4 years, 4 months ago
U.S. Marines with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Company G, 3rd Marine Division, conduct a patrol the morning of June 26.
From the USMC:
The Marines conduct both day and night operations in Now Zad because the difference can be advantageous to varying missions. The consensus among the Marines is that the eerie feeling that comes with patrolling through the mine-littered streets of an abandoned city increases exponentially at night as the wind howls through the alleyways and visibility decreases. But, they overcome any existing fears with the confidence they have in one another, and they press forward.
“As each day goes by, we get more intelligence on the enemy than they get on us – that is comforting,” said Forte.
Their patrols are not only dangerous, they require a leader with intelligence and tactical proficiency. The many natural and man-made obstacles across the battlefield in addition to the Taliban-made mines bring further complexity to their area of operation.
“Finding the best route and maneuvering the patrol through areas that could have mines anywhere is the hardest part,” according to Forte who has lead more than 25 patrols here in the last two months. “I try to think clearly and do what seems best. I just want to keep my guys alive.”
The Marines in Now Zad know what sacrifice is all about. They understand it. They live it. Their way of life is summarized in a saying that is posted in the 3rd Plt. headquarters – “I have not ceased to be fearful, but I have ceased to let fear control my life.”
I can only continue to point out the sheer lunacy of continued patrols through deserted towns which have enough of a Taliban presence to mine the town to this degree, the Taliban having cordoned themselves off from the population in order to engage in kinetic operations with the Marines.
In counterinsurgency we pray for such engagements. With this area so dangerous that they are the only Marine unit to bring along two trauma doctors, the question why we continue to under-resource this particular location with Marines while we field entire an Battalion of Marine infantry aboard Amphibious Assault Docks in the Persian Gulf and elsewhere is unanswered, and the situation leaves me simply dumbfounded.
The Taliban are begging for a fight. The Marines oblige, but we refuse them the troops they need to do the job.
Now Zad Category