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    International Security Assistance Force troops strike insurgent positions in Now Zad, Helmand province



    Courtesy Story

    International Security Assistance Force HQ Public Affairs

    KABUL, Afghanistan — International Security Assistance Force troops conducted a major combat operation against insurgent forces in Now Zad, Helmand province, on April 3.

    U.S. forces of the Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force — Afghanistan struck well-known enemy locations identified within and near the Now Zad District center.

    "Now Zad's District center is kind of a unique place in Afghanistan because there is no local civilian population," said 1st Lt. Mike H. Buonocore, the executive officer of the Marine ground combat element's Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment.

    During the combat operation, the Marines targeted positively identified enemy positions where insurgent attacks have originated from over the past several months. The locations were identified with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets.

    The two major components involved in the operation included ground force and aerial assault assets. Enemy targets were destroyed through combined fire from artillery, aircraft, mortars and ground troops.

    U.S. forces conducted a raid on a known enemy position, while other Marines held blocking positions to ensure insurgent reinforcements were denied freedom of movement and the opportunity to engage the Marine forces.

    US Navy F/A-18C Hornet fighter-attack aircraft, an Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber, Marine AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters, the Army's tactical missile system and the Marines' high mobility artillery rocket system set conditions for the operation by employing precision munitions on key insurgent targets.

    Additional munitions were used on other known enemy positions to ensure the Marine ground force was successful. Upon initial disruption of the enemy locations, the assault element moved in and conducted site exploitation.

    "We were able to engage some enemy targets before they engaged us," said Cpl. Taylor E. Vogel, a forward observer with the 81 mm mortar platoon. "We were able to drop mortars on [enemy] fire teams. We definitely achieved what we wanted to. We destroyed the big targets that have been occupied by enemy forces."

    Leading up to the operation, the Marines had proactively conducted combat operations in Now Zad's District center. Marines also took precautions by using leaflet drops and radio broadcasts in the area to warn the population in nearby villages of dangers in the area, which helped create conditions that resulted in little or no collateral damage.



    Date Taken: 04.18.2009
    Date Posted: 04.20.2009 12:51
    Story ID: 32611
    Location: KABUL, AF 

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