Entering the Trek Nawa District of Helmand province, Afghanistan, Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, made a bold military presence absent to the region for nearly a year.
Arriving Sept. 26, the Marines helped occupy Patrol Base Lambadand for four days and patrolled through the area alongside the Afghan National Army soldiers who call the base their home.
“We recently expanded our battle space and picked up that position (PB Lambadand),” said Capt. Glen Taylor, Weapons Co. commander. “So it was kind of an introduction to that battle space and to those ANA soldiers up there. We had to evaluate where they were at in their proficiency level and see what the enemy was doing in that area.”
Each day, the Marines pushed out patrols with the ANA to get a better feel for their newly inherited area of responsibility and to learn the capabilities of their Afghan counterparts.
During the first patrol, the Marines and ANA soldiers came under fire from an enemy who knows how to play their part all too well.
“They’ve been doing this for a while and they know what works,” said Taylor of the insurgents. “They do a very good job of understanding the rules we need to operate under and exploiting those. They mainly disguise themselves as civilians. They operate out of our view, hiding their weapons and identities until they get into their firing positions.
“They look for advantages against us, try to hit us when we are not looking, from multiple angles,” added Taylor.
Despite their tactics, the enemy was no match for the Marines coupled with the ANA soldiers.
Once the insurgents were fired upon, they fled.
Weapons Company will continue to frequent areas throughout their operational zone to include PB Lambadand.
They will also continue to aid the ANA as much as they need and equipping the soldiers with the skill set they need to prevail.
“We’d like to get those guys some new techniques up there, so they can keep the Taliban off their backs,” said Sgt. Tristan Kyzer, with Weapons Co. “I don’t think that the area is going to be completely pacified by the time we leave, but I think that we can give them some new tactics to help out.”
Weapons Company will be bringing their deployment in Afghanistan to a close in the coming months. As they continue to aid the ANA by helping them improve their techniques, the security and future of Afghanistan grows stronger.
Article by Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr., 1st Marine Regiment