U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Evan Frickey, a dog handler with 3rd Marine Regiment, plays with Cookie, an improvised explosive device detection dog, while providing security at the Safar School compound, Garmsir district, Afghanistan, on March 18, 2012. DoD photo by Cpl. Reece Lodder, U.S. Marine Corps.
Earlier today I wrote about the Marines who were ordered to get rid of their weapons in order to meet with the SecDef. I just picked up the following update from telegraph.uk
Major General Mark Gurganus later said he gave the order because Afghan troops attending the talk were unarmed and he wanted the policy to be consistent for all.
A commenter on this blog post earlier today told me the same thing.
Having a General give this order is even worse than a DA Civilian doing it. This General should be relieved immediately. He should also renounce himself being a Marine and be ashamed of himself.
What does this say of him as a leader if he can’t trust his own Marines? What does it say of him as a leader if he doesn’t trust the men he leads? I am disgusted a someone who called themselves a General and a Marine would give such an order.
This is a great video produced by the NRA of Oliver North showing the new Missile equipped C-130 the Marines have. It is sort of like a AC-130 Spectre Gunship that the Air Force flies, but not as heavily armed.
My heart goes out to the families, friends and comrades of these brave young Marines. It is one thing to lose your life in combat to the enemy. It is a shame to lose it in an accident.
The Department of Defense announced Wednesday the deaths in Afghanistan of three Camp Lejeune-based Marines assigned to Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
Staff Sgt. Patrick R. Dolphin, 29, of Moscow, Pa.; Sgt. Dennis E. Kancler, 26, of Brecksville, Ohio; and Sgt. Christopher M. Wrinkle, 29, of Dallastown, Pa., died July 31 in Herat Province, Afghanistan, according to DoD reports.
Dolphin, Kancler and Wrinkle were assigned to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, Marine Special Operations Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command.
According to MarSOC officials, the deaths were a result of a non-combat related incident that also left one Marine and one Soldier injured. Marine Corps Times reported that the three Marines and a military dog were killed when their living quarters caught fire in Afghanistan.
The incident is under investigation, officials said, and more information will not be released until the investigation is complete. The names of the injured troops have been withheld.
My good friend Andrew Lubin is back in Afghanistan on what is like his 6th or 7th trip there. He is again writing up his blog posts for Leatherneck magazine called “Notes from the Field”.
This is classic COIN, taken from the “Small Wars Manual,” as the Marines interact with the Afghan farmers, elders and bazaaris (merchants), including teaching the children basic English while learning equally basic Pashtu. From the amount of mutual waving and smiling, as well as the locals tipping off the Afghan Army-Afghan Police to a 350- pound cache of IED-making materials two weeks ago, it is clearly an effective strategy. There has not been a firefight or IED incident in some two months. When the prior Marine unit here opened Patrol Base Achmed, knowing the Marine reputation for fighting, the Taliban quickly left the area, and only sporadically return (see my May 25, Operation Arctic Elephant report).
If you are not a normal reader of the youserved.com milblog then let me make you aware of a great series of blogs that my good friend, Marcus has started and will br writing and posting there.
In addition to being a milblogger, producer of You Served Radio and a Marine, Marcus is a Marine in SC. A fellow Marine of his has been selected to be the recipient of the latest Extreme Makeover Home Edition renovation. Marcus has put up several posts already here, here and here.
After you read those, then stay tuned to YouServed.com as he works to put up at least one a day if not more, to include audio and video interviews with those involved with the project.
B-roll of Marines of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines have been operating in the upper Sangin valley for three months. When they arrived, Marines say they couldn’t move beyond several hundred feet from their post before being engaged by Taliban fighters. Over their time here, they have expanded that security zone, but they still meet the Taliban almost daily in fire fights. In this video, Marines are seen patrolling, scouting, searching for IEDs, shooting at Taliban fighters and searching compounds. 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines is based out of Camp Pendleton, Calif. Produced by Sgt. Dean Davis
The folks at DOD PAO had another decent Blogger’s Roundtable that I decided to participate in. It was with Marine Colonel Randy Newman who was the Commander of RCT-7 in Helmand Province Afghanistan. In this roundtable He discussed his leadership experience in Afghanistan and combat and civil operations there. He also discussed the work his Marines did and the challenges that remain.
I had the chance to ask him two questions. One was about the good news story of the turn-around of Nawa district and the other was about Marine amputees being deployed under his command. Nawa was a very nasty area when the RCT first moved into Helmand and was always on the news with a lot of death and destruction. Many of our brave Marines have lost their lives there. However you never hear about it anymore because it has been completely secured and turned around. I asked the Col about his engagement of PAOs and his work to get the message out about how they secured that area.
I have had a lot of interest on this blog about my stories of wounded warriors going back into combat, especially amputees. So I wanted to ask about that.
The other bloggers also has some very good questions that they asked of the Col. so be sure to listen to the whole clip. The entire roundtable only took 30 minutes or so.
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