was “Oscar Mike” again yesterday, moving by convoy from the headquarters of 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, at Camp Hanson to this outpost, where Kilo Company 3/6 is based. The outpost is similar to Yazzie and several other patrol bases we’ve seen recently. Marines sleep mostly in air-conditioned tents, but there is no running water or an indoor chow hall, and few ways to know what is going on in the world outside Afghanistan. We are told that Kilo Company’s area of operations isn’t nearly as hot as India Company’s right now, but…

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 — 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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