8 years ago
U.S. Marines patrol single file on April 1, 2009 through Now Zad in Helmand province Afghanistan.Taliban have buried IEDs throughout the abandoned city, and U.S. forces there patrol through unpaved areas behind a mine sweeper in “Ranger file” to avoid stepping on the hidden explosives (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images).
In Marines in Now Zad Afghanistan II, we observed that “Now Zad is currently abandoned. Perhaps someone in the chain of command could drop by and explain the strategic and/or tactical significance of patrolling and holding an abandoned town. Do we intend to secure it, rebuild it, and repopulate it with the original citizens?”
Probably not because The Captain’s Journal asked, but nonetheless timely, a fuller account comes out as to what actions are being taken and why.
Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan conducted a major combat operation against insurgent forces in Now Zad, Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, April 3.
The Marines of Company L, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment (Reinforced), the ground combat element of Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Afghanistan, struck well-known enemy locations identified within and near the insurgent-infested Now Zad District center.
“Now Zad’s District center is kind of a unique place in Afghanistan because there is no local civilian population,” said 1st Lt. Mike H. Buonocore, the executive officer of Co. L.
Company L was reinforced by engineers with Combat Logistics Battalion 3, the logistics combat element of SPMAGTF-A, aviation support from the aviation combat element, rocket artillery support from SPMAGTF-A’s Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, Air Force and Navy aviation assets and Army rocket artillery support. During the combat operation, the Co. L Marines targeted positively identified enemy positions where insurgent attacks have originated from over the past several months. Other locations were identified with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets.
The two major components involved in the operation were a ground force and an aerial assault. Enemy targets were destroyed by combined fires from rocket artillery, aircraft, mortars and ground troops …
The ground scheme of maneuver employed Co. L as the main effort by conducting a raid on a known enemy position, while other Marines held blocking positions to ensure insurgent reinforcements were denied freedom of movement and the opportunity to engage the Marine forces …
Leading up to the operation, the Marines had proactively conducted combat operations in Now Zad’s District center daily in order to shape the battlefield by moving insurgents into disposable positions. Marines took precaution by using leaflet drops and radio broadcasts in the area to warn the population in nearby villages of danger in the area, which helped create agreeable conditions that would result in little or no collateral damage.
Nice. A thinking man’s battle space. ” … proactively conducted combat operations in Now Zad’s District center daily in order to shape the battlefield by moving insurgents into disposable positions.”
That was the answer we were looking for.
God bless the U.S. Marines in Now Zad, Afghanistan.
Update: The Captain’s Journal thanks Richard at EU Referendum for the props.