PATROL BASE KAKAR, HELMAND PROVINCE,, AFGHANISTAN
PATROL BASE KAKAR, Helmand province, Afghanistan - In the low lands of Gereshk, Afghanistan, the Marines of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, know they are being watched by the insurgency.
This becomes apparent on many patrols and convoys moving between Patrol Base Kakar and Patrol Base 302, which the Marines have emplaced to disrupt enemy activity in the area.
On July 24 and 25, the Marines of 3rd Platoon, Company K, found out about the enemy surveillance and readied their guns for a possible fight.
The fight soon found them.
A patrol of Marines and vehicles were making the 500-meter march between the bases when loud shots from an insurgent AK-47 pierced the air. With the element of Marines now under attack, machine gunners from Observation Post Kakar observed the enemy muzzle blasts and trained their guns for the moment.
With loud, almost deafening booms of a MK-19 grenade launcher and an M2 .50 caliber machine gun, the Marines engaged the enemy fighting position. The Marines have given this enemy position a nick name: The Mansion.
“When we receive fire along this route, it always comes from the mansion,” said Cpl. Brandon Barrone, a squad leader for 3rd Platoon. “We intercepted the enemy talking about an attack so I had my boys poised and ready for contact.”
The Marines were quickly on target during the eight-minute battle. Using the 40 mm grenade rounds to their advantage, the Marines made quick work of shredding enemy plans for a longer attack.
“The response was immediate,” said Barrone, a Las Vegas native. “We heard chatter from our position at 302 saying the enemy had eyes on our patrol. After we get any information like that, we always stand to. I had my boys ready to get on the Mk-19 and .50 cal to provide immediate suppression because we have overwatch of the area from our small post. Snipers said they had positive identification, so we engaged. Either we killed the enemy or they ran away. They broke contact. Everything went real smooth and real fast and everyone’s fine so it was a good day.”
Overall, there were no Marine casualties but a truck took a hit as a burst of rounds from an AK-47 impacted on the side armor of the truck.
“It was good to get the Mk-19 on target in the first burst and we shot about 70 rounds of high explosive, dual purpose. No body wants to stick around and fight through 70 rounds of grenades landing on top of you,” added Barrone.
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This work, 3/4 Marines take, return fire near Gereshk, Afghanistan, by SSgt Ryan Smith, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.