Showing 13 posts tagged 3MR

Unbreakable.
Cpl. Matt Garst is unbreakable. The squad leader from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, stood on his own free will immediately after triggering an anti-personnel, improvised explosive device directly beneath his feet, which sent him tumbling six feet up and 15 feet through the air before landing on his limp head and shoulders during a patrol to the east of his company’s newly established observation post in Southern Shorsurak, Helmand province, Afghanistan, as part of Operation New Dawn, June 23. Thanks to luck, Garst’s tenacity, and mistakes by the enemy, the IED comprised of three liters of homemade explosive only partially detonated and Garst absorbed the blast unharmed, hold for feeling “like hell” the next day. Garst, from Charlotte, N.C., led his Marines the four miles back to their post after the blast. Following a day of recovery, he began patrolling efforts again. “I’m an aggressive person,” Garst said. “It pissed me off. All I want to do is make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m just happy it wasn’t any of my guys. I’m not happy to get blown up by any means. I would have loved for it to have never happened. But, if it’s going to be anyone I’d rather it be me, and if it’s going to be a bomb, I’d rather it be that bomb, because it didn’t do shit.” Operation New Dawn is a joint operation between Marine Corps units and the Afghanistan National Army to disrupt enemy forces, which have been using the sparsely populated region between Marjah and Nawa as a safe haven.
(Photo and article by Sergeant Mark Fayloga, 23 JUN 2010.)
SOUTHERN SHORSURAK, Afghanistan — Cpl. Matt Garst should be dead.Few people survive stepping on an improvised explosive device. Even fewer walk away the same day after directly absorbing the force of the blast, but Garst did just that.A squad leader with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Garst was leading his squad on a patrol in Southern Shorsurak, Afghanistan, June 23 to establish a vehicle checkpoint in support of Operation New Dawn. The men were four miles from Lima Company’s newly established observation post when they approached an abandoned compound close to where they needed to set up their checkpoint. It would serve well as an operating base — a place for the squad to set up communications and rotate Marines in and out of. But first, it had to be secured.As they swept the area with a metal detector, the IED registered no warning on the device. The bomb was buried too deep and its metallic signature too weak. Two men walked over it without it detonating. At six feet, two inches tall and 260 pounds with all his gear on, Garst is easily the largest man in his squad by 30 or 40 pounds — just enough extra weight to trigger the IED buried deep in hard-packed soil.Lance Cpl. Edgar Jones, a combat engineer with the squad, found a pressure plate inside the compound and hollered to Garst, asking what he should do with it. Garst turned around to answer the Marine and stepped on the bomb. “I can just barely remember the boom,” Garst said. “I remember the start of a loud noise and then I blacked out.”Since Garst’s improbable run-in with the IED, his tale has spread through the rest of the battalion, and as often happens in combat units, the story mutates, the tale becoming more and more extraordinary about what happened next: He held onto his rifle the whole time … He actually landed on his feet … He remained unmoved, absorbing the impact like he was muffling a fart in a crowded elevator …What really happened even eludes Garst. All went black after the earth uppercut him. When he came to, he was standing on his feet holding his weapon, turning to see the remnants of the blast and wondering why his squad had a look on their faces as if they’d seen a ghost.Marines in Lima Company think Garst is the luckiest guy in the battalion, and while that may seem a fair assessment, it was the enemy’s shoddy work that left Garst standing. The three-liters of homemade explosive only partially detonated.Marines who witnessed the event from inside the compound caught glimpses of Garst’s feet flailing through the air just above the other side of the building’s eight-foot walls. The explosion knocked him at least fifteen feet away where he landed on his limp head and shoulders before immediately standing back up.Not quite sure of what had just happened, Garst turned back toward the blast, now nothing but a column of dirt and smoke rising toward the sun.“My first thought was, ‘Oh s—-, I just hit an IED,’” he said. “Then I thought, ‘Well I’m standing. That’s good.’”Garst’s squad stared at him in disbelief. The square-jawed Marine has a tendency to be short-tempered, and the realization that the blast was meant to kill him spiked his adrenaline and anger.“It pissed me off,” he said.He directed his men to establish a security perimeter while letting them know in his own way that he was OK.“What the f—- are you looking at?” he said. “Get on the cordon!”Garst quickly radioed back to base, calling an explosive ordnance disposal team and quick reaction force.“I called them and said, ‘hey, I just got blown up. Get ready,’” he said. “The guy thought I was joking at first. ‘You got blown up? You’re not calling me. Get out of here.’”Once EOD cleared the area, Garst led his squad the four miles back to their observation post — just hours after being ragdolled by an IED blast.“I wasn’t going to let anybody else take my squad back after they’d been there for me,” he said. “That’s my job.”The next day Garst awoke with a pounding headache and was as sore as he’d ever been in his life.“Just getting up from trying to sleep was painful,” he said.But he saw no reason being sore should slow him down. He popped some ibuprofen and after a day of rest, Garst was back out on patrol, showing his Marines and the enemy that just like his resolve — Garst is unbreakable. High-res

Unbreakable.

Cpl. Matt Garst is unbreakable. The squad leader from Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, stood on his own free will immediately after triggering an anti-personnel, improvised explosive device directly beneath his feet, which sent him tumbling six feet up and 15 feet through the air before landing on his limp head and shoulders during a patrol to the east of his company’s newly established observation post in Southern Shorsurak, Helmand province, Afghanistan, as part of Operation New Dawn, June 23. Thanks to luck, Garst’s tenacity, and mistakes by the enemy, the IED comprised of three liters of homemade explosive only partially detonated and Garst absorbed the blast unharmed, hold for feeling “like hell” the next day. Garst, from Charlotte, N.C., led his Marines the four miles back to their post after the blast. Following a day of recovery, he began patrolling efforts again. “I’m an aggressive person,” Garst said. “It pissed me off. All I want to do is make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m just happy it wasn’t any of my guys. I’m not happy to get blown up by any means. I would have loved for it to have never happened. But, if it’s going to be anyone I’d rather it be me, and if it’s going to be a bomb, I’d rather it be that bomb, because it didn’t do shit.” Operation New Dawn is a joint operation between Marine Corps units and the Afghanistan National Army to disrupt enemy forces, which have been using the sparsely populated region between Marjah and Nawa as a safe haven.

(Photo and article by Sergeant Mark Fayloga, 23 JUN 2010.)

SOUTHERN SHORSURAK, Afghanistan — Cpl. Matt Garst should be dead.

Few people survive stepping on an improvised explosive device. Even fewer walk away the same day after directly absorbing the force of the blast, but Garst did just that.

A squad leader with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Garst was leading his squad on a patrol in Southern Shorsurak, Afghanistan, June 23 to establish a vehicle checkpoint in support of Operation New Dawn. 

The men were four miles from Lima Company’s newly established observation post when they approached an abandoned compound close to where they needed to set up their checkpoint. It would serve well as an operating base — a place for the squad to set up communications and rotate Marines in and out of. But first, it had to be secured.

As they swept the area with a metal detector, the IED registered no warning on the device. The bomb was buried too deep and its metallic signature too weak. Two men walked over it without it detonating. 

At six feet, two inches tall and 260 pounds with all his gear on, Garst is easily the largest man in his squad by 30 or 40 pounds — just enough extra weight to trigger the IED buried deep in hard-packed soil.

Lance Cpl. Edgar Jones, a combat engineer with the squad, found a pressure plate inside the compound and hollered to Garst, asking what he should do with it. Garst turned around to answer the Marine and stepped on the bomb. 

“I can just barely remember the boom,” Garst said. “I remember the start of a loud noise and then I blacked out.”

Since Garst’s improbable run-in with the IED, his tale has spread through the rest of the battalion, and as often happens in combat units, the story mutates, the tale becoming more and more extraordinary about what happened next: He held onto his rifle the whole time … He actually landed on his feet … He remained unmoved, absorbing the impact like he was muffling a fart in a crowded elevator …

What really happened even eludes Garst. All went black after the earth uppercut him. When he came to, he was standing on his feet holding his weapon, turning to see the remnants of the blast and wondering why his squad had a look on their faces as if they’d seen a ghost.

Marines in Lima Company think Garst is the luckiest guy in the battalion, and while that may seem a fair assessment, it was the enemy’s shoddy work that left Garst standing. The three-liters of homemade explosive only partially detonated.

Marines who witnessed the event from inside the compound caught glimpses of Garst’s feet flailing through the air just above the other side of the building’s eight-foot walls. The explosion knocked him at least fifteen feet away where he landed on his limp head and shoulders before immediately standing back up.

Not quite sure of what had just happened, Garst turned back toward the blast, now nothing but a column of dirt and smoke rising toward the sun.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh s—-, I just hit an IED,’” he said. “Then I thought, ‘Well I’m standing. That’s good.’”

Garst’s squad stared at him in disbelief. The square-jawed Marine has a tendency to be short-tempered, and the realization that the blast was meant to kill him spiked his adrenaline and anger.

“It pissed me off,” he said.

He directed his men to establish a security perimeter while letting them know in his own way that he was OK.

“What the f—- are you looking at?” he said. “Get on the cordon!”

Garst quickly radioed back to base, calling an explosive ordnance disposal team and quick reaction force.

“I called them and said, ‘hey, I just got blown up. Get ready,’” he said. “The guy thought I was joking at first. ‘You got blown up? You’re not calling me. Get out of here.’”

Once EOD cleared the area, Garst led his squad the four miles back to their observation post — just hours after being ragdolled by an IED blast.

“I wasn’t going to let anybody else take my squad back after they’d been there for me,” he said. “That’s my job.”

The next day Garst awoke with a pounding headache and was as sore as he’d ever been in his life.

“Just getting up from trying to sleep was painful,” he said.

But he saw no reason being sore should slow him down. He popped some ibuprofen and after a day of rest, Garst was back out on patrol, showing his Marines and the enemy that just like his resolve — Garst is unbreakable.

Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Ingots of Iron.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Garrett Reed (left), a 22-year-old squad automatic weapon gunner from Plano, Texas, and Sgt. Roger Merritt, a 26-year-old squad leader from Horn Lake, Miss., assigned to the 81 mm Mortar Platoon, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, talk as they return to Patrol Base 00 following a security patrol. Merritt and Reed are among the faces of a historic transition. They were unique ingredients in the melting pot of service members that prepared the Afghan National Security Forces to assume lead security responsibility in Helmand province’s Garmsir district.
(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 8 FEB 2012.) High-res

Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Ingots of Iron.

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Garrett Reed (left), a 22-year-old squad automatic weapon gunner from Plano, Texas, and Sgt. Roger Merritt, a 26-year-old squad leader from Horn Lake, Miss., assigned to the 81 mm Mortar Platoon, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, talk as they return to Patrol Base 00 following a security patrol. Merritt and Reed are among the faces of a historic transition. They were unique ingredients in the melting pot of service members that prepared the Afghan National Security Forces to assume lead security responsibility in Helmand province’s Garmsir district.

(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 8 FEB 2012.)

The blurry lines of loyalties, ethics, & motivation in a war zone: meet the most crooked cop in Afghanistan.
A local elder watches Afghan National Army soldiers and U.S. Marines with 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment search his compound during Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds). Over the past five years, coalition forces have operated with Afghan National Security Forces to defeat the insurgency in the central Helmand River valley. Driven from the green zones, or populated areas, of districts in southern Helmand, enemy fighters have sought refuge in bed-down locations west of the Helmand River. This area on the outskirts of Garmsir district has been, until now, nearly untouched by the partnered forces and the Afghan government. During the four-day operation, Afghan forces and Marines with 3/3 cleared the area of insurgent activity, weapons and improvised explosive device-making materials, and held shuras to address the concerns of local elders.
(Photo by Sergeant (then Corporal) Reece Lodder, 4 JAN 2012. Article by Dan Lamothe, Foreign Policy staff writer for Stars and Stripes, 1 NOV 2013. Source.)
WASHINGTON — Afghan police chief Sarwar Jan was accused of sexually abusing teen boys on U.S. bases in Afghanistan when U.S. Marines pressed to have him removed from power in a violent district in 2010. Turns out that might only be the beginning of his crimes, though. According to new documents obtained by Foreign Policy, coalition forces also believe he extorted money from civilians, operated illegal security checkpoints and was working with the Taliban, selling the insurgent group weapons and police uniforms for cash.
The accusations are outlined in a witness statement submitted in support of Marine Maj. Jason Brezler, who faces an administrative hearing in which Marine Corps officials could toss him out of the service for warning fellow Marines about Sarwar Jan through an email on an unclassified network.
One month after Brezler sent that message to Afghanistan, Sarwar Jan’s teen-aged servant, Aynoddin, allegedly opened fire on Marines working out in a dusty gym at Forward Operating Base Delhi in Helmand province. Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, Cpl. Richard Rivera and Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley - all 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd MEF attached to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, from Camp Lejeune, N.C. as members of a police adviser team — were killed in that Aug. 10, 2012 insider attack. A fourth Marine, Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode survived, but sustained five gunshot wounds.
[That same day, three Marines died in a “Green on Blue” incident in Sangin district as well. Gunnery Sergeant Ryan Jeschke, Captain Matthew P. Manoukian, and Staff Sergeant Sky R. Mote were gunned down by an Afghan policeman.]
The incident underscores the mixed allegiances and hostilities of some Afghan commanders, 12 years into the war in Afghanistan. Commanders like Sarwar Jan frequently resurface in new assignments after being drummed out of their old ones. The practice frustrates military forces advising them and jeopardizes the coalition’s mission, according to a new witness statement submitted on Brezler’s behalf by Paul Davies, a British civilian who worked alongside the Marines and Sarwar Jan last year in Afghanistan.
"The recycling of corrupt, predatory and untrustworthy (in terms of the insurgency) senior police officers is one of the most disturbing and mission-defeating aspects of the current intervention," Davies wrote in a statement dated Oct. 23 and obtained by Foreign Policy.
Sarwar Jan took command in Garmsir in 2012, shocking Marines who were aware of the police commander’s alleged misdeeds in another district in Helmand, Musa Qala. Sarwar Jan’s alleged sales of police uniforms to the Taliban were of particular concern in light of the rash of insider attacks that killed coalition forces last year, Davies wrote. In some of those cases, insurgents dressed as Afghan forces opened fire on coalition troops.
Sarwar Jan’s unsavory background is getting new attention now as Brezler, a reservist, faces an administrative hearing in November that could end his military career. A board of officers in New Orleans, the home of Marine Corps Forces Reserve, will determine whether he is guilty of “substandard performance of duty and misconduct, or moral or professional dereliction” for his unclassified email warning about Sarwar Jan, according to an Aug. 30 memo sent to Brezler by Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, who leads the reserve command.
Brezler, a New York City firefighter in his civilian life, learned about Sarwar Jan while deployed as a civilian affairs officer to Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in 2009 and 2010. Brezler and other Marines successfully forced Sarwar Jan out as the police chief there after receiving complaints about him. When Marines deployed last year sent Brezler an email asking about the police chief, he responded with a quick warning, and then realized some of the information he shared might have been classified.
Brezler has advocates both in the Marine Corps and on Capitol Hill. Several Marine generals have written letters in support of the administrative board going easy on him, and U.S. Rep. Peter King and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both of New York, have written to the Corps on his behalf. Gillibrand urged leniency for the major in an Oct. 21 letter to Brig. Gen. Richard Simcock in the Marine Corps’ Senate liaison office.
"I understand that Maj. Brezler received an urgent request for information from Marines in Afghanistan," Gillibrand wrote. "Maj. Brezler immediately responded with the information, which could have been used to save the lives of fellow Marines. Maj. Brezler’s location in Oklahoma precluded him from access and using classified military networks for the transmission of this information in an expeditious manner. When Maj. Brezler was informed that the information he forwarded might be classified, he immediately reported the potential security breach."
The high-powered D.C. law firm Quinn Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan has taken Brezler’s case on pro bono. His lawyer, Kevin Carroll, said it was well known that Sarwar Jan sexually abused the alleged shooter, and that the police chief was allowed access to the Marine base.
"There is no evidence or allegation that anyone other than security-cleared Marine officers read Brezler’s email, and no sources or methods were jeopardized," Carroll said. "I have reviewed the email, and requested that the Marine Corps declassify it, because there is no information in it which, if publicly disclosed, would harm U.S national security."
A Marine Corps spokesman, Col. Francis Piccoli, said service officials will not comment further on Brezler’s case because they do not want to influence administrative panel, known as a board of inquiry, or jeopardize the major’s due-process rights. Mills, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Reserve, will review the board’s recommendation, and then forward it to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus. High-res

The blurry lines of loyalties, ethics, & motivation in a war zone: meet the most crooked cop in Afghanistan.

A local elder watches Afghan National Army soldiers and U.S. Marines with 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment search his compound during Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds). Over the past five years, coalition forces have operated with Afghan National Security Forces to defeat the insurgency in the central Helmand River valley. Driven from the green zones, or populated areas, of districts in southern Helmand, enemy fighters have sought refuge in bed-down locations west of the Helmand River. This area on the outskirts of Garmsir district has been, until now, nearly untouched by the partnered forces and the Afghan government. During the four-day operation, Afghan forces and Marines with 3/3 cleared the area of insurgent activity, weapons and improvised explosive device-making materials, and held shuras to address the concerns of local elders.

(Photo by Sergeant (then Corporal) Reece Lodder, 4 JAN 2012. Article by Dan Lamothe, Foreign Policy staff writer for Stars and Stripes, 1 NOV 2013. Source.)

WASHINGTON — Afghan police chief Sarwar Jan was accused of sexually abusing teen boys on U.S. bases in Afghanistan when U.S. Marines pressed to have him removed from power in a violent district in 2010. Turns out that might only be the beginning of his crimes, though. According to new documents obtained by Foreign Policy, coalition forces also believe he extorted money from civilians, operated illegal security checkpoints and was working with the Taliban, selling the insurgent group weapons and police uniforms for cash.

The accusations are outlined in a witness statement submitted in support of Marine Maj. Jason Brezler, who faces an administrative hearing in which Marine Corps officials could toss him out of the service for warning fellow Marines about Sarwar Jan through an email on an unclassified network.

One month after Brezler sent that message to Afghanistan, Sarwar Jan’s teen-aged servant, Aynoddin, allegedly opened fire on Marines working out in a dusty gym at Forward Operating Base Delhi in Helmand province. Staff Sgt. Scott Dickinson, Cpl. Richard Rivera and Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley - all 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine Division, 3rd MEF attached to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, from Camp Lejeune, N.C. as members of a police adviser team — were killed in that Aug. 10, 2012 insider attack. A fourth Marine, Staff Sgt. Cody Rhode survived, but sustained five gunshot wounds.

[That same day, three Marines died in a “Green on Blue” incident in Sangin district as well. Gunnery Sergeant Ryan Jeschke, Captain Matthew P. Manoukian, and Staff Sergeant Sky R. Mote were gunned down by an Afghan policeman.]

The incident underscores the mixed allegiances and hostilities of some Afghan commanders, 12 years into the war in Afghanistan. Commanders like Sarwar Jan frequently resurface in new assignments after being drummed out of their old ones. The practice frustrates military forces advising them and jeopardizes the coalition’s mission, according to a new witness statement submitted on Brezler’s behalf by Paul Davies, a British civilian who worked alongside the Marines and Sarwar Jan last year in Afghanistan.

"The recycling of corrupt, predatory and untrustworthy (in terms of the insurgency) senior police officers is one of the most disturbing and mission-defeating aspects of the current intervention," Davies wrote in a statement dated Oct. 23 and obtained by Foreign Policy.

Sarwar Jan took command in Garmsir in 2012, shocking Marines who were aware of the police commander’s alleged misdeeds in another district in Helmand, Musa Qala. Sarwar Jan’s alleged sales of police uniforms to the Taliban were of particular concern in light of the rash of insider attacks that killed coalition forces last year, Davies wrote. In some of those cases, insurgents dressed as Afghan forces opened fire on coalition troops.

Sarwar Jan’s unsavory background is getting new attention now as Brezler, a reservist, faces an administrative hearing in November that could end his military career. A board of officers in New Orleans, the home of Marine Corps Forces Reserve, will determine whether he is guilty of “substandard performance of duty and misconduct, or moral or professional dereliction” for his unclassified email warning about Sarwar Jan, according to an Aug. 30 memo sent to Brezler by Lt. Gen. Richard Mills, who leads the reserve command.

Brezler, a New York City firefighter in his civilian life, learned about Sarwar Jan while deployed as a civilian affairs officer to Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in 2009 and 2010. Brezler and other Marines successfully forced Sarwar Jan out as the police chief there after receiving complaints about him. When Marines deployed last year sent Brezler an email asking about the police chief, he responded with a quick warning, and then realized some of the information he shared might have been classified.

Brezler has advocates both in the Marine Corps and on Capitol Hill. Several Marine generals have written letters in support of the administrative board going easy on him, and U.S. Rep. Peter King and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, both of New York, have written to the Corps on his behalf. Gillibrand urged leniency for the major in an Oct. 21 letter to Brig. Gen. Richard Simcock in the Marine Corps’ Senate liaison office.

"I understand that Maj. Brezler received an urgent request for information from Marines in Afghanistan," Gillibrand wrote. "Maj. Brezler immediately responded with the information, which could have been used to save the lives of fellow Marines. Maj. Brezler’s location in Oklahoma precluded him from access and using classified military networks for the transmission of this information in an expeditious manner. When Maj. Brezler was informed that the information he forwarded might be classified, he immediately reported the potential security breach."

The high-powered D.C. law firm Quinn Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan has taken Brezler’s case on pro bono. His lawyer, Kevin Carroll, said it was well known that Sarwar Jan sexually abused the alleged shooter, and that the police chief was allowed access to the Marine base.

"There is no evidence or allegation that anyone other than security-cleared Marine officers read Brezler’s email, and no sources or methods were jeopardized," Carroll said. "I have reviewed the email, and requested that the Marine Corps declassify it, because there is no information in it which, if publicly disclosed, would harm U.S national security."

A Marine Corps spokesman, Col. Francis Piccoli, said service officials will not comment further on Brezler’s case because they do not want to influence administrative panel, known as a board of inquiry, or jeopardize the major’s due-process rights. Mills, the commander of Marine Corps Forces Reserve, will review the board’s recommendation, and then forward it to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

Battle Buddies.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Zachery Fisher (right) and Cpl. Matthew Gusty, riflemen and fire team leaders with 3rd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, salute Gen. James Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, after Amos presented them Purple Heart Medals during his visit to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Gusty, 26, from North Versailles, Pa., and Fisher, 22, from Roanoke, Va., were injured in an improvised explosive device attack in the Khan Neshin district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 19.
(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 3 August 2012 via DVIDS.) High-res

Battle Buddies.

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Zachery Fisher (right) and Cpl. Matthew Gusty, riflemen and fire team leaders with 3rd Platoon, India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, salute Gen. James Amos, the 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, after Amos presented them Purple Heart Medals during his visit to Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Gusty, 26, from North Versailles, Pa., and Fisher, 22, from Roanoke, Va., were injured in an improvised explosive device attack in the Khan Neshin district of Helmand province, Afghanistan, Feb. 19.

(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 3 August 2012 via DVIDS.)

Cobra Venom.
U.S. Marines Corps Capt. Rob “Big Nasty” Gambrell a Joint Terminal Attack Controller from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay uses a radio to call out target information to a Marine UH-1Y Venom and a AH-1W Super Cobra from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) during a close air support Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2012 live fire combat training mission over the Pohakuloa Training Area, (PTA) Hawaii. HMLA-169 is part of the aviation combat element of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 3.
Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC exercises from Jun. 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the worlds oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971.
(Department of Defense photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth, 23 July 2012 via DVIDS.) High-res

Cobra Venom.

U.S. Marines Corps Capt. Rob “Big Nasty” Gambrell a Joint Terminal Attack Controller from 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay uses a radio to call out target information to a Marine UH-1Y Venom and a AH-1W Super Cobra from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMLA-169) during a close air support Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2012 live fire combat training mission over the Pohakuloa Training Area, (PTA) Hawaii. HMLA-169 is part of the aviation combat element of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force 3.

Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel participated in RIMPAC exercises from Jun. 29 to Aug. 3, in and around the Hawaiian Islands. The world’s largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the worlds oceans. RIMPAC 2012 is the 23rd exercise in the series that began in 1971.

(Department of Defense photo by U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth, 23 July 2012 via DVIDS.)

Wag the dog.

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Mann, a dog handler with Alpha Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and native of Arlington, Texas, and Ty, an improvised explosive devise detection dog, post security while on patrol.

Marines and sailors with 1st LAR and India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, conducted clearing and disrupting operations in and around the villages of Sre Kala and Paygel during Operation Highland Thunder. Marines with 1st LAR led the operation on foot, sweeping for enemy weapons and drug caches through 324 square kilometers of rough, previously unoccupied desert and marshland terrain. Mobile units with 1st LAR set up blocking positions and vehicle check points while India Company, 3/3 conducted helicopter inserts to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement.

[Photos by Corporal Alfred Lopez, 16 February 2012.]


Got your six covered.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Mann, a dog handler with Alpha Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and native of Arlington, Texas, sights in with his infantry automatic rifle while providing security with Ty, an improvised explosive device detection dog, during a patrol.
Marines and sailors with 1st LAR and India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, conducted clearing and disrupting operations in and around the villages of Sre Kala and Paygel during Operation Highland Thunder. Marines with 1st LAR led the operation on foot, sweeping for enemy weapons and drug caches through 324 square kilometers of rough, previously unoccupied desert and marshland terrain. Mobile units with 1st LAR set up blocking positions and vehicle check points while India Company, 3/3 conducted helicopter inserts to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement.
[Photo by Corporal Alfred V. Lopez, 16 February 2012.] High-res

Got your six covered.

U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Brandon Mann, a dog handler with Alpha Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and native of Arlington, Texas, sights in with his infantry automatic rifle while providing security with Ty, an improvised explosive device detection dog, during a patrol.

Marines and sailors with 1st LAR and India Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, conducted clearing and disrupting operations in and around the villages of Sre Kala and Paygel during Operation Highland Thunder. Marines with 1st LAR led the operation on foot, sweeping for enemy weapons and drug caches through 324 square kilometers of rough, previously unoccupied desert and marshland terrain. Mobile units with 1st LAR set up blocking positions and vehicle check points while India Company, 3/3 conducted helicopter inserts to disrupt insurgent freedom of movement.

[Photo by Corporal Alfred V. Lopez, 16 February 2012.]

Blue his house, with a blue little window, and a blue Corvette…
U.S. Marine Lance Cpls. Matthew Scofield (left), 19, from Syracuse, N.Y., and Jarrett Hatley, 21, from Millingport, N.C., a squad automatic weapon gunner and an improvised explosive device detection dog handler with 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, rest next to Hatley’s dog Blue after clearing compounds with Afghan National Army soldiers during Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds).
Over the past five years, coalition forces have operated with Afghan National Security Forces to defeat the insurgency in the central Helmand River valley. Driven from the green zones, or populated areas, of districts in southern Helmand, enemy fighters have sought refuge in bed-down locations west of the Helmand River. This area on the outskirts of Garmsir district has been, until now, nearly untouched by the partnered forces and the Afghan government. During the operation, Jan. 4-8, Afghan forces and Marines with 3/3 cleared the area of insurgent activity, weapons and improvised explosive device-making materials, and held shuras to address the concerns of local elders.
(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 4 January 2012.) High-res

Blue his house, with a blue little window, and a blue Corvette…

U.S. Marine Lance Cpls. Matthew Scofield (left), 19, from Syracuse, N.Y., and Jarrett Hatley, 21, from Millingport, N.C., a squad automatic weapon gunner and an improvised explosive device detection dog handler with 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, rest next to Hatley’s dog Blue after clearing compounds with Afghan National Army soldiers during Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds).

Over the past five years, coalition forces have operated with Afghan National Security Forces to defeat the insurgency in the central Helmand River valley. Driven from the green zones, or populated areas, of districts in southern Helmand, enemy fighters have sought refuge in bed-down locations west of the Helmand River. This area on the outskirts of Garmsir district has been, until now, nearly untouched by the partnered forces and the Afghan government. During the operation, Jan. 4-8, Afghan forces and Marines with 3/3 cleared the area of insurgent activity, weapons and improvised explosive device-making materials, and held shuras to address the concerns of local elders.

(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 4 January 2012.)

Random acts of kindness.
Afghan National Army soldier Taza Khan hands a bag of beef jerky to a local boy, injured by an improvised explosive device, while patrolling with U.S. Marines from 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment during Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds).
Over the past five years, coalition forces have operated with Afghan National Security Forces to defeat the insurgency in the central Helmand River valley. Driven from the green zones, or populated areas, of districts in southern Helmand, enemy fighters have sought refuge in bed-down locations west of the Helmand River. This area on the outskirts of Garmsir district has been, until now, nearly untouched by the partnered forces and the Afghan government. During the operation, Jan. 4-8, Afghan forces and Marines with 3/3 cleared the area of insurgent activity, weapons and improvised explosive device-making materials, and held shuras to address the concerns of local elders.
(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 5 January 2012.) High-res

Random acts of kindness.

Afghan National Army soldier Taza Khan hands a bag of beef jerky to a local boy, injured by an improvised explosive device, while patrolling with U.S. Marines from 3rd Platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment during Operation Tageer Shamal (Shifting Winds).

Over the past five years, coalition forces have operated with Afghan National Security Forces to defeat the insurgency in the central Helmand River valley. Driven from the green zones, or populated areas, of districts in southern Helmand, enemy fighters have sought refuge in bed-down locations west of the Helmand River. This area on the outskirts of Garmsir district has been, until now, nearly untouched by the partnered forces and the Afghan government. During the operation, Jan. 4-8, Afghan forces and Marines with 3/3 cleared the area of insurgent activity, weapons and improvised explosive device-making materials, and held shuras to address the concerns of local elders.

(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 5 January 2012.)

Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.U.S. Marine Gen. James Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks to Marines with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment during a Thanksgiving Day visit. During the visit with Sgt. Maj. Michael Barrett, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, the senior leaders thanked the Marines of “America’s Battalion” for their service and asked for their continued devotion during their seven-month deployment to Helmand province’s Garmsir district. After wishing 3/3 a belated happy 236th Marine Corps birthday, the leaders answered questions regarding budget cuts, the Corps’ potential drawdown and the recent news of Marines serving overseas in Australia.
(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 24 November 2011.) High-res

Regard your soldiers as your children, and they will follow you into the deepest valleys; look on them as your own beloved sons, and they will stand by you even unto death.

U.S. Marine Gen. James Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks to Marines with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment during a Thanksgiving Day visit. During the visit with Sgt. Maj. Michael Barrett, the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, the senior leaders thanked the Marines of “America’s Battalion” for their service and asked for their continued devotion during their seven-month deployment to Helmand province’s Garmsir district. After wishing 3/3 a belated happy 236th Marine Corps birthday, the leaders answered questions regarding budget cuts, the Corps’ potential drawdown and the recent news of Marines serving overseas in Australia.

(Photo by Corporal Reece Lodder, 24 November 2011.)