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August 22, 2014

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 1 conduct retrograde operation in Helmand province, Afghanistan

By Cpl. Cody Haas | Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan | August 22, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- As the U.S. footprint throughout Afghanistan begins to shrink, the extra gear and equipment needs to be retrograded back to the States by a unit capable of moving large items in a timely fashion. For Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 1, it is their mission.

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August 20, 2014

Marines with Weapons Company conduct security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Cody Haas | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 08.20.2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Enemy insurgents continue to operate in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in the area surrounding Camps Bastion and Leatherneck. In order to mitigate this threat, patrols are conducted to clear the surrounding area of all suspicious individuals and threats.

Continue reading "Marines with Weapons Company conduct security patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan" »

August 17, 2014

1st Marine Regiment cases colors, ends mission in Afghanistan

Story by 1LT Garth Langley
Date Posted:08.17.2014 09:41

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan - A blinding sandstorm swept across the desert floor surrounding Regional Command (Southwest)’s security-nebulous, Task Force Belleau Wood, Aug. 15, 2014. During a brief pause in the storm, Marines with 1st Marine Regiment held a small ceremony to case the unit’s battle colors for the final time in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

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August 16, 2014

Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company provide security for units operating in Helmand province, Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Cody Haas | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 08.16.2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – During the early morning hours before sunrise, Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company donned their gear for a security operation in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 8.

Continue reading "Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company provide security for units operating in Helmand province, Afghanistan " »

August 12, 2014

Greeley, Colorado, native receives meritorious promotion while deployed to Afghanistan

Story by Sgt Jessica Ostroska
Date Posted:08.12.2014 02:12

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Former U.S. senator, Olympic gold medalist and professional NBA athlete Bill Bradley once said, “Ambition is the path to success, and persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.”

Continue reading "Greeley, Colorado, native receives meritorious promotion while deployed to Afghanistan" »

July 29, 2014

Marine Proud to Serve Twice during Afghan Drawdown

Marine Corps News | Jul 29, 2014 | by 1st Lt. Garth Langley

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- During America’s longest war, many newly-minted Marines’ have wished for an opportunity to dirty their boots in Afghanistan. In the past year, however, deployments to Helmand have slowed and the remaining forces are focused on the redeployment and retrograde effort, while others continue to advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces. Regional Command (Southwest) is set to close its doors by the end of 2014, which will mark the end of a significant chapter in the Marine Corps’ role in the Operation Enduring Freedom campaign.

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July 25, 2014

Marines, sailors with Charley Company ensure Camp Dwyer’s safety in Helmand province

Story by Cpl. Cody Haas | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 07.25.2014

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan— Improvised explosive devices and small arms fire from insurgents remain a threat to units patrolling in Helmand province.

Continue reading "Marines, sailors with Charley Company ensure Camp Dwyer’s safety in Helmand province" »

July 24, 2014

Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps visits Marines, sailors in Afghanistan

By Sgt. Jessica Ostroska | Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan | July 21, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. John M. Paxton Jr. held a town hall meeting for Marines and sailors aboard Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 18, 2014.

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July 21, 2014

Working dog, handler prove useful in Afghanistan

By Cpl. Cody Haas | Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan | July 21, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Improvised explosive devices remain a major threat to Marines conducting security patrols in Helmand province.

Continue reading "Working dog, handler prove useful in Afghanistan" »

July 18, 2014

VMGR-352 lights up night sky for battlefield illumination mission

By Sgt. Frances Johnson | Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan | July 22, 2014

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan -- A six-man air crew with Marine Aerial Refueling Transportation Squadron 352 prepared their KC-130J Hercules for a battlefield illumination mission over Helmand province, July 18.

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July 15, 2014

Video: 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion honors fallen heroes

Video by Cpl Cody Haas
Date Posted:07.15.2014 8:01AM

A memorial service was held in honor of Staff Sgt. David H. Stewart, Cpl. Brandon J. Garabrant and Cpl. Adam J. Wolff aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, July 8, 2014.

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July 13, 2014

1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, supply Marines account for $117 million worth of gear

Story by Sgt. Frances Johnson | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 07.13.2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Tracking equipment required to sustain missions for an infantry battalion in a combat zone may seem like it would be the work for an entire battalion itself. For 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, the supply shop consists of only five Marines.

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July 8, 2014

Scout Sniper Platoon mourns loss of fallen brother

By Cpl. Joseph Scanlan | 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment | July 08, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Nearly four months into their combat deployment, Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, experienced a heartbreaking loss.

Continue reading "Scout Sniper Platoon mourns loss of fallen brother" »

July 4, 2014

Last Marines in Afghanistan proud to serve on U.S. Independence Day

Story by 1LT Garth Langley
Date Posted:07.04.2014 14:51

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan— Thomas Paine once said, "Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." As the nation honors Independence Day during patriotic celebrations across the nation, deployed U.S. service members with Regional Command (Southwest) paused briefly to honor America, July 4, 2014.

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June 26, 2014

Marines emerge victorious in World Cup tournament at Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan

Story by Cpl Joseph Scanlan
Date Posted:06.26.2014 04:19

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan – When Marines and sailors are not patrolling and supporting missions in Afghanistan, they often exercise to relieve stress and pass time. With the 2014 FIFA World Cup currently underway, the Marines of “Suicide” Charley Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, decided to host their own soccer tournament aboard Camp Dwyer, June 21, 2014.

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June 25, 2014

Logistics Command keeping Marines in the fight since 1798

Story by Sgt Jessica Ostroska
Date Posted:06.25.2014 01:51

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Whether deployed in a combat zone, stateside, or conducting training operations with partnered countries, Marines need logistical support to aid them in accomplishing their missions, and Logistics Command Forward was responsible for the supplying their needs up until June 1, 2014.

Continue reading "Logistics Command keeping Marines in the fight since 1798" »

June 24, 2014

In peace time and in war there will always be mail call

Story by Sgt Frances Johnson
Date Posted:06.24.2014 07:33

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The Marines of the Camp Leatherneck post office are few in number but have been working hard during the five months they have been deployed. Ensuring mail is delivered and picked up from all service members and civilians working in Regional Command (Southwest), the Marines of the post office make postal operations run as smoothly as possible.

Continue reading "In peace time and in war there will always be mail call" »

In peace time and in war there will always be mail call

Story by Sgt Frances Johnson
Date Posted:06.24.2014 07:33

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The Marines of the Camp Leatherneck post office are few in number but have been working hard during the five months they have been deployed. Ensuring mail is delivered and picked up from all service members and civilians working in Regional Command (Southwest), the Marines of the post office make postal operations run as smoothly as possible.

Continue reading "In peace time and in war there will always be mail call" »

June 16, 2014

FAST Marines, U.S. soldiers arrive at the U.S. Embassy compound in Iraq

By Gina Harkins and Andrew Tilghman
Staff writers
Jun. 16, 2014 - 08:42PM

The Pentagon has deployed about 100 troops — including more than 50 Marines attached to a Fleet Antiterrorism Security Team to the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq, to help protect diplomatic personnel and property.

Continue reading "FAST Marines, U.S. soldiers arrive at the U.S. Embassy compound in Iraq" »

June 14, 2014

Bravo Company keeps Bastion, Leatherneck secure

Story by Cpl. Michael Dye | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 06.14.2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Marines and sailors with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, are tasked with the mission of protecting the Camps Bastion and Leatherneck. To achieve this crucial mission, the unit conducted a security patrol near the base, in Helmand province, Afghanistan, June 3, 2014.

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June 3, 2014

Marine Corps to close its IED detection dogs specialty

By Hope Hodge Seck
Jun. 3, 2014 - 06:50PM

Officials with the Marine Corps military working dog program are looking to find homes for all the service’s improvised explosive device-sniffing dogs as the Corps’ requirement for these highly trained animals draws to a close.

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May 29, 2014

1/7 Marines support British forces during turnover of Sterga II

By Cpl. Joseph Scanlan | Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan | May 29, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- As Marines departed Sangin District, one of Afghanistan’s most dangerous areas, they were supported by British soldiers with Maneuver Battle Group who provided security to ensure a safe convoy to Camp Leatherneck.

Continue reading "1/7 Marines support British forces during turnover of Sterga II" »

May 28, 2014

Marines of 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines take control of the fight in southern Helmand province

Story by Cpl. Michael Dye | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 05.28.2014

PATROL BASE BOLDAK, Afghanistan – Marines and sailors with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, completed the turnover with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, and took control over Patrol Base Boldak and its area of operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, May 20, 2014.

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May 27, 2014

Obama announces plan to keep 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan after 2014

Published May 27, 2014
FoxNews.com

President Obama announced Tuesday that he aims to keep 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the war formally ends later this year, while pledging a near-total withdrawal by the end of 2016.

Continue reading "Obama announces plan to keep 9,800 US troops in Afghanistan after 2014" »

May 26, 2014

Service Members Aboard Camp Leatherneck Remember the Fallen

by Sgt Frances Johnson
Date Posted:05.26.2014 2:12PM

Regional Command (Southwest) hold Memorial Day ceremony May 26, 2014, aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

Continue reading "Service Members Aboard Camp Leatherneck Remember the Fallen" »

May 22, 2014

Marine general talks Afghanistan

Q & A with Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, southwest NATO commander

By Gretel C. Kovach
4 a.m.May 22, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Marine Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo is slated to be the last coalition commander in southwestern Afghanistan, an impoverished Taliban stronghold checkered with illicit poppy plots. The former head of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego took charge of Helmand and Nimruz provinces in February, at the helm of Marine Expeditionary Brigade – Afghanistan and NATO’s regional command.

Continue reading "Marine general talks Afghanistan" »

May 12, 2014

On the ground in Afghanistan: the last days of a FOB

May 12th, 2014 | Afghanistan Embedded journalism Food | Posted by Hope Hodge Seck

As I prepared for my first embed with in Afghanistan, I figured I might spend some time sleeping under the stars and taking “health and comfort breaks” in the woods as the Marines shut down several of their remaining forward operating bases. I’ve done a bit of tent camping, and I figured I couldn’t be disappointed if I managed my expectations.

Continue reading "On the ground in Afghanistan: the last days of a FOB" »

May 10, 2014

Protecting troops at war's end

Base security beefed up at Marine headquarters after 2012 attack, drawdown

By Gretel C. Kovach
11:57 a.m.May 10, 2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — At night, the perimeter of the massive headquarters base for international forces in Helmand Province is ablaze with floodlights that could blind approaching enemy fighters.

Continue reading "Protecting troops at war's end" »

May 8, 2014

CLB-7 Marines, sailors complete convoy out of Forward Operating Base Nolay for final time

Story by Cpl Cody Haas
Date Posted:05.08.2014 06:29

FORWARD OPERATING BASE NOLAY, Afghanistan – Units currently deployed to Afghanistan are conducting missions to decrease the amount of gear and personnel aboard forward operating bases and combat outposts. One of the units providing this type of support is Combat Logistics Battalion 7.

Continue reading "CLB-7 Marines, sailors complete convoy out of Forward Operating Base Nolay for final time" »

Café Sangin

Final Exit: Afghanistan War Diary

By Gretel C. Kovach
8:32 a.m. May 8, 2014

SANGIN, Afghanistan — I climbed the basement stairs of the “drug lord palace” where we slept at Forward Operating Base Jackson/Sabit Qadam one morning and did a double-take. Maj. Mike Johannes was sitting out front sipping something from a travel mug.

Continue reading "Café Sangin" »

May 7, 2014

Harlingen Marine helps secure an area of Afghanistan

By TRAVIS M. WHITEHEAD Valley Morning Star
Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:11 pm

When Staff Sgt. Troy Garza first arrived in Sangin Valley in Afghanistan, he and his fellow Marines faced daily firefights with insurgents.

Continue reading "Harlingen Marine helps secure an area of Afghanistan" »

May 5, 2014

Marines withdraw from Sangin

Afghans secure northern Helmand as NATO combat mission wanes

4:19 a.m. May 5, 2014

SANGIN, Afghanistan — The last U.S. Marines withdrew from northern Helmand early Monday morning, turning their two bases in the hard-fought Sangin district over to Afghan national security forces.

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May 1, 2014

Camp Leatherneck is Afghanistan’s next ghost town

May 1st, 2014 | Afghanistan Battle Rattle Camp Bastion Camp Leatherneck | Posted by gpingersoll
By Hope Hodge Seck

Camp Leatherneck–Greetings from Camp Leatherneck, a once-bustling base in Afghanistan’s Helmand province that is rapidly becoming a ghost town.

Continue reading "Camp Leatherneck is Afghanistan’s next ghost town" »

April 29, 2014

Combat engineer Marines conduct Transfer of Authority Ceremony in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl Cody Haas
Date Posted:04.29.2014 08:26

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan –Marines and sailors with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion relieved 1st CEB during a transfer of authority ceremony aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, April 20.

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April 27, 2014

AFGHAN FORCES PREPARE TO TAKE LEAD

By Gretel C. Kovach
12:01 a.m. April 27, 2014

Across Afghanistan, monumental transitions like the one involving Marine Lt. Col. Thomas Ziegler are taking place.

Continue reading "AFGHAN FORCES PREPARE TO TAKE LEAD" »

April 23, 2014

Infantrymen disrupt Taliban lethal aid in Helmand province

Story by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 04.23.2014

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – As the majority of Camp Leatherneck’s residents were still asleep one typical Thursday morning, infantrymen with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, reinforced with Afghan commandos, prepared to depart friendly lines, April 17.

Continue reading "Infantrymen disrupt Taliban lethal aid in Helmand province" »

April 17, 2014

Marines pull out of Afghanistan's Nimroz province

Apr. 17, 2014 - 06:00AM
By Hope Hodge Seck
Staff writer

Earlier this month, the Marine Corps quietly took leave of Nimroz province, consolidating its operations in Afghanistan to a single province and completing another chapter in its drawdown efforts.

Continue reading "Marines pull out of Afghanistan's Nimroz province" »

April 8, 2014

Corpsman awarded Commendation Medal for valor in Afghanistan

By Thomas Brennan
The (Jacksonville, N.C.) Daily News
Published: April 8, 2014

“When the time comes and you’re down range and a Marine yells ‘corpsman up,’ I know you won’t hesitate, because that’s not what we do.”

Continue reading "Corpsman awarded Commendation Medal for valor in Afghanistan" »

March 29, 2014

Can Afghan forces hold after Marines depart?

Q&A with Col. Michael Langley, advisor to 215th Corps in Helmand

By Gretel C. Kovach
11:02 a.m.March 29, 2014

In 2010, U.S. Marines helped establish the 215th Afghan National Army Corps in the Helmand and Nimruz provinces — part of the southern heartland of the Taliban insurgency and the deadliest area of the country for the coalition.

Continue reading "Can Afghan forces hold after Marines depart?" »

March 27, 2014

Weight training in Afghanistan? Build a gym

By Jennifer Hlad
Published: March 27, 2014

You fly 10,000 miles and get plunked down in a compound with cardio gyms, weightlifting gyms and an outdoor Crossfit box.

Continue reading "Weight training in Afghanistan? Build a gym" »

March 19, 2014

Chaplain’s mission continues in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Cody Haas | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 03.19.2014

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan – When service members are deployed to a combat zone, many rely on a chaplain for spiritual guidance and well-being.

Continue reading "Chaplain’s mission continues in Afghanistan" »

March 18, 2014

1/7 conducts medical training exercise in Afghanistan

Images - 1/7 conducts medical training exercise in Afghanistan

Photos by by Cpl Joseph Scanlan
Date Posted:03.18.2014 06:40

Marines with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, provide security as Navy corpsmen treat simulated casualties during a training drill aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 14, 2014. The drill was designed to ensure accountability of all personnel and gear while practicing movement to muster locations in the event of an emergency. The battalion had Navy corpsmen with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, evaluate the service members as they reacted to the situation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan)

Continue reading "1/7 conducts medical training exercise in Afghanistan" »

March 16, 2014

Cutting Edge transfers authority to 1/7

Story by by Cpl Joseph Scanlan
Date Posted:03.16.2014 08:01

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marines and sailors stood at attention as 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, known as Cutting Edge, handed over the responsibilities for their area of operations in Regional Command (Southwest) to 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, known as First Team, during a transfer of authority ceremony aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, March 15.

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March 14, 2014

Marines help in an unusual camel rescue in Afghanistan

By ERIKA I. RITCHIE / STAFF WRITER
Published: March 14, 2014 Updated: March 15, 2014 10:30 a.m.

As the military wind-down continues in Afghanistan, some troops are applying the Marine Oohrah in gentler ways.

Continue reading "Marines help in an unusual camel rescue in Afghanistan" »

March 6, 2014

General: Marines Ready to Leave Helmand Province

Mar 06, 2014 | by Richard Sisk

Afghanistan's Helmand province, by far the scene of the heaviest coalition casualties of the war, could be abandoned by U.S. and allied forces by year's end, Marine Maj. Gen. Walter L. Miller said Thursday.

Continue reading "General: Marines Ready to Leave Helmand Province" »

March 4, 2014

Corpsman with 9th Marine Regiment recognized for actions in Helmand province

Story by Cpl. Cody Haas | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 03.04.2014

PATROL BASE BOLDAK, Afghanistan – If a Marine is seriously injured during a patrol, having a skilled Navy corpsman on the scene can mean the difference between life and death.

Continue reading "Corpsman with 9th Marine Regiment recognized for actions in Helmand province" »

February 7, 2014

Love letters from the sand

By Jennifer Hlad
Published: February 7, 2014

A muddy piece of Camp Leatherneck in front of a concrete barrier isn't the most romantic of locations, but Thursday morning, it was filled with messages of love.

Continue reading "Love letters from the sand" »

February 6, 2014

Last Marine takes command in Afghanistan

Camp Pendleton brigade replaces southwest force at war's end

By Gretel C. Kovach
4:52 p.m. Feb. 6, 2014

A Marine brigade from Camp Pendleton took command of coalition forces in southwestern Afghanistan as the 13-year campaign enters its critical final phase, the International Security Assistance Force announced Thursday

Continue reading "Last Marine takes command in Afghanistan" »

January 28, 2014

CLB-6 redeploys, CLB-7 last Marine logistical unit to deploy to Afghanistan

Story by Sgt Jessica Ostroska
Date Taken:01.26.2014 | Date Posted:01.28.2014 10:19

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marines and sailors with Combat Logistics Battalion 6 handed over the responsibilities as the logistics combat element for Regional Command (Southwest) to Combat Logistics Battalion 7 during a transfer of authority ceremony aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Jan. 26.

Continue reading "CLB-6 redeploys, CLB-7 last Marine logistical unit to deploy to Afghanistan" »

January 13, 2014

Final rotation of Marines deploys to Afghanistan

I MEF (Fwd.) arrives to bring Marines' war effort to a close
By James K. Sanborn
Staff writer
Jan. 13, 2014 - 08:49AM

When Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo takes charge as the top Marine commander in Afghanistan this month, he will find the Corps has made significant headway in preparing for complete withdrawal of combat troops by the end of 2014.

Continue reading "Final rotation of Marines deploys to Afghanistan" »

January 11, 2014

Afghan war reaches endgame

Top commanders discuss stakes, prospects in last year of NATO campaign

By Gretel C. Kovach
8:13 a.m.Jan. 11, 2014

SANGIN, Afghanistan — The NATO campaign in Afghanistan may be ending late this year, but the war is not. Insurgent strongholds will remain — 13 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted a U.S. invasion — inspiring anxiety about prospects for long-term stability and a newfound urgency among Afghan national security forces.

Continue reading "Afghan war reaches endgame" »

January 8, 2014

Afghan soldier who murdered Marine awaits execution

Jan. 8, 2014 - 09:01PM

An Afghan soldier who killed a Marine lance corporal in a green-on-blue attack in 2012 is now awaiting execution in Afghanistan after being convicted of murder by a local court, according to Marine officials and court documents.

Continue reading "Afghan soldier who murdered Marine awaits execution" »

December 28, 2013

Commandant spends Christmas with Marines in RC Southwest

Story by Cpl Austin Long
Date Taken:12.24.2013 | Date Posted:12.28.2013 10:02

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Michael Barrett visited Marines and sailors with Regional Command [Southwest], Dec. 23-26.

Continue reading "Commandant spends Christmas with Marines in RC Southwest" »

December 25, 2013

Wounded Marine Behind Viral Email Gets New Helmet Hand-Delivered To Afghanistan By Corps' Top General

Paul Szoldra
December 25, 2013

The Marine behind an email that went viral on military networks was surprised by the Corps’ top general and senior enlisted leader Monday, when they both showed up in Afghanistan to present him with a brand new helmet.

Continue reading "Wounded Marine Behind Viral Email Gets New Helmet Hand-Delivered To Afghanistan By Corps' Top General" »

November 28, 2013

How Marines at war did Thanksgiving

Holidays in Afghanistan winding down after 12 years of combat

By Gretel C. Kovach
3:50 p.m.Nov. 28, 2013

Camp Leatherneck, headquarters for the Marine command in southwestern Afghanistan, is about as bleak as ever on Thanksgiving Day. Concrete barriers under a leaden sky. Tents and metal shipping containers dusted with fine sand. And a sound track of generators and military trucks droning half a world away from home.

Continue reading "How Marines at war did Thanksgiving" »

November 27, 2013

Marine Corps folds storied base in Afghanistan

By James K. Sanborn
Staff writer
Nov. 27, 2013 - 09:13PM

The Marine Corps has reached another milestone as it winds down operations in Afghanistan.

Continue reading "Marine Corps folds storied base in Afghanistan" »

October 25, 2013

Marines activate for Afghan wind down

1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward heads out in early 2014

By Jeanette Steele
5:35 p.m.Oct. 25, 2013

Camp Pendleton Marines conducted an activation ceremony on Wednesday for the headquarters unit that will supervise the wind down of Marine forces in southern Afghanistan over the next year.

Continue reading "Marines activate for Afghan wind down" »

September 7, 2013

Through their eyes: Armored vehicle driver in Afghanistan

By Cpl. Paul Peterson | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | September 07, 2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Like many areas of Afghanistan, the shifting desert surrounding the town of Now Zad in northern Helmand province is deceptive. The parched surroundings stand in stark contrast to the village’s tree-lined streets and the emergent green of nearby fields.

Continue reading "Through their eyes: Armored vehicle driver in Afghanistan" »

September 2, 2013

Now Zad District handed over to Afghan Uniformed Police

Courtesy Story | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 09.02.2013

NOW ZAD, Afghanistan - The U.S. Marine-led Police Advisor Team in Now Zad transitioned the lead security role to the Afghan Uniformed Police Aug. 23.

Continue reading "Now Zad District handed over to Afghan Uniformed Police" »

August 31, 2013

Battlefield Q&A: Marine general over Afghan ops

Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman on keeping NATO troops safe as most head home

By Gretel C. Kovach
noon Aug. 31, 2013

The last time Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman served in Afghanistan, the United States was doubling its forces in the southwest during the 2010 surge. Now the former Camp Pendleton Marine and Task Force Leatherneck commander oversees a rapidly dwindling force, as the Kabul-based operations officer for the coalition.

Continue reading " Battlefield Q&A: Marine general over Afghan ops" »

August 30, 2013

Afghan streets: NYPD officer serves in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Paul Peterson | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 08.30.2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Before the War on Terror, the toppling of the oppressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan, or the attacks of Sept. 11, a young boy from the Bronx knew one thing: he wanted to help.

Continue reading "Afghan streets: NYPD officer serves in Afghanistan" »

August 7, 2013

Afghan translator of Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer caught in bureaucratic limbo

BY: Alana Goodman
August 7, 2013 11:30 am

Four years ago, an Afghan translator known as “Hafez” charged into enemy fire to help Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer rescue wounded American soldiers during one of the most famous battles in the Afghanistan war.

Continue reading "Afghan translator of Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer caught in bureaucratic limbo" »

August 4, 2013

Regimental Combat Team 7 Rolls Up Its Flag In Afghanistan

by Sean Carberry
August 04, 2013 3:58 AM

At the peak of fighting in Afghanistan's Helmand Province, there were 20,000 Marines battling the Taliban. Now there are 8,000 — and more are heading home every month.

Continue reading "Regimental Combat Team 7 Rolls Up Its Flag In Afghanistan" »

July 22, 2013

Last Marine Infantry Regimental Headquarters Prepares to Leave Afghanistan

Story by 1st Lt. Spencer Kenyon
07.22.2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Due to the transfer of lead security responsibility to the Afghan National Security Forces, Regimental Combat Team 7 will leave Helmand province in August as the last Marine infantry regimental headquarters to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Continue reading "Last Marine Infantry Regimental Headquarters Prepares to Leave Afghanistan" »

July 13, 2013

Warlords protect Bastion, Leatherneck, Shorabak

Story by Cpl. Lia Adkins
07.13.2013

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - With fighting season well underway and in preparation for Ramadan, the Warlords of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, were in a high operations tempo to counter a possible increase in insurgent activity.

Continue reading "Warlords protect Bastion, Leatherneck, Shorabak" »

June 29, 2013

Ready to Roll: Marine mechanics keep vehicles moving

Story by Lance Cpl. Mel Johnson | Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division Public Affairs | Date: 06.29.2013

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan—Shrill screams of trucks backing up, sounds of clanging wrenches tightening loose screws and music resonate throughout the mechanic shop. Sand-coated grease stains cover the faces of Marines working beneath trucks and repairing damaged vehicles.

Continue reading "Ready to Roll: Marine mechanics keep vehicles moving" »

June 27, 2013

Top General: Marines 'Not Leaving a Single Thing' in Afghanistan

Marine Corps to remove all equipment from warzone or give it to another country, Commandant James Amos says

By Paul D. Shinkman
June 27, 2013

Marines are not planning a repeat showing of the rusting carcasses of Russian military equipment that litter the ground in Afghanistan following its unsuccessful campaign in the 1980s.

Continue reading "Top General: Marines 'Not Leaving a Single Thing' in Afghanistan" »

June 10, 2013

America’s Battalion returns to southern Helmand

Story by Lance Cpl. Mel Johnson | Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division Public Affairs | Date: 06.10.2013

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan— After years spent in Helmand province, the U.S. Marines are making strides toward bringing the last deployed service members home.

Continue reading "America’s Battalion returns to southern Helmand" »

May 29, 2013

Marine general: Afghans battling for Sangin

Insurgents probing defenses of national forces, locals

By Gretel C. Kovach
4:33 p.m.May 29, 2013Updated10:07 a.m.May 30, 2013

Afghan national security forces have effectively taken the lead for combat operations in the southwest of the country, where they have been battling insurgents for several days in a former enemy stronghold of Helmand Province, according to the Marine general in command of U.S. and international forces in the region.

Continue reading "Marine general: Afghans battling for Sangin" »

May 28, 2013

Marine, Afghan Police Officer Reunite

May 28, 2013
Marine Corps News| by Sgt. Ned Johnson

COMBAT OUTPOST NOW ZAD, Afghanistan -- A Marine climbs to the top of an Afghan National Police tower to provide security, more than three years since the last time he was in Afghanistan.

Continue reading "Marine, Afghan Police Officer Reunite" »

May 25, 2013

Afghan forces build confidence, set up checkpoints

Story by Sgt. Ned Johnson | Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division Public Affairs | Date: 05.25.2013

COMBAT OUTPOST NOW ZAD, Afghanistan— As Afghan forces continue to take the lead security role in Helmand province, the Marines are quietly helping them build their confidence.

Continue reading "Afghan forces build confidence, set up checkpoints" »

May 12, 2013

Drones move one step closer to unmanned pizza delivery

Drone K-MAX helicopters in Afghanistan aren't spying — they're delivering supplies.

By: Jay Price McClatchy Foreign Staff, Published on Sun May 12 2013

CAMP BASTION, AFGHANISTAN—The small group of U.S. marines at a remote base in northern Helmand province was running low on ammunition after days of fierce fighting.

Continue reading " Drones move one step closer to unmanned pizza delivery" »

May 11, 2013

US Marines pack up in Afghanistan as Taliban wages spring offensive

It's the beginning of the end of an era for U.S. Marines stationed in Afghanistan.

By Jim Maceda, Correspondent, NBC News
May 11, 2013

It was the summer of 2012 and the most dangerous part of the mission – when soldiers get complacent and make mistakes. So, even in 130-degree heat, Cpl. Randy Derstine and his men of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, patrolled hard in the mountainous, heavily disputed Kajaki Dam area of Helmand province

Continue reading "US Marines pack up in Afghanistan as Taliban wages spring offensive" »

May 10, 2013

Marine father deploys to Afghanistan, closer to his son

Story by Sgt. Bryan Peterson | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 05.10.2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Chief Warrant Officer 5 Brice Thomas thought once the war in Iraq came to an end, combat deployments would be a thing of the past for him given his 25 years in the Marine Corps, three combat tours and the drawdown in Afghanistan. But fate had a different plan.

Continue reading "Marine father deploys to Afghanistan, closer to his son" »

May 8, 2013

Retrograding Home: Redeployment a focus of effort as Afghanistan exit draws closer

Courtesy Story | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 05.08.2013

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan - In 2009, Camp Dwyer was a sprawling base which housed thousands of service members ready to fight. Most of them were the result of a 30,000 troop surge in Afghanistan introduced by President Barack Obama.

Continue reading "Retrograding Home: Redeployment a focus of effort as Afghanistan exit draws closer" »

May 7, 2013

U.S. Marines successfully employ drone copters in Afghan war

By Shaun Waterman
The Washington Times
Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The K-MAX unmanned drone helicopter is proving invaluable to U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, according to a report from McClatchy News on Tuesday.

Continue reading "U.S. Marines successfully employ drone copters in Afghan war" »

May 1, 2013

Marines in Afghanistan tout unmanned supply helicopter

By Chris Carroll
Stars and Stripes
Published: May 1, 2013

WASHINGTON — Ammunition was running low on a base in Afghanistan’s Helmand province that had come under sustained attack in January, and the Marine Corps sent in a robot to help.

Continue reading "Marines in Afghanistan tout unmanned supply helicopter" »

April 7, 2013

Americans, Afghan civilians killed in weekend violence

By Ben Brumfield, Catherine E. Shoichet and Josh Levs, CNN
April 8, 2013 -- Updated 0023 GMT (0823 HKT)

(CNN) -- The death toll has surged from weekend violence in Afghanistan, with six Americans and more than a dozen Afghan civilians reportedly among the casualties.

Continue reading "Americans, Afghan civilians killed in weekend violence" »

April 2, 2013

As US packs up in Afghanistan, the return of the dreaded MRE

By Heath Druzin
Stars and Stripes
Published: April 2, 2013

KABUL — U.S. troops across Afghanistan are preparing for a reunion with a long-lost frenemy.

Continue reading "As US packs up in Afghanistan, the return of the dreaded MRE" »

Afghans seek their own exit strategy

The wealthy are buying homes abroad and moving money out of Afghanistan amid concern about what will happen after foreign troops leave in 2014. The less wealthy sometimes go the illegal route.


By Alexandra Zavis, Los Angeles Times

April 2, 2013, 6:31 p.m.
KABUL, Afghanistan — Nabil Ahmad was at his desk at a logistics support firm last spring when an explosion ripped through the office.

Continue reading "Afghans seek their own exit strategy" »

March 13, 2013

Eagle Eye

By Sgt. Bobby Yarbrough | II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) | March 13, 2013

PATROL BASE BOLDAK, Afghanistan -- The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, had been taking sporadic enemy fire for most of the morning March 2 while conducting their daily patrol through Boldak, a small town interlaced with green fields and large mud compounds about eight kilometers southeast of Camp Leatherneck. Due to their position and the unforgiving terrain of the city, the Marines couldn’t locate the shooter.

Continue reading "Eagle Eye" »

March 2, 2013

As Marines Exit Afghan Province, a Feeling That a Campaign Was Worth It

By JAMES DAO
Published: March 2, 2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — On a whirlwind Christmas tour of Helmand Province in 2010, Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, visited 11 bases in a single day. At one, thousands of Marines showed up for prime rib, dust-covered and grim-faced after weeks of dodging and delivering gunfire, seeing comrades killed, and sleeping on dirt. Helmand had become Marineistan.

Continue reading "As Marines Exit Afghan Province, a Feeling That a Campaign Was Worth It" »

U.S., Afghan officials at odds over fate of military bases

Afghans want the hundreds of bases and other outposts handed over to them as troops withdraw. But the U.S.-led coalition says Afghanistan lacks the capabilities for maintaining and defending all of them.

By Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times
March 2, 2013, 5:50 p.m.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Late last year, before leaving Forward Operating Base Tillman for the last time, U.S. troops took apart every inch of the remote outpost near the border with Pakistan, from the dirt-packed barricades to the flat-screen TVs in the intelligence center.

Continue reading "U.S., Afghan officials at odds over fate of military bases" »

February 23, 2013

Corpsmen work to keep blood flowing

Story by 1st Lt. Nicole Yuhas | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 02.23.2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Two minutes. his is the time it can take for a person to bleed out after suffering an arterial wound.

Continue reading "Corpsmen work to keep blood flowing" »

February 20, 2013

After successful operation, ANCOP stays ahead of insurgents

Story by Sgt. Ned Johnson | Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division Public Affairs | Date: 02.13.2013
Date Posted:02.20.2013 01:41

FORWARD OPERATING BASE ZEEBRUGGE, Afghanistan— In the middle of the night, more than 80 Afghan National Civil Order Police and less than ten Marines boarded helicopters.

Continue reading "After successful operation, ANCOP stays ahead of insurgents" »

February 18, 2013

Parsippany Hills H.S. teammates reunite as Marines in Afghanistan

Written by
Michael Izzo
@MIzzoDR
Feb 18, 2013

PARSIPPANY — Most people have their high school reunions in their old cafeteria, or a hotel or restaurant.

Continue reading " Parsippany Hills H.S. teammates reunite as Marines in Afghanistan" »

February 12, 2013

Half of troops in Afghanistan home in 1 year

By Jeff Schogol - Staff writer
Posted: Tuesday Feb 12, 2013 10:44:06 EST

President Obama will announce tonight that 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will return home by this time next year — halving the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, senior administration officials confirm.

Continue reading "Half of troops in Afghanistan home in 1 year" »

February 10, 2013

Dunford takes charge of forces in Afghanistan

By Patrick Quinn - The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Feb 10, 2013 9:33:12 EST

KABUL, Afghanistan — Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford took charge of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan on Sunday as the coalition enters the final stretch of the more than 11-year-old war. The new commander faces daunting challenges, including making sure Afghan government forces are ready to take control and orchestrating the withdrawal of foreign forces during the next 23 months.

Continue reading "Dunford takes charge of forces in Afghanistan" »

February 5, 2013

2nd MAW heads out for Afghanistan

By Drew C. Wilson - Havelock News
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 09:57 AM.

HAVELOCK — Like all good Marines, Gunnery Sgt. Mathew Strother is ready to go to Afghanistan and get the job done.

“I’m confident in our abilities to do our job,” said Strother, who is the operations chief for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Tactical Air Center. “We’ve done a lot of training and we’ve done a lot of work to get ready. They’re real good Marines.”

Continue reading "2nd MAW heads out for Afghanistan" »

February 3, 2013

Afghans Prepare for U.S. Drawdown

February 3, 2013

Photos from Forward Operating Base Castle in Khan Neshin, Afghanistan as Marines pack up to vacate the base which will close this March.

Continue reading "Afghans Prepare for U.S. Drawdown " »

February 1, 2013

Troops in Afghanistan get Super Bowl feast

By Karen Jowers - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Feb 1, 2013 10:46:46 EST

Troops in Afghanistan not only will be watching the Super Bowl, they’ll be chowing down on 49,000 pounds of chicken wings, 40,000 frozen pizzas and 2,200 gallons of chili — and washing it down with 9,800 cases of non-alcoholic beer, thanks to the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support.

Continue reading "Troops in Afghanistan get Super Bowl feast" »

January 30, 2013

Marines increase rocket strikes in Afghanistan

By James K. Sanborn - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jan 30, 2013 19:58:15 EST

Marine artillerymen are raining down rockets on insurgents in Afghanistan at a record pace.

Continue reading "Marines increase rocket strikes in Afghanistan" »

January 23, 2013

Marines see fewer attacks in Afghanistan

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Jan 23, 2013 12:00:02 EST

Enemy-initiated attacks on coalition and Afghan forces in southwestern Afghanistan were down 20 percent in 2012, figures that will likely come into play as the U.S. continues its troop withdrawal after 11 years of war.

Continue reading "Marines see fewer attacks in Afghanistan" »

January 17, 2013

Marine Steps Up as Chaplain’s Assistant

By Sgt. Ned Johnson
Headquarters Marine Corps
January 17, 2013

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- As Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Adam Henderson begins his daily assignments here, he knows that most men his age are not making the same sacrifices he makes each day on a deployment.

Continue reading "Marine Steps Up as Chaplain’s Assistant" »

January 10, 2013

Panetta: ‘Last chapter’ of war in Afghanistan

By Robert Burns - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Jan 10, 2013 12:19:57 EST

WASHINGTON — In a notably upbeat assessment of war progress, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday that the U.S.-led coalition has advanced to the “last chapter” of an 11-year struggle to ensure that Afghanistan can defend itself.

Continue reading "Panetta: ‘Last chapter’ of war in Afghanistan" »

January 9, 2013

Marine to Draw on Past Experiences as Combat Instructor

January 9th, 2013 // By Cpl. Timothy Lenzo

A mortarman turned squad leader plans to use his experiences gained while deployed to teach new Marines as a combat instructor.

Continue reading "Marine to Draw on Past Experiences as Combat Instructor" »

January 8, 2013

U.S. considering no troops in Afghanistan

By Robert Burns - The Associated Press
Posted : Tuesday Jan 8, 2013 16:52:28 EST

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration says it might leave no troops in Afghanistan after December 2014, an option that defies the Pentagon's view that thousands of troops may be needed to contain al-Qaida and to strengthen Afghan forces.

Continue reading "U.S. considering no troops in Afghanistan" »

January 5, 2013

US pushes to finish Afghan dam as challenges mount

By HEIDI VOGT
Associated Press
Published: January 5, 2013

KAJAKI, Afghanistan -- In the approaching twilight of its war in Afghanistan, the U.S. is forging ahead with a giant infrastructure project long criticized as too costly in both blood and money.

Continue reading " US pushes to finish Afghan dam as challenges mount " »

December 25, 2012

Marines mark the holiday at war

Christmas at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
12:01 a.m., Dec. 25, 2012
Updated 8:29 p.m. , Dec. 24, 2012

Quite a few Marines serving in Afghanistan would rather forget it’s Christmas. Not Sgt. Joseph Soileau, an air wing planner who deployed from Miramar Marine Corps Air Station. When carolers passed by his office at Camp Leatherneck recently, Soileau walked outside to enjoy the serenade.

Continue reading "Marines mark the holiday at war" »

December 22, 2012

In Afghanistan, a hard holiday for troops

By Carmen Gentile - Special to USA TODAY
Posted : Saturday Dec 22, 2012 9:36:38 EST

FORWARD OPERATING BASE ARIAN, Ghazni Province, Afghanistan — First Sgt. Alan Robison is missing Christmas with his wife and children for the fourth time due to deployments.

Continue reading "In Afghanistan, a hard holiday for troops" »

December 18, 2012

Tribute to New York Fire Department, ladder company patrols Afghan sky

By Sgt. John Jackson | Headquarters Marine Corps
December 18, 2012

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan -- In an effort to ensure Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 Marines remember why they are deployed, the squadron has adopted one of New York Fire Department’s most decorated ladder companies that was heavily involved during the rescue attempts at the World Trade Center, Sept. 11, 2001.

Continue reading "Tribute to New York Fire Department, ladder company patrols Afghan sky" »

Logistical hub for northern Helmand keeps Marines equipped

Story by Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 12.18.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST SHAMSHER, Afghanistan – Marines must remain well equipped to be ready for daily operations in Afghanistan.

Continue reading "Logistical hub for northern Helmand keeps Marines equipped" »

November 29, 2012

Return to Marjah: Marines work with much improved ANSF

Courtesy Story | Regimental Combat Team-7, 1st Marine Division Public Affairs | Date: 11.29.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan - Marines with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, recently returned to southern Afghanistan, two years after their deployment to the Marjah area.

Continue reading "Return to Marjah: Marines work with much improved ANSF" »

November 26, 2012

Despite spinal cord surgery, Marine continues to push forward on third combat deployment

Story by Cpl. Mark Garcia | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 11.26.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The drive to become a Marine and gain acceptance into the tight-knit family is what drove Staff Sgt. Monica Paz to enlist during July 2000.

Continue reading "Despite spinal cord surgery, Marine continues to push forward on third combat deployment" »

November 22, 2012

3/9 celebrates Thanksgiving in Helmand province

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 11.22.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan – Marines with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, were in the holiday spirit this Thanksgiving.

Continue reading "3/9 celebrates Thanksgiving in Helmand province" »

November 18, 2012

Marines under microscope, teach Afghan Army proper patrols, tactics

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 11.18.2012

SOUTHERN HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan sun beat down on the patrol and gusts of wind threw sand and dirt on the faces of the men as they talked to locals and searched for any insurgent activity.

Continue reading "Marines under microscope, teach Afghan Army proper patrols, tactics" »

November 17, 2012

2/7 Marines provide security for Operation Golden Gate

Story by Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 11.17.2012

AFGHANISTAN- -Combat engineers man their heavy equipment, pushing thousands of pounds of earth around while building and improving an area vital to the progression of southern Afghanistan.

Continue reading "2/7 Marines provide security for Operation Golden Gate" »

November 2, 2012

Enid machine gunner makes most of Afghan deployment

Story by Master Sgt. Brenda Varnadore | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 11.02.2012

NOW ZAD, Afghanistan – After three years at Oklahoma State University, it came time for the Enid, Okla., native, to make a decision on his major. Realizing it would affect the rest of his life, he wanted to be absolutely sure. He took a long, hard look in the mirror and made his decision. He wanted to be a Marine.

Continue reading "Enid machine gunner makes most of Afghan deployment" »

October 31, 2012

Combat logistics patrol supports mission, supplies Marines

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 10.31.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The Marines and sailors supplying the infantry and other coalition forces have a job with long hours, late nights and early mornings.

Continue reading "Combat logistics patrol supports mission, supplies Marines" »

October 25, 2012

Deployed Marines mindful of insider attacks

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Oct 25, 2012 21:05:05 EDT

TAGHAZ, Afghanistan — It should have been a straightforward request: A Marine lance corporal needed to relieve himself several hours into a long visit to an Afghan Border Police headquarters. It isn’t that simple, however.

Continue reading "Deployed Marines mindful of insider attacks" »

October 11, 2012

Dog on patrol: Meet Crank, the bomb-sniffing, cigar-eating wonder

October 11th, 2012 | Afghanistan Animals Embedded journalism Infantry | Posted by Dan Lamothe

COMBAT OUTPOST TAGHAZ, Afghanistan – I was lifting weights Tuesday night in the dusty, prison-inspired gym here when Cpl. Byron Willis ran up to two of his fellow Marines.

Continue reading "Dog on patrol: Meet Crank, the bomb-sniffing, cigar-eating wonder" »

October 9, 2012

Marines aid Afghan soldiers secure area

Story by Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 10.09.2012

TREK NAWA, Afghanistan - Entering the Trek Nawa District of Helmand province, Afghanistan, Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, made a bold military presence absent to the region for nearly a year.

Continue reading "Marines aid Afghan soldiers secure area" »

October 7, 2012

1/7 Marines help ANSF, Sangin Government stand tall

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 10.07.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SABIT QADAM, Afghanistan – It has been seven long months for the Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 6, but they will soon return home to family and friends from Sangin, Afghanistan.

Continue reading "1/7 Marines help ANSF, Sangin Government stand tall" »

October 6, 2012

On to life on Afghanistan’s frontier at COP Taghaz

October 6th, 2012 | Afghanistan Embedded journalism Infantry | Posted by Dan Lamothe

COMBAT OUTPOST TAGHAZ, Afghanistan – If you’re going to spend a month in Afghanistan, you may as well visit the frontier while you’re there.

Continue reading "On to life on Afghanistan’s frontier at COP Taghaz" »

September 29, 2012

In southern Afghanistan, concerns about what comes next

By Kevin Sieff, Published: September 29

GARMSIR, AFGHANISTAN — On the wall of his office in this district’s U.S. Marine headquarters, where other commanding officers might display photos of children and wives, Capt. Devin Blowes keeps a roster of bearded men whose names he’s recently learned to pronounce.

Continue reading " In southern Afghanistan, concerns about what comes next" »

September 28, 2012

Stocked up, moving out: mobile post exchange serves Marines anywhere

9/28/2012 By Cpl. Timothy Lenzo , Combat Logistics Battalion

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan — The mobile exchange is a service civilians might not know about, but to Marines serving in Afghanistan, it is something to look forward to.

Continue reading " Stocked up, moving out: mobile post exchange serves Marines anywhere " »

September 27, 2012

Marine Recalls Camp Bastion Attack

By Marine Corps Sgt. James Mercure
Regional Command Southwest

AFGHANISTAN, Sept. 27, 2012 – “There was blood down my leg after I got shot,” recalled Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ethan Burk, who was present during the Sept. 14 insurgent night attack on Camp Bastion here in Helmand province.

Continue reading "Marine Recalls Camp Bastion Attack" »

September 24, 2012

Running toward gunfire: Marines, British forces repel insurgents attacking Camp Bastion

9/24/2012 By Sgt. John Jackson , Marine Attack Squadron 211

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan —
Sgt. Rasheem Thomas never thought his first night working on Camp Bastion would turn into a gun battle with 15 insurgents.

Continue reading " Running toward gunfire: Marines, British forces repel insurgents attacking Camp Bastion " »

September 11, 2012

Georgia native, corpsman serves country on first deployment

Story by Cpl. Mark Garcia | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 09.11.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST SHIR GHAZAY, Afghanistan – As a senior in high school, Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Ricky Lattimore made the decision to serve his country. One month after his May 2008 graduation, he was on his way to basic training.

Continue reading "Georgia native, corpsman serves country on first deployment" »

September 10, 2012

1/1 Weapons, brothers in arms with ANA

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 09.10.2012

PATROL BASE DETROIT, Afghanistan – On the edge of Trek Nawa, an area between the Nawa and Marjah districts, stands a small patrol base where Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers come together and work side by side.

Continue reading "1/1 Weapons, brothers in arms with ANA" »

September 8, 2012

From Virginia to Afghanistan, Marine develops his own legacy

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 09.08.2012

PATROL BASE DETROIT, Afghanistan – The Marine Corps is filled with stories of young men and women looking for something different. They are brought together by a bond from the day they receive their Eagle, Globe and Anchor and officially earn the title of United States Marine.

Continue reading "From Virginia to Afghanistan, Marine develops his own legacy" »

September 6, 2012

Illinois native bridges language, cultural barriers through Trek Nawa

9/6/2012 By Cpl. Timothy Lenzo , Headquarters Marine Corps

PATROL BASE DETROIT, Afghanistan —
The Marines are down but not out. The late afternoon sun beats on them, and one Marine wipes sweat from his eyes. Across from them, their opponents smile, seemingly sensing the outcome. With the Olympics fresh in their minds, this is not simply a volleyball game, this is a matter of national pride.

Continue reading " Illinois native bridges language, cultural barriers through Trek Nawa " »

September 5, 2012

Stop Playing 'Modern Warfare' And See What A Real Marines Mission In Afghanistan Looks Like

Geoffrey Ingersoll | Sep. 5, 2012, 1:40 PM

I arrived in the middle of things, just after a hostile action on Afghan police headquarters. The word around camp was:

"Police Chief Wali Koka is officially tougher than Chuck Norris."

Continue reading "Stop Playing 'Modern Warfare' And See What A Real Marines Mission In Afghanistan Looks Like" »

September 3, 2012

Proper equipment saves Wisconsin Marine’s life

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 09.03.2012

PATROL BASE DETROIT, Afghanistan – Every day Marines put on their protective gear and put their lives in danger. They wear a heavy flak jacket, Kevlar helmet and fire retardant clothing. With temperatures reaching more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit, patrolling with all their gear can become tiresome, but there is one Marine who will not hear complaining about the extra weight.

Continue reading "Proper equipment saves Wisconsin Marine’s life" »

Ready, Aim, Fire: scout snipers on target throughout Trek Nawa

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 09.03.2012

PATROL BASE DETROIT, Afghanistan – The Marine scout snipers are specialized, trained marksmen. Extensively trained in weapon systems, stalking, concealment and overall field skills, the Marines are able to adapt and run independently as small teams or while partnering with larger patrols.

Continue reading "Ready, Aim, Fire: scout snipers on target throughout Trek Nawa" »

Marines overcome language barriers, teach ANA mortar systems

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 09.03.2012

PATROL BASE DETROIT, Afghanistan –Afghan National Army soldiers march in and form a semicircle around their Marine instructor. They pull out notepads and pencils and are already jotting down notes before the class even starts.

Continue reading "Marines overcome language barriers, teach ANA mortar systems" »

September 2, 2012

Marines train Afghans to defend their own turf

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Sep 2, 2012 10:31:04 EDT

With a mixture of brawn and brains, Marine special operators continue to push their way into villages in Afghanistan, setting up shop alongside Afghan special forces to train those living there to defend their own turf from the Taliban.

Continue reading "Marines train Afghans to defend their own turf" »

August 31, 2012

Scout snipers keep watch over Marines

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 08.31.2012

AGHA AHMAD, Afghanistan – The snaps and cracks of accurate small-arms fire break the silence of the day.

Continue reading "Scout snipers keep watch over Marines" »

Explosive ordnance disposal technicians teach methods to counter improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan

8/31/2012 By Sgt. Michele Watson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — In today’s war, improvised explosive devices remain the number one threat to Marines and sailors forward deployed to Afghanistan.

Continue reading " Explosive ordnance disposal technicians teach methods to counter improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan " »

August 29, 2012

One Marine feeds a company

8/29/2012 By Cpl. Ed Galo , Regimental Combat Team 6

COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Afghanistan — Whether preparing the ingredients to be used for a meal, preheating ovens or making sure the food doesn’t over cook, feeding 300 people can be a difficult task. It can be even harder in a foreign environment and a single Marine is tasked with the workload.

Continue reading " One Marine feeds a company " »

August 25, 2012

Following the scent: An explosive detector dog and his handler protect Marines

Story by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 08.25.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Riding in an armored truck over Afghanistan’s rutted dirt roads is scarcely a smooth or comfortable experience.

Continue reading "Following the scent: An explosive detector dog and his handler protect Marines" »

August 24, 2012

Rolling thunder: Marine tankers provide safety for operational forces

Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 08.24.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Marines with Bravo Company, 2nd Tank Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 6, have been supporting the most dangerous operations in northern Helmand province since they first arrived about two months ago.

Continue reading "Rolling thunder: Marine tankers provide safety for operational forces" »

August 22, 2012

Americans tune out Afghan war as fighting rages on

By DEB RIECHMANN | Associated Press - August 22, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — It was once President Barack Obama's "war of necessity." Now, it's America's forgotten war.
The Afghan conflict generates barely a whisper on the U.S. presidential campaign trail. It's not a hot topic at the office water cooler or in the halls of Congress — even though more than 80,000 American troops are still fighting here and dying at a rate of one a day.

Continue reading "Americans tune out Afghan war as fighting rages on" »

August 21, 2012

First Time, First Firefight – Marine stays focused during combat

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 08.21.2012

PATROL BASE DETROIT, Afghanistan – It’s a moment of truth for many Marines – the first time they are in combat and their training is put to the test.

Continue reading "First Time, First Firefight – Marine stays focused during combat" »

August 20, 2012

Afghans to spy on own troops to stop ‘insider’ attacks

By Kevin Sieff, Published: August 20

KABUL — Afghan officials say they have launched an expanded effort to spy on their own police and army recruits, an acknowledgment that previous measures designed to reduce insurgent infiltration in the country’s security services have failed.

Continue reading "Afghans to spy on own troops to stop ‘insider’ attacks" »

August 9, 2012

2/5 conducts MCMAP training in Afghanistan

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ismael Ortega | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 07.26.2012
Date Posted:08.09.2012 02:39

U.S. Marines with the 2/5 held a a Marine Corp Martial Arts Program session on Forward Operating Base Shir Ghazay, Helmand province, Afghanistan July 26, 2012. Marines conducted the session as part of the sustainment training required by the program.

Continue reading "2/5 conducts MCMAP training in Afghanistan " »

2/5 conducts MCMAP training in Afghanistan

Photos by Lance Cpl. Ismael Ortega | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 07.26.2012
Date Posted:08.09.2012 02:39

U.S. Marines with the 2/5 held a a Marine Corp Martial Arts Program session on Forward Operating Base Shir Ghazay, Helmand province, Afghanistan July 26, 2012. Marines conducted the session as part of the sustainment training required by the program.

Continue reading "2/5 conducts MCMAP training in Afghanistan " »

August 8, 2012

Marine Declines Scholarship to Serve

By Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter
Regimental Combat Team 6

COMBAT OUTPOST JAKER, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2012 – For some people, history is just another subject in school. For Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joshua Taylor, being a part of history was a calling.

Continue reading "Marine Declines Scholarship to Serve" »

August 5, 2012

Afghan combat support soldiers work with Marine advisors

Story by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 08.05.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST FIDDLERS GREEN, Afghanistan – The future success of Afghanistan’s security depends largely on the abilities of the country’s armed forces.

Continue reading "Afghan combat support soldiers work with Marine advisors" »

August 4, 2012

Marine special operators fight, live among the Afghans

Teams recruit community police forces, form local governing councils

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
9:30 a.m., Aug. 4, 2012

PUZEH, Afghanistan — Marine special operations forces realized the security situation had changed dramatically in their stretch of the upper Sangin river valley this summer when village boys started playing policeman instead of Taliban insurgent.

Continue reading "Marine special operators fight, live among the Afghans" »

Afghan parliament votes out defense minister

By Rahim Faiez - The Associated Press
Posted : Saturday Aug 4, 2012 13:21:52 EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan parliament voted Saturday to dismiss the country’s defense and interior ministers, a move that threatens to throw the country’s security apparatus into confusion as foreign forces withdraw.

Continue reading "Afghan parliament votes out defense minister" »

August 2, 2012

Afghan forces increasingly in security lead in southern Helmand province

Story by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 08.02.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST DEHLI, Afghanistan — As Marines drove along the narrow dirt roads of southern Helmand province they watched farmers tend to their corn fields and livestock. They saw children running alongside vehicles and swimming in a river that irrigates the fields surrounding it. Trucks carrying bags of wheat and other products passed the Marines' convoy regularly on their way to deliver their goods to bazaars and customers in the area.

Continue reading "Afghan forces increasingly in security lead in southern Helmand province" »

August 1, 2012

Arizona native helps keep rockets’ red glare alive, well in Afghanistan

Story by Sgt. James Mercure | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 08.01.2012

PATROL BASE EREDVI, Afghanistan - The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System delivers target destruction from miles away.

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July 31, 2012

Third Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion disrupts enemy passageways

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 07.31.2012

KHANESHIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan – As the morning sun rose, the sound of helicopter rotor blades could be heard from the flight line at Forward Operating Base Payne, July 21, 2012.

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Afghan forces hold training exercise at Combat Outpost Castle

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 07.31.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Afghanistan – As Afghan forces prepare to take the lead in combat roles, Marines with Police Advisor Team, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 6, and Afghan forces at Combat Outpost Castle held a command post exercise, July 18, 2012.

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July 30, 2012

Afghan, Marine partnership bears fruit through progress, transition in southern Helmand

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 07.30.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – When the Marines and sailors of Regimental Combat Team 5 arrived here in August 2011, their predecessors from RCT-1 had already planted the seeds of transition with Afghan National Security Forces.

Continue reading "Afghan, Marine partnership bears fruit through progress, transition in southern Helmand" »

July 26, 2012

Marine born in Afghanistan gives back to home nation

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 07.26.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan —“I remember the day I heard that America was going into Afghanistan,” said Lance Cpl. Behzad Razzada, a member of the Embedded Partnering Team, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). “My parents were happy because it was a chance for Afghanistan to unite and fight for freedom. They said it was the only way that injustice in Afghanistan would be finished.”

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July 22, 2012

Marine advisors mentor Afghan police in Kajaki

Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik | I Marine Expeditionary Force (Fwd) | Date: 07.22.2012

KAJAKI DISTRICT, Afghanistan – Marines with the Kajaki Police Advisor Team have been working with local security officials since they arrived in Afghanistan, nearly a month ago.

Continue reading "Marine advisors mentor Afghan police in Kajaki" »

July 21, 2012

Marines see calm in once-violent Afghan area

Much has changed since Camp Pendleton unit suffered heavy casualties last year

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
noon, July 21, 2012

SANGIN, Afghanistan — In one of the most violent districts in Afghanistan, the line of two dozen Marines walked slowly through the field. Following each other’s footsteps, the infantrymen were careful not to stray from the path marked by an engineer sweeping for bombs.

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July 20, 2012

Combat engineers conduct expansion operation, increase patrol base size, capabilities

7/20/2012 By Sgt. Michele Watson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

PATROL BASE EREDVI, Afghanistan — More than 100 Marines from Engineer Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) completed their largest mission to date in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, here, July 15.

Continue reading " Combat engineers conduct expansion operation, increase patrol base size, capabilities" »

July 17, 2012

Afghanistan War Diary: A Purple Heart

Marine honored for combat wounds, others warned not to add to casualties at home

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
12:32 p.m., July 17, 2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN — The Purple Heart ceremony was simple. It was the setting that made it unforgettable.

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Texas native serves country by saving lives

Story by Cpl. Mark Garcia | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 07.17.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan – As a senior in high school, Navy Seaman Christian Adkins knew he wanted to serve his country. Two months after his graduation, he was on his way to basic training.

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July 16, 2012

“Duty Expert” keeps combat logistics patrols moving

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 07.16.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – “Flat tires, blown transmissions, and even vehicle accidents are common occurrences in the harsh environment and inherent danger of a war zone,” said Staff Sgt. Brendan H. Chamburs, company gunnery sergeant, Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward). “The wrecker section has the responsibility to maintain convoy momentum when things go wrong.”

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July 11, 2012

All In A Day’s Work: Explosives Tandem Team From Camp Pendleton

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
By Beth Ford Roth

Video
Two Marines talk about their role as an explosive team. The two Marines partner together when their squad needs to destroy enemy fighting positions, enter compounds and employ demolitions.

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Operation Branding Iron II Charlie

Photos by Lance Cpl. Ismael Ortega | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 07.06.2012
Date Posted:07.11.2012 11:19

The Marines conducted Operation Branding Iron II Charlie to disrupt enemy logistics and deny the enemy a safe haven for staging operations.

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July 9, 2012

Belleau Wood Marines conduct historic transfer of authority in Helmand province

7/9/2012 By Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez , Regimental Combat Team 5

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II — Since their activation in 1917, 5th and 6th Marine Regiments have courageously fought for America, most notably in World War I when they fought side-by-side in the bloody Battle of Belleau Wood.

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Marine Corps footprint in Afghanistan shifting as drawdown continues

July 9th, 2012 | Afghanistan Drawdown Infantry Marjah | Posted by Dan Lamothe

The Marine Corps’ footprint in Afghanistan is changing dramatically as a drawdown in forces continues throughout the summer.

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July 4, 2012

July Fourth at war: Marines say don't forget us

Closest most get to fireworks in Afghanistan is an artillery mission

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
2:24 p.m., July 4, 2012
Updated 9:14 p.m.

Forward Operating Base Shir Ghazay, Afghanistan — The Fourth of July isn’t much of a holiday in the war zone. It’s just another work day for many Marines and a reminder of family and friends who are gathering without them back home.

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Marine has the blues in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 07.04.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE NOLAY, Afghanistan – One recent morning, while waiting in line for breakfast at the field mess hall at Forward Operating Base Nolay, Marines could hear the sound of blues music coming from a harmonica.

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July 3, 2012

Charlie Company keeps Marines in operations supplied

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 07.03.2012

SANGIN, Afghanistan – Nearly every hour, the sound of explosions echoed through the desert and green valleys of Sangin, Afghanistan.

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June 29, 2012

Combat Camera Marine documents war, progress in Kajaki, Afghanistan

Story by Sgt. James Mercure | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 06.29.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KISHTIWAN – He carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution on every combat operation he’s documented and returns with history in his camera.

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June 25, 2012

Fighting Irish: deployed crew chief fulfills dream

Story by Cpl. Lisa Tourtelot | Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing | Date: 06.25.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Flying over southwestern Afghanistan, a voice came over the radio, drawing the crew chiefs’ attention to a large truck and SUVs racing through the desert. Marines with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, “Vengeance,” were performing aerial reconnaissance in the area, looking for any suspicious vehicles or potential insurgent activity.

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June 24, 2012

This Is My Life, Episode 3

Video by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 06.24.2012

This is my life is a video journal blog of Marines in Afghanistan, documenting their daily life. This episode follows an infantryman with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment.

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3/8 Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers patrol in Garmsir District

Courtesy Photos | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 06.24.2012

U.S. Marines with 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon, Kilo Company, 3D Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (3/8), Regimental Combat Team 5 patrol out of Forward Operating Base Dehli, Garmsir District, Helmand province, Afghanistan June 17, 2012.

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June 22, 2012

Houston corpsman holds own, saves lives with 2/5 Marines

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 06.22.2012

KAJAKI, Afghanistan – The brotherhood and friendly rivalry between sailors and Marines spans across the history of both military branches. Whether it’s a sailor jokingly calling a Marine a “jarhead” or a Marine retorting with calling the sailor a “squid,” the two branches are always closely linked. Corpsmen, who support both the Navy and Marine Corps, often find themselves stuck in the crossfire.

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Mexican immigrant serves in Marines, OEF; eyes US citizenship

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 06.22.2012

KAJAKI, Afghanistan – He stands side-by-side his fellow Marines, pours his blood and sweat into his job and sacrifices time away from his family. He lives driven by a will to earn his way in life and appreciate what’s been given to him.

Continue reading "Mexican immigrant serves in Marines, OEF; eyes US citizenship" »

June 20, 2012

Summer poses toughest test for Afghan forces

By Donna Cassata - The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Jun 20, 2012 18:35:49 EDT

WASHINGTON — This summer’s fighting in Afghanistan will be the toughest test for the country’s evolving security forces as they try to root out insurgents in the more heavily populated regions, senior defense officials told skeptical lawmakers on Wednesday.

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Long Island native uses years of mechanical expertise to keep logistics Marines mission ready

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 06.20.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan —“When you have a [mechanically inclined] mind and you are familiar with how an engine works and how a vehicle works, you can solve a lot of the problems and issues that come up on convoys, that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to [fix],” said Cpl. Jason K. Fricke.

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June 18, 2012

Behind the scenes: Administration shop supports hundreds of Marines

Story by Sgt. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 06.18.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – From reconstructing roads to eliminating insurgents, many Marines and sailors deployed to Afghanistan make an impact that is readily visible.

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Explosive tandem demolishes bunkers, supports Operation Jaws

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 06.18.2012

KAJAKI, Afghanistan – The Marines rush to take cover behind a berm, as the countdown begins.

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Combat Logistics Battalion 4 supports Operation Branding Iron

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 06.18.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Marines and sailors with 3rd Platoon, Alpha Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), provided sustained logistics support to Regimental Combat Team 6, north of Musa Qal’ah, May 27-June 11, in support of Operation Branding Iron.

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June 15, 2012

Marines Emerge Unscathed From Operation Jaws

June 15th, 2012 // By Cpl. Timothy Lenzo

KAJAKI, Afghanistan – The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment added to their rich history when they trekked through Zamindawar, one of the few remaining insurgent strongholds in Afghanistan, May 26-June 9, to disrupt the insurgents’ leadership and logistics chain.

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June 13, 2012

Marines overcome insurgents, clear Kajaki town during Operation Jaws

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 06.13.2012

KAJAKI, Afghanistan - The Marines of 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment added to their rich history when they trekked through Zamindawar, one of the few remaining insurgent strongholds in Afghanistan, May 26-June 9, to disrupt the insurgents’ leadership and logistics chain.

Continue reading "Marines overcome insurgents, clear Kajaki town during Operation Jaws" »

June 11, 2012

Workload Grows for Logistics Crews in Afghanistan

Jun. 11, 2012 - 05:32PM |
By DAN LAMOTHE

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — The drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan has required an expansive effort to sort, identify and ship unused equipment stored in theater as the Marine Corps withdraws thousands of troops from Helmand province this summer.

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June 8, 2012

3/11 returns

Story by Sgt. Heather Golden | Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms | Date: 06.08.2012

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - When Cpl. Don Robinson left to join the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit with the rest of Lima Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, in November, his daughter Samira was a tiny 2-month-old.

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Marines from Twentynine Palms hit insurgents

June 08, 2012 6:00 am • By Lance Cpl. MARK GARCIA United States Marine Corps

COMBAT OUTPOST TABAC, Afghanistan ---- As allied forces begin their drawdown in Afghanistan, Marines and Afghan National Security Forces applied increased pressure on the insurgency during Operation Sangin United Horizons ---- a battalion-sized operation that took place May 17 to 20.

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May 31, 2012

Afghan Army, Marines investigate Wushtan

Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler Reiriz | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.31.2012

WUSHTAN, Afghanistan- Helicopters landed in a field during the early morning darkness, May 17, delivering the Marines of Baker Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, and soldiers of the Afghan National Army to the outskirts of the town of Wushtan to begin Operation Sangin United Horizons.

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May 30, 2012

Wing Chaplain provides spiritual help on the fly

Photos by Cpl. Isaac Lamberth | Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing | Date: 05.27.2012
Date Posted:05.30.2012 10:39

Navy Cmdr. Francis Foley, the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) command chaplain, and Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Andrew Randall, a religious program specialist were at Combat Outpost Now Zad, Afghanistan, May 27. Foley and Randall delivered care packages to the Marines at the outpost.

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RCT-6 Commanding Officer's Weekly Message

Courtesy Video
Date Posted:05.30.2012 3:32AM

The commanding officer of Regimental Combat Team 6, Col. John Shafer, updates family members of RCT-6 Marines and Sailors on ongoing operations in the region.

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May 27, 2012

Logistics Marines, sailors transfer excess medical supplies to Afghan National Army

5/27/2012 By 2nd Lt. Tyler Morrison , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Marines and sailors with the Marine Air-Ground Task Force Material Distribution Center, Supply Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion (-) (Reinforced), 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) sorted, staged and delivered more than $85,000 worth of consumable medical supplies to Afghan soldiers with Regional Logistics Support Command-Southwest, May 24.

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May 26, 2012

DRAWDOWN ON STEEP PACE IN RESTIVE AFGHAN REGION

y GRETEL C. KOVACH • U-T
12:01 a.m., May 26, 2012
Updated 9:08 p.m. , May 25, 2012

U.S. Marines deployed to what has been the most violent province in Afghanistan for coalition forces are handing over control to Afghan forces at a pace faster than the one set for the country as a whole.

Continue reading "DRAWDOWN ON STEEP PACE IN RESTIVE AFGHAN REGION " »

May 25, 2012

Indiana Marine builds bonds with Afghans

Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler Reiriz | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.25.2012

WUSHTAN, Afghanistan - During a halt in a security patrol here May 18, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Barth, a native on New Albany, Ind., sat down next to Muhammed Hasim, one of his counterparts with the Afghan National Army, and struck up a conversation.

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New York Detective puts skills to use in Afghanistan

Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler Reiriz | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.25.2012

WUSHTAN, Afghanistan - Marc Davis took a few minutes to talk to an old Afghan man on the road, May 19. As a veteran of the New York City police force, it is a scenario he has been through hundreds of times. The only difference is that instead taking place on a busy city street surrounded by towering skyscrapers, it’s happening on a dirt road next to a mosque surrounded by small mud buildings in Washtun, Afghanistan.

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May 24, 2012

Dog Company Marines bite down on insurgency with Afghan forces during Operation Sangin United Horizons

Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Garcia | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 05.24.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST TABAC, Afghanistan – During a time in which Marines are continually withdrawing from Afghanistan, Marines and Afghan National Security Forces put continued pressure on the insurgency during Operation Sangin United Horizons, a battalion-sized operation that took place, May 17-20.

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One stop morale shop: Warfighter Exchange Services Team travels throughout Helmand Province

Story by Sgt. John Jackson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 05.24.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – “Whenever anybody sees the PX truck, that is all you hear about – people saying ‘Oh, the PX truck is here,’” said Lance Cpl. Cody Turner, a combat engineer with 9th Engineer Support Battalion. “It’s definitely a morale booster for all the Marines at the [Forward Operating Bases].”

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May 22, 2012

Combat: Behind the scenes

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.21.2012
Date Posted:05.22.2012 11:19

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan — The Marines and sailors with Regimental Combat Team 6 and its subordinate battalions have been working nonstop on a combat operation referred to as Operation Jaws since February.

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Marines implement recycling program, save battalion thousands of dollars

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 05.22.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Lance Cpl. Matthew S. Belk, a motor vehicle mechanic with Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), came up with a plan to help his battalion save money in a combat zone through recycling.

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May 21, 2012

Corpsmen rescue wounded Marine during firefight

Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.21.2012

MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – When the Marines reached the hilltop, they knew it was going to be a rough day.

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May 17, 2012

Pick, pack, ship: Marines support units across Helmand Province

Story by Sgt. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 05.17.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The Supply Management Unit aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, is home to more than 500,000 pieces of gear and supports 56 units throughout Regional Command Southwest.

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Lejeune Marines clear Afghan valley of insurgents

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.17.2012

NIMRUZ PROVINCE, Afghanistan — As the early morning sun peeks over the mountains the Nimruz province of Afghanistan, the Marines and sailors with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, began an operation in the Gostan Valley.

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Sangin Marines brace for summer of combat

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday May 17, 2012 14:45:19 EDT

SANGIN, Afghanistan — Lying on a dusty rooftop, Lance Cpls. Jacob Bisek and Daniel Buzalsky watched suspiciously as a man down the road peered at them. He was pointing at the Marines and holding a cell phone, raising the prospect he was a Taliban spotter.

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May 16, 2012

Combat Logistics Battalion 4 assists realigning Marine Corps forces in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 05.16.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Service members attached to 1st MLG (Fwd) provide tactical logistics support to adjacent units in Regional Command (Southwest) and assist in the Marine Corps’ reset and reconstitution effort. Whether it is engineering operations, maintaining vehicles, supplying units or identifying excess gear, 1st MLG (Fwd) Marines and sailors get the mission accomplished.

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May 15, 2012

Marines capture 20 during operation in northern Musa Qa’leh

Story by Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.15.2012

MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – Marines with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment disrupted insurgent activity in northern Musa Qa’leh district during Operation Ox Bow, May 8-12.

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Future of Garmsir in Afghan hands, ‘America’s Battalion’ completes final Helmand tour

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.15.2012

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan — In the fall of 2004, the Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment began a challenging journey that took them to the Middle East and central Asia.

Continue reading "Future of Garmsir in Afghan hands, ‘America’s Battalion’ completes final Helmand tour" »

May 14, 2012

AP Exclusive: Moderate Taliban speaks of divisions

Published May 14, 2012
Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan – One of the most powerful men on the Taliban council, Agha Jan Motasim, nearly lost his life in a hail of bullets for advocating a negotiated settlement that would bring a broad-based government to his beleaguered homeland of Afghanistan.

Continue reading "AP Exclusive: Moderate Taliban speaks of divisions" »

May 13, 2012

RCT-6 Weekly Message

Courtesy Video | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.13.2012

RCT-6 sergeant major, Sgt. Maj. Jamie Deets updates families on their deployed Marines and Sailors and what is happening within the unit.

Continue reading "RCT-6 Weekly Message" »

Ready or not, Afghan forces taking control

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday May 13, 2012 10:18:18 EDT

SANGIN, Afghanistan — Sgt. Johnathan Cook leads his squad of Marines through the narrow alleys and dusty compounds in this district’s dangerous “Fish Tank” region, facing insurgents armed with grenades, machine guns and improvised explosive devices.

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May 12, 2012

Marines in Afghanistan thinking about mom at home

Story by Sgt. Michael Cifuentes | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.12.2012

CAMP HANSON, Afghanistan - U.S. Marines serving in Marjah, Afghanistan, say when they have the time, they often think about the luxuries and comforts they miss at home. Naturally, there’s always one lady missed very much by a deployed Marine – his mother.

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May 8, 2012

Marines reduce footprint in Marjah

Story by Sgt. Michael Cifuentes | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.08.2012

Marines here are making big moves for the future of Afghanistan.

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May 7, 2012

Junior Marines ready for more responsibilities in rifle platoon

Story by Sgt. Michael Cifuentes | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.07.2012

CAMP HANSON, Afghanistan - Lance Cpl. Taylor Adkins has been a Marine for nearly a year and a half and is already taking advantage of leadership opportunities.

Continue reading "Junior Marines ready for more responsibilities in rifle platoon" »

A Marine’s perspective on progress in Helmand province

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.07.2012

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan — Over the past seven months, I’ve seen and experienced progress in Afghanistan most Americans will never hear about from mainstream media.

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Sighting in on the big picture, Afghans see independence

5/7/2012 By Cpl. Timothy Lenzo , 1st Marine Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan — The unmistakable sound of gunfire breaks the mid-morning calm. The Afghan instructor paces behind several Afghan National Army soldiers, who are lying in the prone position. The sun is rising to their backs, casting long shadows, stretching before the green targets in front of them.

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May 6, 2012

V-mail and Gmail

Story by Isaac Lamberth | Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing | Date: 05.06.2012

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan - On April 28, 1941 – 71 years ago today as I write this – Leo Morgenstern, my great grandfather, wrote a letter from Nazi-occupied France to his son in America, asking for bribe money to facilitate his escape. The letter arrived in January, 1944, having been held up by a British censor due to concerns over its origins behind enemy lines. If only he could have sent an e-mail, he might not have perished at Auschwitz.

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Taliban test Afghans as Kajaki handoff looms

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday May 6, 2012 13:59:07 EDT

KAJAKI, Afghanistan — It was an eerie mission: The Afghan police wanted to crash a Taliban funeral, and they needed Marines to help.

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May 5, 2012

Another year, another country for Clifton native

Story by Spc. Chelsea Russell | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 05.05.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - When Cpl. Erica Adams decided to join the Marine Corps Feb. 7, 2010, she knew she wanted to be a motor transportation mechanic. Although it’s a choice most people might question, especially for a female, Adams is passionate about her job.

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Female Marines bond with Afghan women, children

Story by Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.05.2012

MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – It’s common in Afghan culture for men to refrain from talking to women they aren’t related to.

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Pendleton Marines prepare to transfer patrol base to Afghans

Story by Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.05.2012

PATROL BASE HABIB, Afghanistan – Marines with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, are leaving the place they’ve called home for the past two months to head to Camp Leatherneck, the main base of operations for Marines in Helmand province.

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Marines, Afghan police patrol in Musa Qa’leh

Story by Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.05.2012

MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – Marines with Police Advisor Team 2, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, conducted a partnered patrol with the Afghan National Police, May 2.

Continue reading "Marines, Afghan police patrol in Musa Qa’leh" »

May 4, 2012

CLB-4 expands patrols to new supply route

5/4/2012 By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud , Marine Corps Bases Japan

Afghanistan — Marines with Company A, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, conducted a combat logistics patrol along Route Red-West for the first time recently.

Continue reading "CLB-4 expands patrols to new supply route " »

May 3, 2012

Wisconsin native leads Marines through firefights during deployment

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.03.2012

TREK NAWA, Afghanistan – Leadership is a fundamental part of the Marine Corps. Leaders train new leaders: from a fire team of four, to Marines at the highest levels.

Continue reading "Wisconsin native leads Marines through firefights during deployment" »

Lejeune Marines and Afghan forces unleash Operation Reservoir Dogs

Story by Sgt. James Mercure | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 05.03.2012

SABZIKAR, Afghanistan -- After the sun came up, all hell broke loose.

Continue reading "Lejeune Marines and Afghan forces unleash Operation Reservoir Dogs" »

Breaking bread key to building trust between Afghans, Marines

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.03.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan – “Shana ba shana” is a Dari saying that Sgt. Christopher Scott has heard since he arrived here in December 2011. The saying translates to shoulder-to-shoulder. Afghan forces say it’s a way to describe someone’s work ethic and shows the effort they put in with others.

Continue reading "Breaking bread key to building trust between Afghans, Marines" »

May 2, 2012

The Last Patrol: ‘America’s Battalion’ Marines near completion of Helmand tour

Photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.02.2012

On the final patrol of their seven-month deployment, the Marines toured the Durzay region of Helmand province's Garmsir district to disrupt possible insurgent activity. After arriving in Garmsir in October 2011, the Marines aided Afghan National Security Forces in assuming lead security responsibility of the district, developing and expanding legitimate Afghan governance by defeating insurgent forces and securing the people of Garmsir.

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2D Battalion 5th Marine Regiment Interior Guard

Photos by Lance Cpl. Ismael Ortega | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 04.26.2012
Date Posted: 05:02:2012

Marines with Fox Company, 2D Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, man various machine guns at a guard post on Combat out Post (COP) 7171, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 26, 2012. They are responsible for the interior guard of the COP.

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Georgia native goes above and beyond for man’s best friend

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.02.2012

TREK NAWA, Afghanistan – Many children beg their parents for a dog. The floppy ears and wagging tail seems to attract children to man’s best friend. But many parents know that caring for a dog means a lot of responsibility, training and effort.

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May 1, 2012

'America's Battalion' Marines patrol Garmsir as district prepares for transition

Photos by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.28.2012
Date Posted:05.01.2012

The 3/3 India Marines gave a battlefield tour of the Safar region to their replacements with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. After arriving in Helmand province's Garmsir district in October 2011, the 'America's Battalion' Marines are nearing the end of their seven-month deployment. During the deployment, they aided Afghan National Security Forces in assuming lead security responsibility of Garmsir, developing and expanding legitimate Afghan governance by defeating insurgent forces and securing the people of Garmsir.

Continue reading "'America's Battalion' Marines patrol Garmsir as district prepares for transition" »

The complete IED detection team

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 05.01.2012

KHAN NESHIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan – A team of two jumped out of the vehicle as it came to a stop at a chokepoint on the road.

Continue reading "The complete IED detection team" »

Afghanistan: April 2012

May 1, 2012
Alan Taylor

Gathered here are images of those involved in this conflict over the past month, as part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.

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For instant morale – just add water

5/1/2012 By Sgt. Michele Watson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WHITEHOUSE, Afghanistan — After a 12-hour foot patrol in the baking heat of the Afghan desert, a shower to wash away the grime and the grit could be the one oasis the Marines and sailors here look forward to upon completing their arduous task.

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April 30, 2012

Dam has hosted Soviets, Brits and U.S. Marines

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Apr 30, 2012 17:26:03 EDT

FORWARD OPERATING BASE ZEEBRUGGE, Afghanistan — Up on this cliffside base, Marines protect the landmark Kajaki Dam while surrounded by the remnants of another bloody war in Afghanistan.

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April 29, 2012

Marines hunt Taliban hiding in tunnels

By Dan Lamothe - dlamothe@militarytimes.com
Posted : Sunday Apr 29, 2012 15:54:10 EDT

OBSERVATION POST SHRINE, Afghanistan — Under cover of darkness, the Marines stalked their enemy, looking to pick a fight.

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April 28, 2012

Marine welder keeps heavy-duty trailers operable in Afghanistan, saves Corps thousands

4/28/2012 By Sgt. John Jackson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Adapt and overcome is a common phrase in the Marine Corps, and Cpl. Sean Castillo, a welder with Maintenance Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion (-) Reinforced, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), is embodying those words everyday in Afghanistan and saving the Marine Corps millions of dollars while doing so.

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Marine truck convoys begin base closures

Story by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.28.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan – Although the timeline for the complete withdrawal of combat troops in Afghanistan is still nearly two years away, Marines in southwest Afghanistan are already starting to close bases and consolidate people and equipment.

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A day on patrol with the Marines of Dog Company 1/7

April 28th, 2012 | Afghanistan Embedded journalism Infantry Sangin | Posted by Dan Lamothe

SANGIN, Afghanistan – For a minute, it seemed like a manhunt in the hills of the Upper Sangin Valley was possible.

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April 27, 2012

2/5 Marines search suspicious compounds in Musa Qa’leh

Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.27.2012

MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – During Operation Lariat, Marines and sailors patrolled the Musa Qaleh district to an area previously untouched by coalition forces, April 14-18.

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April 25, 2012

Carlisle native witnesses Afghan progress

Story by Master Sgt. Brenda Varnadore | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 04.25.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST JAKER, Afghanistan – “Post One, Post One,” said an Afghan boy about 8 years old. “Do you need anything? Some water, anything from bazaar?”

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‘Here to protect’: Marines stay involved in Kajaki

Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler Reiriz | 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.25.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WHITEHOUSE, Afghanistan - As coalition forces continue to transfer security responsibilities to Afghan National Army and police in Afghanistan, the Marines here continue to patrol to keep the people of Kajaki safe.

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Nebraska Marine bears big burden on deployment

Story by Lance Cpl. Tyler Reiriz | 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.25.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WHITEHOUSE, Afghanistan - When a big job calls for a big machine, the Marines call on the expertise of a heavy equipment operator to get the job done.

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April 24, 2012

Marine unit new to Afghanistan conducts first large-scale operation

Story by Staff Sgt. Brian Buckwalter | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.24.2012

MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT CENTER, Afghanistan – As insurgents begin preparations for Afghanistan’s poppy harvest season, Marines, coalition forces and Afghan National Security Forces participated in Operation Jaws April 5-8.

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April 20, 2012

The new tradition of E-18

Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.20.2012

NAWA DISTRICT, Afghanistan— Throughout the Marine Corps, the bulk of combat operations are conducted at a non commissioned officer level and below.

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Combat Logistics Battalions conduct “left seat, right seat” operations in Afghanistan

4/20/2012 By Sgt. Michele Watson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PAYNE, Afghanistan — The war in Afghanistan is continuous, and while units may come and go, the mission never pauses.

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April 17, 2012

From high school to Afghanistan, these Marines stick together

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.17.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marines describe their relationships with fellow Marines with words like brotherhood and sisterhood. Many view the Corps as a family, with brothers and sisters, mother and father figures. The way Marines take care of each other, look after each other and even bicker with each other is reminiscent of many families in America today.

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Marine electrician keeps power on in southern Helmand province

4/17/2012 By Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes , Regimental Combat Team 5

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan — CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan – Sometimes little luxuries like air conditioning, heat and power go unnoticed… just not in Afghanistan.

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Postal Marines provide morale boost in Afghanistan

4/17/2012 By Sgt. Michele Watson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan — Whether it is Girl Scout cookies sent by patriotic Americans or photographs of your child’s first day at school, mail is the number one source of morale for Marines in a combat zone.

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April 16, 2012

Raids, helo ops hit Afghan drug smugglers

By Dan Lamothe - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Apr 16, 2012 8:19:44 EDT

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Marines are running heliborne operations and other raids this spring to stem the flow of stored poppy out of the country ahead of the next harvest, said the two-star general overseeing ground operations here.

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Toledo Marine drives across hundreds of miles in Afghanistan

4/16/2012 By Sgt. Michele Watson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan — In America, all branches of the military are voluntary, and for those who choose to join, a certain level of respect is earned. There are some who believe that the highest honor comes from serving one’s country.

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April 15, 2012

Afghanistan’s Kajaki Dam offers landmines, breathtaking scenery

April 15th, 2012 | Posted by Dan Lamothe

FORWARD OPERATING BASE ZEEBRUGGE, Afghanistan — After three nights visiting Marines at Observation Post Shrine, photographer James Lee and I have returned to this base overlooking the scenic Kajaki Dam.

Continue reading "Afghanistan’s Kajaki Dam offers landmines, breathtaking scenery" »

Taliban attack Afghan capital, 3 other cities

The Taliban launched a series of coordinated attacks on at least seven sites across the Afghan capital on Sunday, targeting NATO headquarters, the parliament and diplomatic residences. Militants also launched near-simultaneous assaults in three other eastern cities.

From the Associated Press

April 15, 2012, 6:30 a.m.
Kabul, Afghanistan—
The Taliban launched a series of coordinated attacks on at least seven sites across the Afghan capital on Sunday, targeting NATO headquarters, the parliament and diplomatic residences. Militants also launched near-simultaneous assaults in three other eastern cities.

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April 14, 2012

Marines continue infrastructure growth in Afghanistan

Story by Sgt. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 04.14.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Marines with Support Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) worked tirelessly toward the completion of a 12 kilometer stretch of road.

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April 13, 2012

The Unknown Soldiers: A Marine Named Fancy

By Tom Sileo
Published 04/13/12

Lance Cpl. Stuart Ferreri is just old enough to legally buy a beer in the United States. Yet the Marine, 21, is already on his second deployment to Afghanistan.

Continue reading "The Unknown Soldiers: A Marine Named Fancy" »

Mass casualty drill becomes reality for sailors, Marines

4/13/2012 By Sgt. John Jackson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)
FORWARD OPERATING BASE EDINBURGH, Afghanistan — Doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and corpsmen began April 10 like every other Tuesday – by conducting medical drills to prepare for the worst.

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April 12, 2012

Comstock Marine drives forward

Story by 2nd Lt. Scott Murdock | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 04.12.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – When he is on his family farm, Dana Brakke can be found driving a John Deere through the green fields of Comstock, Minn. These days, he can be found driving an armored truck through the sand of southwest Afghanistan

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Marines defend Kajaki at “The Shrine”

April 12th, 2012 | Posted by Dan Lamothe

OBSERVATION POST SHRINE, Afghanistan – Somewhere on the edge of Taliban country, we’ll be spending the night amidst the sound of coyotes, crickets and Afghan music.

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Task Force Leatherneck commanding general visits Afghan, Marine forces in Garmsir

Photos by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.12.2012

During their visit to Helmand province’s Garmsir district, U.S. Marine Maj. Gen. David Berger and members of his staff surveyed positions manned by ‘America’s Battalion’ and Afghan National Security Forces. They discussed the progress made in Garmsir by the partnered forces, upcoming district community council elections and the nearing transition of lead security responsibility to Afghan forces.

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April 11, 2012

From start to finish, Marine battalion leaves mark on Sangin

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.11.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan – Marines and sailors with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, came to Helmand province six months ago, cracking down on insurgents and extending a helping hand to locals.

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Setting the Conditions: Motor Transport Marines prepare Garmsir for transition

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.11.2012

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan — Over the past four years, seven U.S. Marine battalions have rotated through Helmand province’s Garmsir district.

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April 9, 2012

Engineers pave way for progress

Story by 2nd Lt. Scott Murdock | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 04.09.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - “When I was here last, we had a 12-year-old boy turn his father in for making [improvised explosive devices],” said Capt. Aaron Fisher, Support Company commander, 9th Engineer Support Battalion. “We asked him why he’d do that. He said he learned in school that IEDs are bad and that bad people make them.”

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April 8, 2012

Sailors save Afghan stab victim in mobile ER

Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.06.2012
Date Posted:04.08.2012 12:55

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan – Sailors with shock trauma platoon, 1st Maintenance Battalion (-) Reinforced, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), provided life-saving care to an Afghan man who was stabbed in the abdomen by a thief, April 6.

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Poppy farming days are numbered in southern Helmand

Story by Sgt. Michael Cifuentes | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.08.2012

KHAN NESHIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan – A patrol leader with the Afghan Uniformed Police here said his message against growing poppy is reaching farmers. In return, farmers are sealing their compliance with handshakes and understanding.

Continue reading "Poppy farming days are numbered in southern Helmand" »

April 7, 2012

Marine engineers improve road for local village

Story by Anthony Ward | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 04.07.2012

SHIR GHAZAY, Afghanistan -- As Afghanistan continues to transition into a stronger, Afghan-led country, Marines continue to do their part by leaving things better than they found them.

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Forward deployed Marine sings national anthem for Cleveland Indians’ home opener

Story by Sgt. John Jackson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 04.07.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Joe DiMaggio once said, “You always get a special kick on opening day, no matter how many you go through. You look forward to it like a birthday party when you’re a kid. You think something wonderful is going to happen.”

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Supply Management Unit supports operational needs across Helmand Province

Story by Sgt. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 04.07.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - The Supply Management Unit aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, acts as the intermediary between units across Regional Command Southwest and the sources of supply for Marine Corps organizations.

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Marines at Leatherneck concussion center heal, return to combat

April 7th, 2012 | Posted by Dan Lamothe

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Lance Cpl. Scott Anderson had been in Afghanistan about a month when he was “blown up.”

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Corpsmen teach over chai, connect with Afghan students

Story by Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.07.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan – A medic places the last bandage on an Afghan soldier. He shouts commands to the soldiers next to him, and they respond, gripping the four corners of the stretcher. Together they carry their injured brother to cover behind a truck.

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April 6, 2012

To Ramadi and back

Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.06.2012

TREK NAWA, Afghanistan — The men and women who have earned the title of Marine share a unique history and tradition only found in the Corps. In some cases, this history and tradition is shared by generations of Marines from the same family.

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Marine store in Afghanistan clears $4.5M in monthly sales

April 6th, 2012 | Afghanistan Camp Leatherneck Embedded journalism Marines | Posted by Dan Lamothe

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – When it comes to morale on a forward operating base, creature comforts are no small thing.

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Doc with “million dollar wound” still helping Marines on second deployment

Story by Sgt. James Mercure | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.06.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WHITEHOUSE, Afghanistan – Petty Officer Third Class Chase Speed still has the blood-soaked belt he was wearing when an insurgent put a bullet through it last year.

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Bravo Co. Marines take on new mission, demilitarize base

4/6/2012 By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

PATROL BASE MIRMANDAB, Afghanistan — Marines with 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), assisted in demilitarizing Patrol Base Mirmandab, March 23-31.

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Corpsmen save crash victims

4/6/2012 By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud , Marine Corps Bases Japan

CAMP DELARAM II, Afghanistan — Two corpsmen were recognized for saving the lives of mass-casualty victims during a ceremony here March 28.

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For Marines on the battlefield, urgent care is just a call away

4/6/2012 By Cpl. Isaac Lamberth , 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (FWD)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — A four-vehicle convoy travels along the barren desert when the first vehicle is suddenly struck by an improvised explosive device. A Marine in the first vehicle is hit in the face by shrapnel. A Navy Corpsman riding in the third vehicle jumps out and pulls the injured Marine from the vehicle and rushes to assess his injuries. The convoy commander immediately radios for a medical evacuation.

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April 5, 2012

Dog handlers train canines, save Marine lives in Afghanistan

Courtesy Story | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.24.2012
Date Posted:04.05.2012 07:31

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan – The Improvised Detection Dog Program has spent years training Labrador retrievers to detect IEDs.

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Two Marines feed a battalion, fuel the mission

Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 04.05.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan – The tent looks like all the others around here: tan canvas, zipper doors and Velcro all around. Marines pass by without giving it a second glance, heading to work, the gym or guard duty.

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April 4, 2012

CLB-4 Marines innovate, clean vehicles efficiently

4/4/2012 By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Marines with Support Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), completed construction of a vehicle washrack at the battalion motor pool, March 27.

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ANA engineers repair bridge, help people of southern Helmand

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 04.04.2012

MARJAH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – As Marine forces in Helmand province shift into an advisory role and the capabilities and responsibilities of Afghan National Security Forces continue to grow, the people of southern Helmand are reaping the benefits.

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April 3, 2012

Support Marines, sailors help EOD Company accomplish the mission

Story by Sgt. John Jackson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 04.03.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Operational tempo in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, continues at a high pace. Service members continue to conduct foot patrols, mounted patrols, resupply convoys and construction projects on a daily basis. Throughout these missions, the number one hostile threat to coalition forces continues to be improvised explosive devices.

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April 2, 2012

Blue Knights give 2/6 a lift

4/2/2012 By Cpl. Lisa M. Tourtelot, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (FWD)

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — The rotor blades are spinning and low chatter is drifting in over the internal communication system. The flight crews of the two MV-22B Ospreys awaiting takeoff – again – have been flying since before 5 a.m., March 28. It’s late morning now and their day is far from over.

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April 1, 2012

Dogs of war: Friends and saviors of Marines in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.29.2012
Date Posted:04.01.2012 14:14

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan — Without the Marine’s watchful eyes and his dog’s trained nose, the round metal container packed with 40 pounds of homemade explosives could have wreaked destruction on their patrol.

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March 31, 2012

Maintenance Marines repair equipment, save millions of dollars

Story by Cpl. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 03.30.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Marines with Maintenance Company, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Support Battalion11.2, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) are wrapping up their last few days of deployment in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

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March 30, 2012

Marines look to extend unmanned helo program in Afghanistan

By Seth Robson
Stars and Stripes
Published: March 30, 2012

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A trial of unmanned cargo helicopters in Afghanistan has been so successful the Marine Corps wants to extend the mission.

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Company hits stride, completes largest patrol to date

3/30/2012 By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud , Marine Corps Bases Japan

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Company A, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, completed the largest combat logistics patrol to-date through Helmand province March 12-14.

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March 29, 2012

U.S. troops get new protections in Afghanistan

By Lolita C. Baldor and Pauline Jelinek - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Mar 29, 2012 9:19:10 EDT

WASHINGTON — U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan have assigned “guardian angels” — troops that watch over their comrades even as they sleep — and have ordered a series of other increased security measures to protect troops against possible attacks by rogue Afghans.

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Leveraging technology adds force multiplier, saves lives in combat

Story by Chief Petty Officer Leslie Shively | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 03.29.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Although Marines are not the transformers seen in films on the silver screen, they are equipped with some of the latest technologies available today.

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March 28, 2012

Make it happen: Weapons Platoon adapts, overcomes in southern Helmand

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.28.2012

KHAN NESHIN, Afghanistan – U.S. Marines are well versed in adapting to the ever changing environment inherent to counterinsurgency operations in southern Helmand province.

Continue reading "Make it happen: Weapons Platoon adapts, overcomes in southern Helmand" »

March 27, 2012

Killing Time: Bragging Rights

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.27.2012

This is the seventh installment in a series on U.S. Marines and Navy corpsmen from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, based out of Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. After laboring through training in the California desert in 2011, they are now supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Grueling days and the absence of home’s amenities here make their work exhausting and their down time precious. They labor with little and appreciate the simple. This is their deployment grind.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Afghanistan — The ragged dartboard nestled between camouflage uniform items and a giant American flag has seen better days.

Continue reading "Killing Time: Bragging Rights" »

March 26, 2012

Afghan police show respect to villagers, receive cooperation in return

Story by Sgt. Michael Cifuentes | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.26.2012

KHAN NESHIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan – A patrol leader with the Afghan Uniformed Police said he’s made substantial progress building rapport with the locals during his three months of service in Khan Neshin district.

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No short days, just short nights

Story by Spc. Chelsea Russell | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 03.26.2012

ZARANJ, Afghanistan - Despite all the bad things that can happen during a deployment, Marine Corps Col. Michael Gann, the II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) operations officer for Afghan National Security Forces Development stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., said his experiences in Afghanistan have taught him to never forget the simple things in life.

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March 25, 2012

Afghan forces, ‘America’s Battalion’ Marines keep Garmsir safe during Afghan New Year

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.21.2012
Date Posted:03.25.2012 11:43

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Afghanistan — The celebration of the Afghan New Year was outlawed while Helmand province’s Garmsir district was under insurgent rule prior to the arrival of coalition forces in 2005.

Continue reading "Afghan forces, ‘America’s Battalion’ Marines keep Garmsir safe during Afghan New Year" »

March 24, 2012

Reserve Marines come together, accomplish mission in Afghanistan

3/24/2012 By Sgt. John Jackson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Of the more than 200 Marines that make up General Support Motor Transport Company, Marine Air-Ground Task Force Support Battalion 11.2, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), all but six are Reserve Component Marines.

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March 23, 2012

Combat Logistics Battalion 4 supports operations in Afghanistan

3/23/2012 By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud , Marine Corps Bases Japan

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 4 conducted a combat logistics patrol supporting counterinsurgency operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 4-7.

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March 22, 2012

‘Goliath’ Battery holds the front line at Kajaki

Story by Sgt. Jacob Harrer | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.22.2012

OBSERVATION POST SHRINE, Afghanistan – The Marines here guard the northeastern frontier in Helmand province. Beyond the boundary of the observation post lies known enemy territory, where insurgent fighters have taken refuge. Farmland and abandoned compounds surround the post. Insurgents sporadically shoot machine gun bursts and launch attacks against the Marines from many different positions, and when the Marines fight back, the enemy forces flee into dry riverbeds deep enough to conceal most movement. For the past four months, the Marines of Golf Battery, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment repelled dozens of attacks and kept enemy forces from moving forward.

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Renewed bazaar a sign of progress in Kajaki

Story by Sgt. Jacob Harrer | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.22.2012

TANGYE BAZAAR, Afghanistan – When Maj. Joseph R. Jackson arrived here in October 2011, the bazaar was almost completely abandoned. More than 400 stalls lay empty except for a lone bakery supplying bread to the Afghan Uniformed Police and local nationals. Since then, businesses have began opening in the bazaar as Kajaki residents felt safe and optimistic enough to return for the first time since 2006.

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Marine police advisors learn culture to work with Afghan police

Story by Sgt. Jacob Harrer | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.22.2012

KAJAKI DISTRICT, Afghanistan – Marine advisors with Police Advisory Team 1, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, frequently visit the Afghan Uniformed Police district headquarters here. Before entering the compound, the Marines leave their body armor and helmets in the vehicles outside as a gesture of trust that the Afghan police secured the area, and the Marines would not need their body armor around their counterparts.

Continue reading "Marine police advisors learn culture to work with Afghan police" »

Marines escort Afghan drivers, get fuel to the fight

3/22/2012 By Sgt. John Jackson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Thirty five civilian trucks carrying approximately 340,000 gallons of fuel left the outskirts of Camp Leatherneck to deliver fuel to forward operating bases in northern Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 13.

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March 20, 2012

Logistics Marines save Corps millions

3/20/2012 By Cpl. Michele Watson , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

CAMP HANSON, Afghanistan — As military operations in Afghanistan begin to shift from a combat role to an advisory role, the Marine Corps has started the process of redistributing gear throughout Afghanistan and shipping supplies back to the U.S.

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March 18, 2012

Cash is out, the eagle is in

Story by Cpl. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 03.18.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Anyone who has ever used cash to buy something at the exchange in Afghanistan is familiar with the pogs that serve as change for a purchase.

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Colorado Marine teaches discipline through martial arts in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.17.2012
Date Posted:03.18.2012 06:36

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan – Black, brown, green, gray and tan. Those are the colors of the belt levels of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program that a ‘user’ can earn.

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Marines find downtime while deployed

Story by Lance Cpl. Mark Garcia | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 03.17.2012
Date Posted:03.18.2012 04:01

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan —Deployed Marines work grueling hours to accomplish their individual missions; however, the Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6 found time in their busy schedules to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day with a barbeque, March 17.

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March 17, 2012

I am not a hero

Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.17.2012

PATROL BASE LAMBADAND, Afghanistan — Marines across the globe perform admirably in high stress, difficult situations on a daily basis.

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March 16, 2012

Arizona Marine takes responsibility to heart, saves lives

Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.16.2012

PATROL BASE ATOLL, Afghanistan — Sergeant Darin Dains Jr., a combat engineer with Bravo Company, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion (Forward), relaxes on his cot, watching movies while joking with friends. Even when relaxed Dains took the time to ask Marines how they were doing, making sure everything was okay.

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March 15, 2012

Tough first week on the job in Afghanistan

Tensions on war campaign mount amid series of incidents

Written by
Gretel C. Kovach
8:24 p.m., March 15, 2012

Maj. Gen. Charles “Mark” Gurganus and the Camp Pendleton force that took command this week of U.S. and international troops in southwestern Afghanistan are beginning their yearlong tour under the shadow of pointed new strains on the war campaign.

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Karzai: NATO should pull back to big bases

By Amir Shah and Sebastian Abbot - The Associated Press
Posted : Thursday Mar 15, 2012 9:41:32 EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan's president, angered by a U.S. soldier's alleged killings of 16 civilians, demanded Thursday that international troops pull out of villages and rural areas to main bases and let Afghan forces take the lead for countrywide security in 2013, a year ahead of schedule.

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March 13, 2012

1-star: Corps’ aircraft to back Afghan forces

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Mar 13, 2012 9:33:13 EDT

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — Marine Corps aircraft will be used to support Afghan ground forces as sizeable numbers of U.S. and coalition infantry units withdraw from Helmand province throughout the coming year.

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March 11, 2012

1st Battalion, 8th Marines demolishes insurgent fighting position

Story by Sgt. James Mercure | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 03.05.2012
Date Posted: 03.11.2012

COMBAT OUTPOST PENNSYLVANIA, Afghanistan - Historically, insurgents will fight with increased tenacity during the summer months, and during the winter and early spring they prepare.

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CLB-4 supports intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance operations with combat logistics patrol

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 03.11.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — Marines with Bravo Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 4, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), conducted a combat logistics patrol in support of counterinsurgency operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, March 4–7.

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March 9, 2012

CLB-4 overcomes mud, flooding to deliver supplies

3/9/2012 By Cpl. Mark W. Stroud , Marine Corps Bases Japan

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan — During entry-level training, Marines are taught the five stresses encountered during combat: extreme risk or fear, the fog of war, discomfort and fatigue, becoming or dealing with casualties and boredom.

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RCT-6 Marines train for combat first aid

Story by Staff Sgt. Robert Storm | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 03.09.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Afghanistan - Marines are known as warriors. They train with near religious zeal to confront, close with and engage the enemy. However, when someone is injured, the Marines from Regimental Combat Team 6 aboard Camp Delaram II are prepared to help by taking the Combat Lifesavers Course.

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March 8, 2012

Afghans, Marines brighten horizons for young students

3/8/2012 By Sgt. Michael S. Cifuentes , 1st Marine Division

KHAN NESHIN, Afghanistan — If it’s one thing Cpl. Joshua Brooks likes most about his deployment to Afghanistan, it’s his visits to the school in Khan Neshin.

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NCOs step up, serve as HIMARS chiefs in Afghanistan

3/8/2012 By Sgt. Jacob H. Harrer , 1st Marine Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE EDINBURGH, Afghanistan — The siren went off in the fire direction center, where Marines awaited the targeting data needed to launch rockets to targets. Seconds later, the trucks rolled into position, carrying rocket launcher pods ready to help troops who were receiving mortar fire. In less than five minutes, the rockets were ready to fire because of the work of junior noncommissioned officers serving as section chiefs with 3rd Platoon, Tango Battery, 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment. The soldiers on the ground lost sight of the enemy and called off the mission, and the Marines returned to their posts to await another call for fire.

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March 7, 2012

Making Strides Behind the Scenes: Afghan forces, Marines serve Garmsir from operational coordination center

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.07.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Afghanistan — Throughout Garmsir district’s developing city centers and sparsely populated desert areas, the familiar sight of Afghan National Security Forces is evidence of the growth in Afghan-led security operations.

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Optimism, thinking outside of the box, Mundy’s standard plan in Afghanistan

Story by Chief Petty Officer Leslie Shively | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 03.07.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Not long ago, Taliban ruled the roads of Musa Qala, a town in northern Helmand province. Bands of insurgents brandishing soviet-made AK-47s and lugging rocket launchers, crammed themselves into the backs of pickup trucks and paraded through the town, shouting oppressive slogans and terrorizing its residents.

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Marines heed locals’ call, provide long term bridge solution

3/7/2012 By 2nd Lt. Tyler Morrison , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

SHIR GHAZAY, Afghanistan — Combat Engineers with Bridge Platoon, Alpha Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) completed construction on a non-standard bridge that will provide a long term solution for local traffic in the area here, Mar.6.

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March 5, 2012

Texas Marines a ‘jack-of-all-trades’

Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.05.2012

AFGHANISTAN - Despite it being the hottest day in months, the Marine patrols with a constant smile, making jokes with his friends and smiling with the locals, Feb. 27.

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Precision Rocket Artillery changes the Battlefield

3/5/2012 By Sgt. Jacob H. Harrer , 1st Marine Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE EDINBURGH, Afghanistan — There was enough explosive material to construct hundreds of improvised explosive devices. Marines from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment lacked the power to destroy the huge IED cache. They called for fire, and eight rockets landed within seconds of being fired. According to the after action report from the artillery platoon, all rounds impacted on target, the site was destroyed, and there was no collateral damage.

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March 4, 2012

CLB-1 motor transport provides supplies to multiple FOBs

Story by Cpl. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 03.04.2012

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan – Marines with Motor Transport Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) made good use of their extra day this leap year providing needed supplies to patrol bases in southern Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 29.

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March 3, 2012

CLB-4 maintains physical edge

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 03.03.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — The Combat Logistics Battalion 4 motor pool hums with activity throughout the day, its frenetic bustle slowing only slightly as the sun sets, and a night-crew replaces their daytime counterparts.

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March 2, 2012

Combat Engineers tear down walls, reduce ANSF base

Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.02.2012

AFGHANISTAN - The bulldozer, unceremoniously, rams into the wall of mud bricks and straw, causing the top half to collapse. With dust and debris forming a cloud around the machine, local Afghans children gather to see what the commotion is about. The bulldozer backs up and plows into the wall again, leaving a pile of rubble where the outer wall once stood. Marines with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion spent three days leveling part of the patrol base, here, Feb. 23.

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San Diego native uses humor to connect with people of Afghanistan

Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 03.02.2012

AFGHANISTAN - First one Afghan appears, then another and another. Within minutes, Afghan children surround the patrolling Marine, Feb. 22. The sight is familiar to Lance Cpl. Edgar Lima, an assaultman, for 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon, Lima Company.

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March 1, 2012

CLB-4 conducts convoy

Story by Cpl. Mark Stroud | III Marine Expeditionary Force / Marine Corps Installations Pacific | Date: 03.02.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WHITEHOUSE, Afghanistan - A Marine convoy delivered supplies to Forward Operating Bases Nolay and Whitehouse here during an operation Feb. 14-16.

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There's No Place Like A Patrol Base

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 02.25.2012
Date Posted:02.29.2012 20:15

PATROL BASE BURY, Afghanistan — Their humble home is exceptionally primitive, but it’s all the deployed infantrymen need.

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February 28, 2012

Marine with 3/7 mentor, train the Afghan National Army

Story by Lance Cpl. Timothy Lenzo | 1st Marine Division | Date: 02.28.2012

PATROL BASE HANGAR, Sangin, Afghanistan – The patrol had just stepped off the road when gunfire opened up. The Marines and sailors with India Company immediately crouched and raised their weapons. Second Lt. Theodore Hardy, a platoon commander with the company, called for his Marines to take cover by nearby ruins.

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February 26, 2012

9th ESB Marines defy challenges, complete construction mission

Story by Cpl. Michele Watson | 1st Marine Logistics Group | Date: 02.26.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan – It’s 7 o’clock on a Sunday night. The sky is pitch black, and it is starting to rain again. The gunner strains his eyes to look for any moving figures illuminated by the frequent flashes of lightning across the sky.

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February 23, 2012

Afghan police, Marines maintain security gains at Pinjadoo precinct

Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 02.23.2012

PINJADOO, Helmand province, Afghanistan – As coalition forces continue their shift to an advisory role in Nawa and Afghan National Security Forces take the lead in counterinsurgency operations, some areas within the district are more than ready for the changeover to begin.

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February 22, 2012

Marines sweep uncharted areas of Khan-Neshin during Operation Highland Thunder

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 02.22.2012

SRE KALA, Helmand province, Afghanistan – A large plot of austere terrain in the southern portion of Khan-Neshin district is home to local farmers who make a living growing crops far from the more developed districts of southern Helmand province.

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Afghan Soldiers run Patrol Base, secure local area

2/22/2012 By Sgt. Jacob H. Harrer , 2nd Marine Division

HANJAR YAK, Helmand Province, Afghanistan — When Sgt. Zachary T. Harding and his squad of Marines arrived at the patrol base several weeks ago, they thought they would be training a squad of Afghan National Army soldiers.
However, the Marines discovered a highly proficient and hospitable group of ANA soldiers who were able to function independently, explained Harding, a squad leader with 2nd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment.

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February 17, 2012

Afghan forces, Marines meet locals, drive back insurgency in Sangin

Story by Sgt. Jacob Harrer | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 02.17.2012

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand Province, Afghanistan- Afghan soldiers from the Afghan National Army 4th Tolai, 2nd Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps and Marines from Weapons Co., 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, met with villagers and searched for insurgent assets in Reygion and De Kahkesh Karez during Operation Southern Disrupt, here, recently.

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February 16, 2012

Working dogs are Marine's best friend

Story by Staff Sgt. Robert Storm | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 02.16.2012

PATROL BASE HABIB, Helmand province, Afghanistan - A rifle may be a Marine’s best friend in combat, but a close second goes to the military working dogs that go out with the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines every day.

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Operation Shahem Tofan: Afghan Border Police, Marines extend reach toward Helmand border

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 02.16.2012

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan — The thunderous clap of low-flying helicopters reverberates off an endless desert landscape. Inside the mechanical fortress, rows of Afghan Border Police and U.S. Marines stare out the open back hatch, calmly watching the wilderness rapidly retract beneath them.

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2nd Battalion, 4th Marines charge Alekhine’s Gun

Story by Staff Sgt. Robert Storm | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 02.16.2012

PATROL BASE HABIB, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Together with their Afghan National Army partners, the Marines and sailors from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines conducted operation Alekhine’s Gun in Musa Qal’eh District, Afghanistan.

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February 14, 2012

Never a Bridge Too Far: Combat Engineers increase mobility in Garmsir

Story by Cpl. Bryan Nygaard | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 02.14.2012

GARMSIR, Afghanistan - During the last week of January, fifty-five Marines of Bridge Platoon, Alpha Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) traveled nearly 80 miles through the central portion of Helmand province in order to reach Combat Outpost Rankel, a small base located in the district of Garmsir, Helmand province. Their mission consisted of removing a medium girder bridge and replacing it with a more permanent and cost-efficient structure that would increase the mobility of the Marines and Afghans in the area.

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February 10, 2012

Illinois Corpsman works with Combat Engineers, proves his worth in Garmsir

2/10/2012 By Cpl. Bryan Nygaard , 1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)

GARMSIR, Afghanistan — During the late afternoon hours of Jan. 30, Marines with Bridge Platoon, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), were working hard to take apart a medium girder bridge in the rural district of Garmsir, Helmand province. During the disassembly, part of the bridge inadvertently gave way and landed on a Marine’s leg, sending him to the ground, writhing in pain.

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February 9, 2012

Nawa: the essence of progress

Story by Cpl. Jeff Drew | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 02.09.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Extensive improvements in Nawa district and exceptional Afghan leadership has transformed the once improvised explosive device-laden area into a peaceful paragon of progress during the last year. Residents walk casually along roads and waterways, confident in local Afghan security forces to keep them safe. The growth of illegal drugs has been nearly eradicated as citizens have begun to see the benefits of growing legal crops. Interest in education is on the rise, ensuring a brighter future for the people of Nawa. The people are happy, healthy and hopeful.

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Marines in Helmand partner, mentor in Now Zad

Story by Staff Sgt. Robert Storm | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 02.09.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE NOW ZAD, Afghanistan - As Afghanistan’s leadership seeks to take increasing control of its own country, Marines with 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines find themselves conducting more training and advisory positions to Afghan National Security Forces.

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February 7, 2012

Afghans, Marines clear illegal drugs, insurgent activity in southern Garmsir

Photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 02.06.2012
Date Posted:02.07.2012 09:51

"America's Battalion" is aiding the Afghan National Security Forces in assuming security responsibilities over Helmand province's Garmsir district. This interoperability is designed to further the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance of Afghanistan by defeating insurgent forces and helping secure the Afghan people.

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Gen. Amos visits Afghanistan

Photos by Sgt. Charles Mabry | Task Force Leatherneck | Date: 02.05.2012
Date Posted:02.07.2012 01:02

U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, and Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett, sergeant of the Marine Corps, visit with Marines from HMH-363 aboard Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, Feb. 5, 2012.

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February 6, 2012

Marine ‘Bastards’ do a magnificent job

Story by Staff Sgt. Robert Storm | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 02.06.2012

MUSA QAL'EH DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - The “Magnificent Bastards” of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines have been proving their motto “second to none” while deployed to the Musa Qal’eh District in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

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February 5, 2012

Ohio native’s initiative changes face of Afghan communications

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 02.05.2012

CAMP SHORABAK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Something spoke to 1st Lt. Joseph M. Russell’s heart as he watched the Twin Towers fall to rubble on that infamous day in September 2001. The Richmond Heights, Ohio, native heard a voice inside of him telling him to stand up against the wrongs done that day and fight for his country … so he did, not knowing his contributions would change how an entire Afghan National Army unit operates.

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February 3, 2012

Afghan Border Police, Marine partnership furthers governance in southern Helman

2/3/2012 By Cpl. Reece Lodder , Regimental Combat Team 5

BANADAR, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Situated in the southern portion of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Garmsir district has historically been a highway for insurgent movement from Pakistan.

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Through the Eyes of Infantrymen

February 3rd, 2012 // By Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde

PATROL BASE 7171, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Infantry Marines deployed to Afghanistan endure trials that Americans unfamiliar with military life cannot begin to fathom. Inclement weather, insatiable hunger, perpetual fatigue and direct combat with enemy forces are challenges frequently confronting the infantryman because he regularly operates in austere, hostile conditions. The infantry Marine in Afghanistan, commonly 18 years old and fresh out of high school, is often significantly more mature than others his age because of his unique experiences.

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February 2, 2012

Marines rescue Afghan Policemen from collapsed building

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 02.02.2012

SANGIN TUFAAN, Afghanistan - During a routine key leader engagement, Jan. 22, in Sangin Tufaan, Afghanistan, Marines with Afghan National Civil Order Police Mentorship Team Two, with 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, found themselves in a situation that was anything but routine.

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February 1, 2012

Afghanistan chapel dedicated to fallen Marines

2/1/2012 By Cpl. Justin M. Boling , 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd)

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan — A newly constructed chapel at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, was dedicated in a ceremony, Jan. 31, to Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

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January 27, 2012

Fox mobile Marines stay flexible during Operation Double Check

Story by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 01.27.2012

ATROL BASE 7171, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Armored trucks provide unique capabilities in a combat environment and mobile sections are often among the most utilized assets for a line company during an Afghanistan deployment. Missions tasked out to mobile sections can be highly variable – flexibility is a must for its Marines, especially during formal operations. The high-stress, sometimes tedious life of a mobile Marine in Afghanistan takes some getting used to as personal comfort gives way to mission accomplishment.

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ANA soldiers complete designated marksman course with Marine scout snipers

Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.25.2012
Date Posted:01.27.2012 13:37

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers with 1st Kandak, 1st Brigade, 215th Corps participated in a designated marksman course here, Jan. 21-25.

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January 26, 2012

Combat engineers build posts during Operation Double Check to improve Musa Qal’eh’s security

Story by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 01.26.2012

PATROL BASE 7171, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Marines from 2nd Platoon, Bravo Company, 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, spent the opening days of Operation Double Check building elevated security posts for Afghan National Security Force and Afghan National Police personnel. The posts, now complete, were placed in areas of southern Musa Qal’eh district, Helmand province, that lacked a coalition presence prior to the operation’s start, Jan. 3 – areas that have been plagued by an active insurgency in recent years.

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Marine’s best friend, insurgent’s worst enemy

Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.24.2012
Date Posted: 01:26:2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Helmand province, Afghanistan – When Cpl. Ross T. Gundlach enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2008, the last thing he expected to do was rely on a dog for survival while patrolling the rugged terrain of southern Helmand province.

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January 25, 2012

3/7 and FET help educate local children

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 01.25.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan — The Female Engagement Team and 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment has been conducting shuras which are community gatherings or consultations in order to help the local population outside of Forward Operating Base Jackson, Afghanistan.

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Afghan forces, Echo Company oust insurgency, establish new security posts in Musa Qal’eh

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 01.25.2012

MUSA QAL’EH DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Marines with Echo Company and members of the Afghan National Security Forces are participating in Operation Double Check, an operation to promote legitimate governance within the Musa Qal’eh district. This operation further spread the influence of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to untouched areas and provided an opportunity for Afghan forces to take on a greater role in security efforts.

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January 24, 2012

Marines, Afghan police secure southern Musa Qal’eh, work toward long-term stability during Operation Double Check

Story by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 01.24.2012

PATROL BASE 7171, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Force and Afghan National Police personnel are working with Marines and sailors from Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, to secure areas of southern Musa Qal’eh district, Helmand province, during Operation Double Check, which kicked off Jan. 3 when the Marines helicopter-inserted into the area.

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January 23, 2012

Operation Tageer Shamal: ANA conducts clearing operation through Shorshorak

Story by Cpl. Johnny Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.18.2012
Date posted: 01:23:2012

SHORSHORAK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army soldiers with 1st Brigade, 215th Corps conducted a clearing operation as part of the ongoing Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds) here Jan. 12-14.

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January 22, 2012

Musa Qal’eh: walking the path of progress

Story by Cpl. Jeff Drew | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 01.22.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Musa Qal’eh, once terrorized by insurgents, now shines as a symbol of progress in the province, thanks to the hard work and dedication of Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan officials, Afghan security forces, Marines and sailors of the 2nd Marine Division (Forward), and other coalition partners.

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January 19, 2012

Garmsir district eyes growth through ongoing school construction

Photos by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.19.2012

Twelve permanent schools are currently under construction by local contractors in Garmsir district. U.S. Marines with the civil affairs team in support of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, visited several sites to inspect the structures and ensure compliance with the quality assurance standards of the Afghan government. The buildings are projected for mid-year completion.

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Marine Infantrymen Mentor Afghan Police force in Garmsir

Video by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.13.2012
Date posted: 01:19:2012

Afghan National Police patrolmen and U.S. Marines with 2nd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, stand post at Patrol Base Amir Agha and conduct a partnered vehicle checkpoint here, Jan. 13. Produced by Cpl. Reece Lodder

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3/7 I Co. Marines maintain local relationships

Story by Cpl. Ed Galo | Regimental Combat Team 6 | Date: 01.19.2012

SANGIN, Afghanistan - The Marines of I Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment maintain a great relationship with the locals in the village outside their patrol base near Sangin.

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Poulsbo, Wash., native answers call as chaplain

1/19/2012 By Cpl. Meredith Brown , 2nd Marine Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Afghanistan — It is Saturday night. The moon is visible through the sandy haze. The sounds of Guitar Hero are heard outside a small tent. A group of Marines are gathered inside rocking out to the various bands. Lt. Bryan Davenport, the chaplain for 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division (Forward), watches the Marines give their best shot before piping up from the back row and asking to get the next turn.

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January 18, 2012

Atlanta Marine follows in father’s footsteps, powers Marines in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.18.2012

CAMP DWYER, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Each Marine has a unique reason for joining the Corps: some enlist out of pride, some want to see a foreign land, and some do it simply to serve their country.

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Combat engineers improve ‘Old Silk Road’

Story by Master Gunnery Sgt. Phil Mehringer | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 01.18.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Nearly 150 Marines from 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward)’s 9th Engineer Support Battalion converged in the open Helmand desert on a dry river bed known as a wadi. They needed to quickly build a land bridge through the wadi, rushing to complete the project before the seasonal, heavy monsoon rains began.

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January 17, 2012

Cpl. Karl Winar

Video by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.17.2012

U.S Marine Cpl. Karl Winar, a 20-year-old motor transport operator with Trucks Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, and a native of Flemington, N.J., sends a shout out to his family. Produced by Cpl. Reece Lodder. Also available in high definition.

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Mission accomplished: Marine Osprey squadron flies last mission of Afghanistan deployment

Story by Cpl. Justin Boling | 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) | Date: 01.17.2012

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan - A Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey squadron flew its final combat mission, Jan. 17, to complete its deployment to Afghanistan.

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Marine helicopter mechanic in Afghanistan saves lives with maintenance discovery

Story by Cpl. Brian Jones | 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) | Date: 01.17.2012

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan - A Marine Corps sergeant in Afghanistan who unearthed a never-before-seen maintenance issue in a UH-1Y Huey was recently awarded by the Marine Corps for his potentially lifesaving find.

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January 16, 2012

Marine infantrymen mentor Afghan police force in Garmsir

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.13.2012
Date posted: 01:16:2012

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan — When U.S. Marines with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, arrived here in early November, they met an Afghan National Police force primed for development.

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January 14, 2012

Women’s center provides new opportunities for Afghan women

Story by Cpl. Meredith Brown | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 01.14.2012

NOW ZAD DISTRICT, Afghanistan - The Now Zad District Women’s Center in Helmand province, Afghanistan officially opened for business during a ceremony at the facility, Jan. 11. More than 100 local women and children attended. The center offers a safe place for the local women to congregate and work.

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January 13, 2012

9th ESB combat engineers demilitarize Afghanistan firebase

Courtesy Story | III Marine Expeditionary Force / Marine Corps Installations Pacific | Date: 01.13.2012
By Cpl. Bryan Nygaard
2ND MARINE LOGISTICS GROUP (FWD)

FIREBASE SAENZ, Afghanistan Firebase Saenz has been destroyed. Its defenses have been torn down, and its walls have been completely leveled. This destruction was not caused by insurgents – it was the handiwork of Marines with 9th Engineer Support Battalion.

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Norwich, Conn., native accepts new challenge with Female Engagement Team

1/13/2012 By Cpl. Meredith Brown , 2nd Marine Division

SANGIN, Afghanistan — When Kimberly Ryan stepped into the Navy recruiter’s office at age 18, she had no idea what she wanted to do. All she knew was she wanted to get out of Connecticut and broaden her horizon.

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January 12, 2012

Atlanta Marine sees truth through war

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 01.12.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Modern cinema often portrays human life in a manner that seems too surreal, with large explosions and quick timelines that turn hours into a matter of minutes. Sergeant Mamadee Toure recalled growing up in Monrovia, Liberia, seemed like an over-dramatized movie in slow motion, but it was a childhood that led him to what he is doing today.

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January 10, 2012

Operation Tageer Shamal: Afghans, Marines extend presence west of Helmand River

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.10.2012

GARMSIR DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan — The heart of Garmsir district is safe.

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Marines pursue Taliban into Helmand’s outer reaches

January 10th, 2012 | Battle Rattle | Posted by James Sanborn

Third Battalion, 3rd Marines, is shifting the fight in Helmand province to the countryside in pursuit of fighters who have been driven to the region’s remote outer reaches over the past two years.

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Major route construction projects near completion in Helmand

Story by Sgt. Justin Shemanski | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 01.10.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Marine engineers with 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) have nearly completed two major route construction and improvement projects in Helmand province.

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January 9, 2012

Afghan, Marine forces clear remnants of insurgency in southern Helmand

Story by 2nd Lt. Chris Harper | Regimental Combat Team-5Afghan, Marine forces clear remnants of insurgency in southern Helmand, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.08.2012
Date Posted:01.09.2012 15:02

CAMP DWYER, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces with Regimental Combat Team 5 have launched Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds), a clearing operation focused on removing the final strains of the insurgency in southern Helmand province.

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Great grandfather earns the French Fourragere, great grandson wears it

Story by Cpl. Jonathan Merkley | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 01.08.2012
Date Posted:01.09.2012 13:10

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Helmand province, Afghanistan – A person would be hard pressed to find an organization with the history and traditions as rich as those of the United States Marine Corps.

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Afghan, Marine forces clear remnants of insurgency in southern Helmand

By Chris Harper, Regimental Combat Team 5

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan, (January 9th, 2012) — Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces with Regimental Combat Team 5 have launched Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds), a clearing operation focused on removing the final strains of the insurgency in southern Helmand province.

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January 6, 2012

Combat engineers perform route recon mission, paving the way for road improvements in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Meredith Brown | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 01.06.2012

SHIR GHAZAY, Afghanistan - Two Marines carefully stepped out of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle and extended their metal detectors to full length during a route reconnaissance mission on Route Red, Jan. 1-3. The quick checks were conducted to calibrate the detectors and the Marines began the meticulous sweeping process, ensuring that the area was clear of improvised explosive devices.

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January 2, 2012

“A day in the life…" The division chaplain makes his way around Task Force Leatherneck, one FOB at a time.

Story by Maj. Bradley Gordon | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 01.02.2012

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - “This is what it’s all about,” said Cmdr. Christopher Fronk, chaplain for 2nd Marine Division (Forward). “There’s nothing better than getting out to the Marines, to share their time and their devotion.”

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Marines save Afghans in daring canal rescue

By James K. Sanborn - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jan 2, 2012 10:26:48 EST

A routine Afghan-Marine foot patrol was thrown into chaos Dec. 2 when a car traveling more than 40 mph struck the point man, plunging both car and soldier violently into a nearby canal.

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January 1, 2012

Postal Marines awarded for holiday season work ethic

Story by Sgt. Justin Shemanski | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 01.01.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - When skimming through the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal citations for Lance Cpls. Caitlin E. Johnson and Markevis J. Seth, it was evident as to why they were standing tall and proud before a general officer, Dec. 30, 2011.

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Doc West: A corpsman dedicated to his Marines

Story by Cpl. Daniel Wulz | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 01.01.2012

FORWARD OPERATING BASE PAYNE, Afghanistan – Throughout the history of the Marine Corps, the navy corpsman has played a vital role alongside Marines, cauterizing wounds on ships as far back as the Revolutionary War and the days of the Continental Navy. Even in the iconic photo for the flag-raising on Iwo Jima, Petty Officer 2nd Class John Bradley, a pharmacist's mate (a previous hospital corpsman rate), can be seen alongside Marines on Mt. Suribachi.

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2nd MLG (FWD) continues Operation Clean Sweep, Accounting for millions of dollars worth of gear and equipment

Story by 2nd Lt. James Stenger | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 01.01.2012

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Over the last three months, Marine and sailors of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) have accounted for, sorted, cleaned and processed several millions of dollars worth of gear and equipment in support of Operation Clean Sweep aboard Camp Leatherneck and Camp Dwyer.

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December 31, 2011

UAV delivers cargo in first warzone run

By James K. Sanborn - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Dec 31, 2011 9:22:05 EST

Resupply missions just got safer for Marines in Afghanistan with the first delivery of goods by unmanned helicopter.

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Afghan soldiers, Marines join forces to patrol southern Garmsir district

Photos by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.30.2011
Date Posted:12.31.2011 07:34

. 'America's Battalion' is aiding the Afghan National Security Forces in assuming security responsibilities over Helmand province's Garmsir district. This interoperability is designed to further the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance of Afghanistan by defeating insurgent forces and helping secure the Afghan people.

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From insurgent hotbed to commercial hub: Afghans, Marines clear Safar Bazaar of remnants of illegal activity during Operation Sandman

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.28.2011
Date Posted:12.31.2011 07:20

SAFAR BAZAAR, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Safar Bazaar was once a hotbed for insurgents, its shops teeming with illegal drugs and streets laden with improvised explosive devices.

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December 29, 2011

Mississippi native kicks, punches his way to Corps

Story by Cpl. Marco Mancha | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.29.2011

COMBAT OUTPOST CASTLE, Afghanistan - His childhood was spent moving all over the Unites States. Time and again the boy had to learn to start over in a new city with his mother. Fortunately the Meridian, Miss., native didn’t let the constant relocating deter him from his love of flying kicks and fast strikes.

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Alabama Marine uses gift of encouragement in Helmand

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.29.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Those who work with Mario T. Handley on a daily basis clearly see there is something different about him. Being a Marine is not about doing a job for this Birmingham, Ala., native, but rather an opportunity to fulfill his purpose in life.

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December 28, 2011

Female Engagement Team 8, Afghan members host children’s shura

Courtesy Story | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.28.2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan – With 53 little, smiling faces in attendance, members of Female Engagement Team 8 joined Afghan National Security Force troops recently to host a children’s shura aboard the base in Sangin district, Helmand province.

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Norwich, Conn., native accepts new challenge with Female Engagement Team

Story by Cpl. Meredith Brown | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.28.2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE JACKSON, Afghanistan - When Kimberly Ryan stepped into the Navy recruiter’s office at age 18, she had no idea what she wanted to do. All she knew was she wanted to get out of Connecticut and broaden her horizon.

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December 27, 2011

Operation Eagle Hunt Gets off the Ground

December 27, 2011
Marine Corps News|by Cpl. Marco Mancha

Helmand province, Afghanistan -- United States Marines and Afghan National Security Forces filled the air with dust recently as dozens of their vehicles rolled into the desert. Afghan camouflage-painted humvees and small, green trucks with gun turrets led the way into the lower region of the province in search of insurgents.

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Long live the King: Marine returns to Corps after 21 years, shares wisdom with juniors

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.27.2011

KAJAKI SOFLA, Afghanistan - He can be found in the early mornings, rousing exhausted twenty year-olds from the rack with a mug of steaming coffee in hand, or come evening, shrouded in a veil of cigar smoke, reclining in a leather armchair within a plank and plywood shack of his own construction.

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December 25, 2011

... And another day on the job in Afghanistan

By O’Ryan Johnson
Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas will be another work day for local U.S. Marines deployed in Afghanistan — driving supplies, standing watch or patrolling the deadly Helmund province that has been their home since May.

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Operation Noel: Marine helicopters spread Christmas spirit in Afghanistan

Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Flurry | 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) | Date: 12.25.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - Capt. Jeff Barnes isn’t really Santa Claus, but don’t tell that to the Marines in Afghanistan.

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Marines, sailors of ‘America’s Battalion’ celebrate Christmas in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.25.2011

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Helmand province, Afghanistan — At work a world away from home, the Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment celebrated Christmas in Afghanistan, Dec. 25.

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December 24, 2011

Killing Time: Channeling boredom into board games

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.21.2011
Date Posted:12.24.2011 02:31

COMBAT OUTPOST KOSHTAY, Helmand province, Afghanistan — A group of infantry Marines huddle around a Scrabble board, barely visible beneath filthy camouflage utilities and a mishmash of warming layers. Sheltered in the meager warmth of an unheated concrete room, they fill their down time by channeling boredom into a board game.

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December 23, 2011

‘You always wish you could do more:’ Chaplain brings cheer to Marines in Helmand province during holiday season

Story by Cpl. Katherine M. Solano | 2nd Marine Logistics Group | Date: 12.23.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan - For many Marines, missing holidays due to deployments is often a fact of life. It can be prepared and planned for, but when these festive occasions arrive, and the Marine is continents away, there is not much that makes the separation any easier.

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What is Task Force Belleau Wood

Story by Cpl. Timothy Solano | Regional Command Southwest | Date: 12.23.2011

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Maintaining an area of operations comparable to the size of New York City and neighboring boroughs is a full time job for the service members of Task Force Belleau Wood, who have held down Camp Leatherneck and its surrounding area since the unit arrived in early 2011.

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Combat engineers provide support for Operation Eagle Hunt

Story by Cpl. Marco Mancha | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.23.2011

HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - These Marines are trained to lead patrols as point men and sweep for any improvised explosive devices, the enemy’s favored weapon. They are also trained in construction and demolitions, making them a versatile force multiplier on the battlefield.

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Unmanned helicopter makes first delivery for Marines in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Justin Boling | 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) | Date: 12.23.2011

CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan -- Unmanned systems have revolutionized combat aviation, providing a colossal advantage in the fight against terror with surveillance and close-air support.

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December 22, 2011

Combat engineers tear down patrol bases throughout Helmand province, paving way for Afghan pullout

12/22/2011 By Cpl. Bryan Nygaard , 9th Engineer Support Battalion

FIREBASE SAENZ, Afghanistan — Firebase Saenz has been destroyed. Its defenses have been torn down and its walls have been completely leveled. This destruction was not caused by insurgents – it was the handiwork of Marines from the 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward).

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December 20, 2011

'Walking Dead' passes torch to 'The Ready Battalion' in Nawa

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.18.2011
Date Posted:12.20.2011 08:43

FORWARD OPERATING BASE GERONIMO, Helmand province, Afghanistan – The people of Nawa have seen a clear difference since the Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, first arrived in their district.

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The road less travelled; Marines push COIN along Route 611

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.20.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Afghanistan - The dirt along Route 611 has been pulverized to dust, turned to a trail of fine powder dotted with boot prints belonging to the Marines of Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. The footprints cover the landscape, blown away by wind, convoys of armored transports and civilian caravans, only to be replaced the following morning by another series of exhausting patrols.

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December 19, 2011

With transition in sight, Afghan soldiers lead Marines in patrolling Garmsir district

Photos by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.19.2011

On the patrol, the ANA and Marines interacted with local citizens and conducted a vehicle checkpoint. The Marines of "America's Battalion" are aiding the Afghan National Security Forces in assuming security responsibilities over Helmand province's Garmsir district. Their interoperability is designed to further the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance of Afghanistan by defeating insurgent forces and helping secure the Afghan people.

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December 18, 2011

Combat cooks feed 'America’s Battalion' in Afghanistan

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011
Date Posted:12.18.2011 07:15

FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELHI, Helmand province, Afghanistan — The clock has barely passed 4 a.m., and the base is asleep. Few souls aboard Forward Operating Base Delhi have stirred to brave the morning cold, a bitter chill that lingers until it’s been chased away by the mid-day sun.

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December 16, 2011

Getting the word out in the Upper Sangin Valley

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.16.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Nestled along Route 611, one of the few improved roads in Northern Helmand province, sits Patrol Base Florida, a home away from home for the Marines of 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

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Getting the word out in the Upper Sangin Valley

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.16.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Nestled along Route 611, one of the few improved roads in Northern Helmand province, sits Patrol Base Florida, a home away from home for the Marines of 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.

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December 15, 2011

Motor transport platoon keeps Marines, Afghans supplied

Story by Cpl. Alfred V. Lopez | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.13.2011
Date Posted:12.15.2011 09:45

NAWA DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan – The Marine Corps is an American machine. This machine fights battles, participates in humanitarian relief efforts and executes counter-insurgency operations around the world on a daily basis.

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Iowa Marine sets security, keeps morale high on Afghan deployment

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

FIRE BASE FIDDLER’S GREEN, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Having peace of mind means each service member with Headquarters Battery can concentrate on his specific job to accomplish the mission. Being able to laugh eases the tensions jobs bring while in a combat zone. These Marines and sailors have a brother-in-arms who provides them with both peace of mind and laughter, keeping morale high as they serve a seven-month tour in Afghanistan.

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Florida native creates ties with sea-service brothers on Afghan deployment

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

FIRE BASE FIDDLER’S GREEN, Helmand province, Afghanistan — While closing in on high school graduation, Lance Cpl. Mitchell L. Young, a Tampa, Fla., native, made the decision to take life into his own hands and chose a path no one in his family had pursued before.

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New York Marine follows father’s footsteps, wears many hats on deployment

Story by Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

FIRE BASE FIDDLER’S GREEN, Helmand province, Afghanistan – It is not uncommon for Marines to spend birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays away from family, and some children may not understand why their parents cannot be home for these significant days. One North Tonawanda, N.Y., native wondered the same thing for years, but it wasn’t until becoming a Marine he began to understand why his father couldn’t always be around.

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Female Engagement Team builds trust, rapport with women in Sangin

Story by Cpl. Meredith Brown | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberly Ryan stands in an open crop field surrounded by children. Greetings of “salaam alaikum,” which translates to peace be unto you, are said as she high-fives the local residents. Smiles spread across the faces of the children and laughter rings out through the brisk morning air as the sailor attempts Pashtu, the language spoken in the area.

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Mobile Marines reflect on epic summer

Story by Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde | 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

PATROL BASE BEATLEY, Helmand province, Afghanistan – The mobile section of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, has provided reliable support for the platoon throughout its deployment by conducting a myriad of logistical missions and frequently supporting dismounted patrols. The section’s Marines have worked tirelessly since arriving in Afghanistan and continue to provide support as needed as the battalion nears its return to the United States.

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Medical initiative brings hope to isolated communities

Story by Cpl. James Clark | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.15.2011

SANGIN DISTRICT, Helmand province, Afghanistan - Nearly 100 civilians crowded the small dusty road outside of Patrol Base Florida, in the Sangin District, Dec. 2. Some had traveled by taxi from far off villages, having heard through word of mouth that the Marines and Afghan forces with 1st Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, would be holding a medical initiative, or temporary clinic, that day.

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December 14, 2011

Marines plunge into frigid canal to save nine Afghans

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.14.2011

KUCHINEY DARVISHAN, Helmand province, Afghanistan — Dimly illuminated by a sliver of moonlight, eight shadowy figures quietly patrolled a gravel road set against a swiftly flowing canal.

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December 11, 2011

Repetitive yet reliable, vehicle checkpoints protect Afghans and Marines

Story by Cpl. Reece Lodder | Regimental Combat Team-5, 1st Marine Division | Date: 12.11.2011

SAR BANADAR, Helmand province, Afghanistan — A short distance off a dusty Afghan road, two U.S. Marines brave the chill of an early winter morning as they await a flood of local traffic.

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December 10, 2011

Operation Western Gambit clears insurgents in Now Zad

Story by Cpl. Clayton Vonderahe | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.10.2011

NOW ZAD DISTRICT, Afghanistan - Marines and sailors wait in the cold, dark, desolate Afghan desert. The air is heavy with moisture, teasing the troops with a potential downpour.

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Wadi crossing opens for Musa Qal’eh

Story by Staff Sgt. Ryan Smith | Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division | Date: 12.10.2011

MUSA QAL'EH, Afghanistan - Commerce and travel through the District of Musa Qal’eh just became easier with the completion and grand opening of the Musa Qal’eh Wadi Crossing, Dec. 9.

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