News: Marines with 1st Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company provide security for units operating in Helmand province, Afghanistan
Story by Cpl. Cody M. D. Haas
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.
Marines mounted in vehicles and convoyed approximately two hours from Camp Leatherneck to Patrol Base Boldak to redeploy excess supplies while 1st ANGLICO provided overwatch security.
“It went very well,” said Cpl. Steven Peterson, a joint fires observer with 1st ANGLICO, Regional Command (Southwest). “We had about nine months of a predeployment workup. We completed exercise Burmese Chase with our United Kingdom counterparts and received Joint Tactical Medicine training before deploying to Afghanistan.”
First ANGLICO Marines provide a way for units to receive air, ground or naval gunfire support in situations on the battle space where U.S. or coalition forces have identified a threat or target in their area of operation.
The Marines ensured units such as 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and Combat Logistics Battalion 1 were safe by constantly verifying the surrounding area with Marines operating aircraft above, tasked with providing air support for the convoy.
“First ANGLICO is designed to pair up with units operating in or around a Marine combat area,” said Capt. Aaron Tyler, a fire control team leader with 1st ANGLICO. “We partner with coalition forces that do not have fire support units with them.”
A unit such as 2nd CEB specializes in route clearance and may have a need to call for fire support during an operation but does not have the capability. One or two ANGLICO Marines will attach to the unit for the duration of the operation for added security.
During the nine-hour security operation none of the units had any incidents or vehicles break down.
“We are prepared for anything,” said Peterson, a native of Quincy, Massachusetts. “We train for a very high standard of efficiency. We handle any close-air or fire support. We find the target, and critique everything in each scenario so we can handle anything on the fly. Everyone knows what they have to do and what part they play. We are all very well trained in our field.”
Marines with 1st ANGLICO deployed to Afghanistan from Camp Pendleton, California, during May. The Marines relieved 2nd ANGLICO after a six-month tour in Afghanistan.
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