BOLDAK, Afghanistan - Marines with 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regional Command [Southwest] conducted Operation Pegasus II near Patrol Base Boldak in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Nov. 10, in an effort to limit the movement of lethal aid in Helmand province.
Lethal aid continues to be problematic for coalition forces near Boldak, a small, isolated village only a few miles from Camps Leatherneck and Bastion. The marines of 1/9 have organized several clearing operations in the region since they arrived in Afghanistan in September and much like the others, this operation focused on searching compounds suspected of having ties to insurgency.
Charlie Company, 1/9, did a helicopter insertion into the area to patrol on foot from compound to compound in search of weapons caches or materials used to make improvised explosive devices. Marines with Alpha Company established road blocks to prevent insurgents from leaving the area or being reinforced.
The operation was successful. The battalion detained a suspected insurgent, seized materials used to make IEDs, and removed a roadside bomb.
“By operating in the area and detaining insurgents and confiscating harmful materials we’re basically letting the enemy know that we’re not going to allow them to hide,” said Sgt. Jeffrey McCarty, Personal Security Detachment’s platoon commander with Alpha Co. from Warren, Mich. “It’s a good feeling knowing that we’re not only keeping Marines and Coalition forces safe, but also the civilians in the area, by removing insurgents and their resources. At the end of the day, we’re trying to make it home safe, but we’re trying to make it safe for them in their environment as well.”
Following the operation, Marines discovered the insurgent they had apprehended was involved in several attacks on Marines near Boldak, including an attack in October which resulted in the death of Lance Cpl. Christopher Grant, a rifleman with 1/9.
“[Grant] was in my old platoon,” said Lance Cpl. Frederick Martin, a rifleman with the Personal Security Detachment, from Brandenburg, Ky. “It hurt when he was killed. But to know that we were able to apprehend someone that helped in the attack was a gratifying feeling for me.”