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    2/5 Marines search suspicious compounds in Musa Qa’leh

    2/5 Marines search suspicious compounds in Musa Qa’leh

    Photo By Cpl. Kenneth Jasik | Marines with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, patrol through a poppy field in Musa...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik 

    Regimental Combat Team 6

    MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – During Operation Lariat, Marines and sailors patrolled the Musa Qaleh district to an area previously untouched by coalition forces, April 14-18.

    Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, engaged in multiple firefights with insurgents while searching suspicious buildings for supplies used by insurgents east of their normal operating area.

    “Right before we got to the town with our objectives, we started taking fire,” said Lance Cpl. Elliott Del Rio, rifleman with Golf Co. “We moved to a hilltop and held our ground.”

    During the next two hours of fighting, Golf Co. Marines received heavy fire, but they were able to take control of the situation using accurate machine gun and mortar fire. The Marines had no cover, and one was shot, but many more insurgents were killed or wounded.

    “The enemy lost numerous fighters, and the (Afghan National Army) conducted multiple raids within their security bubble and eliminated (insurgent) leaders,” said Capt. Ben M. Middendorf, company commander, Golf Co. “The (insurgents) were forced to regroup.”

    The insurgent attack broke after about two hours of fighting, and they retreated to a compound across the valley, where 2/5 Marines requested and air strike.

    While Marines searched suspicious compounds far away from areas normally patrolled by International Security Assistance Forces, ANA soldiers closer to the district center conducted raids on suspicious compounds. Their partnered efforts hindered insurgent activity and attempted attacks in Musa Qa’leh.

    “I always like working with the ANA,” said Del Rio, 21, from Anahiem, Calif., “They are good guys. They have a different way of doing things, but it works for them.”

    The four-day patrol included little logistical support. Most Marines carried nearly 50 pounds of gear and supplies including their armor, weapons, food and ammo as they patrolled on foot an average of 6 miles a day. During periods where they were allowed to rest, the Marines still had to be on guard because they were in such hostile territory.

    “The Marines had the ability to sustain themselves,” said Middendorf, 33, from Rochester, Minn. “They did everything Marines do that would make our forefathers proud. This operation showed that Marines are masters of their craft as infantrymen.”

    Editor’s note: Second Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, is a part of Regimental Combat Team 6. RCT-6 is a subordinate command of 1st Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.



    Date Taken: 04.27.2012
    Date Posted: 04.27.2012 04:53
    Story ID: 87438
    Location: AF

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