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    Marines capture 20 during operation in northern Musa Qa’leh

    AFGHANISTAN

    05.15.2012

    Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik 

    Regimental Combat Team 6

    MUSA QA’LEH DISTRICT, Afghanistan – Marines with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment disrupted insurgent activity in northern Musa Qa’leh district during Operation Ox Bow, May 8-12.

    The operation led to the arrest of about 20 suspected enemy combatants. Most of them tested positive for handling bomb-making materials, including one carrying approximately 40 pounds of homemade explosives.

    “During Operation Ox Bow, we went to the northern Musa Qa’leh wadi (dry stream bed) to disrupt the insurgents involved with drug activity, weapons finance and collecting taxes for the Taliban,” said 1st Lt. John D. Black, platoon commander with Weapons Company, 2nd Bn., 5th Marines.

    The four-day operation was in an area of Musa Qa’leh where coalition forces rarely venture, but the impact they made was a necessary step to bringing stability and security to the region.

    “The Marines had a significant impact on the area,” said Capt. Jordan P. Jones, assistant operations officer, 2nd Bn., 5th Marines. “They pulled up a lot of narcotics, weapons and numerous bomb making material. Also, they forced fighters out of the area for a few days.”

    While the Marines helped to clear the area, Afghan National Security Forces built relationships with the locals to better control the area.

    “The people up there live in constant fear of insurgents,” said Jones, 30, from New Orleans. “They welcome opportunities for the expansion of the government, but they are cautious because of that fear they live in.”

    The successful operation built the confidence of Afghan National Army soldiers from the 3rd Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps, as well as the Afghan National Police, who now patrol the area.

    “Once the clearing was completed, (the ANSF) were able to move in on former insurgent safe havens,” said Jones. “They proved to local nationals they can keep an area secure without coalition support.”

    A large part of the Marines’ mission was to negate rumors spread about International Security Assistance Force dissidents.

    “We were there also attempting to combat the propaganda insurgents put out,” said Black, 29, from Spokane, Wash. “We showed locals they need to put aside their differences and work with (the Afghan government) to create a more peaceful environment.”

    The operation, intended to stifle enemy supply lines, led to the capture of several improved explosive device makers, pulling them out of their IED workshops and into ANSF jails.

    “We interdicted their ability to finance the insurgency,” said Black. “It will make it more difficult to complete attacks into the fighting season.”

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Second Battalion, 5th Marines is a part of Regimental Combat Team 6. RCT-6 falls under 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.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.15.2012
    Date Posted: 05.15.2012 11:17
    Story ID: 88446
    Location: AF

    Web Views: 1,340
    Downloads: 4

    PUBLIC DOMAIN