COMBAT OUTPOST SHUKVANI, Afghanistan -- In a combat environment, the word liaison represents a means of communication for ensuring mission accomplishment, which is exactly the mission of 2nd Air-Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.
2nd ANGLICO provides Marine commanders with liaison capability among joint, allied and coalition forces. Over the past six months, Marines of Supporting Arms Liaison Team Chuck, 2nd ANGLICO, have provided this capability to Regimental Combat Team 8 by partnering with the 32nd Georgian Light Infantry Battalion.
Operating from Combat Outpost Shukvani, near Sangin, the Georgians have been working to clear nearly 15 square kilometers of insurgent forces. ANGLICO Marines have supported them in this endeavor by coordinating patrols and promoting an understanding of the Marine commander’s intent.
“They help things run smoothly,” said Capt. Tariel Makharashvili, the deputy commander of 32nd LIB. “They’ve given us helpful advice in many different situations, especially patrolling. With their help, we’ve killed a lot of Taliban.”
However, where 2nd ANGLICO really shines is in making bombs drop on the enemy. With ANGLICO assets located in the combat operations center at Shukvani, the Fire Control Teams engage insurgent forces with close air support. These teams consist of multiple forward observers and radio operators who accompany the Georgians on patrols, or sometimes the Marines will just provide overwatch from observation posts.
“We’re an extension of the patrol,” said Lance Cpl. Timothy Boudrieau, a radio operator with FCT 5, SALT C, 2nd ANGLICO. “We provide overwatch and look for anything suspicious. If they take contact from insurgents, we try to get eyes on at where they are taking fire.”
Once the Marines are able to locate insurgents, they call in a request for air support from the joint terminal attack controller at the combat operations center. From there, the Georgian ground commander decides whether or not he wants to make fire rain from the sky on the insurgents. If the request is approved, the JTAC then communicates with aircraft flying over the area where to drop the bombs.
“When the call for fire gets cleared hot, we know the Taliban are about to have a real bad day,” said Boudrieau, a native of Rindge, N.H. “They didn’t wake up in the morning thinking they were going to get a bomb dropped on their heads. Watching aircraft drop a bomb or do a gun-run – it never gets old.”
In addition to directing air support, ANGLICO Marines coordinate safe arrivals at landing zones and medical evacuations.
“Their supporting fire was extremely helpful and whenever we needed a medical evacuation, they had a helicopter here right away,” said Lt. Col. Phridoa Tereladze, commanding officer of 32nd LIB. “ANGLICO is excellent. All of the ANGLICO Marines, from enlisted to officers, have helped us.”