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    Special Ops Marines Deliver in Southern Afghanistan

    Special Ops Marines Deliver in Southern Afghanistan

    Courtesy Photo | Marines with a Marine Special Operations Company and an Afghan national army soldier...... read more read more

    AFGHANISTAN

    03.17.2008

    Courtesy Story

    Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs

    By Staff Sgt. Luis P. Valdespino Jr., USMC
    Special to American Forces Press Service

    HELMAND PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Special operations Marines deployed to Afghanistan's Helmand province operate at a fast pace.

    Accompanied by a small group of Afghan national army soldiers, the Marines are constantly on the go: visiting villages, distributing humanitarian aid and always searching for insurgents. Their breaks between operations vary from 12 hours to three days.

    Part of the 2-year-old Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, they thrive on missions that have them patrolling for enemy forces. "We don't like being on the (forward operating base)," one MSOC Marine said.

    In the northern part of the province, an MSOC leatherneck said, his Marines were attacked four times throughout a four-day mission. He described how they overcame enemy machine-gun positions, mortar attacks and rocket-propelled grenades. "Needless to say, we silenced their weapons," another MSOC Marine said.

    On their next mission, a three-day assignment in the province's north-central region to visit villages, the Marines slept on the desert ground – in sleeping bags, but not on cots. On foot patrol through the first village with no schedule constraints, they took no shortcuts. In full combat gear, they searched all compounds, streets and paths in the village. When it was secure, they set up distribution sites for the humanitarian aid they brought with them.

    On the second day, the unit came under attack within five minutes of arriving at a small village. Immediately, the MSOC Marines positioned themselves throughout the village and began engaging the enemy insurgents. Halfway into what turned out to be a nearly four-hour battle, a Marine who seemed to never rest said with a grin, "We're not done yet." He seemed unfazed that earlier a rocket-propelled grenade missed him by less than two feet.

    Despite several other close calls, the Marines relentlessly pursued the insurgents until they secured the village, and the Taliban fighters were either killed or fled. Before they were done, the MSOC hospital corpsmen cared for and treated villagers injured by insurgents.

    Afterward, Marine leaders met with village elders and committed to return with much-needed aid and support, as long as the Marines had the villagers' support.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 03.17.2008
    Date Posted: 03.19.2008 14:24
    Story ID: 17550
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 148
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