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    'Erie Company' reflects on successful deployment

    'Erie Company' reflects on successful deployment

    Photo By Gunnery Sgt. Adam Leyendecker | Lance Cpl. Nicholas Sainz, assistant team leader for 1st Platoon, Company E, 3rd Light...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Adam Leyendecker 

    Regional Command Southwest

    PATROL BASE WOLFPACK, Afghanistan - Alone in the middle of the desert, winds pound Marines of 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion’s Company E with dust and sand. But not even the scorching heat or evening rain can bring down morale as the company’s troops approach the end of the unit’s deployment.

    With great accomplishments also came great sacrifice for the Marines during the seven-month deployment, said Capt. Christopher L. Buck, commanding officer for Company E and native of Perry, Mich.

    Company E, also know within the battalion as Erie Company, traveled often during their stay in Afghanistan. Starting in northern Helmand province, Marines provided security as contractors built a road up to Sangin. During the company’s time in Sangin, the Marines encountered small arms fire from insurgents as well as attacks from improvised explosive devices.

    Still, they were not deterred and did not back down, said Buck. The Marines have become much more aware of finding IEDs, he said.

    Upon completion of the mission in northern Helmand, the unit travelled south near Forward Operating Base Payne in support of Operation Big Valley.

    During Operation Big Valley, Marines communicated with the local Afghans and found 27 IEDs in two days, said 1st Sgt. Tony R. Murchison, the company first sergeant and native of Raleigh, N.C.

    Erie Company didn’t stop there, as it continued to push through the desert toward Bahram Cha in support of Operation Rawhide. After the raid in Bahram Cha, Marines assessed their effect on the insurgency.

    “The insurgency in Bahram Cha was disrupted,” said Buck, who is on his eighth deployment. “Instead of going straight through Bahram Cha, they must now go hundreds of miles around us to get to the north.

    “Now the insurgency must establish new lines of communication and find new ways to deliver supplies to the insurgency in the north,” he said. “We hear it from the Marines up there, saying how much our disruption of the insurgency in Bahram Cha has helped fight the insurgency up in Sangin.”

    There was more good news for Erie Company when the Marines conducted a raid in Chotu village, finding more than 54 million dollars in weapons and drugs.

    “We arrived to Chotu so fast and caught the insurgents so off guard that when we arrived we found hot chow still sitting on the table,” said Buck.

    The Marines of Erie Company continue to conduct interdictions in the final weeks of their deployment as they await the arrival of the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. While the mission continues, the Marines say they are eager to go home to see their families.

    “Once we arrived in country, it felt like time stopped, but at home it keeps going,” said Lance Cpl. Nicholas Sainz, assistant team leader for Erie Company’s 1st Platoon and native of La Habra, Calif. “Our families, they don’t have us there, but we are fortunate because we have a brotherhood here.”

    Perhaps the greatest accomplishment for Erie Company is that every Marine will be returning home to their families.



    Date Taken: 04.16.2011
    Date Posted: 04.19.2011 12:37
    Story ID: 68983

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