CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- During the early morning hours, in almost pure darkness, a company of infantry Marines mounted in Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and convoyed approximately three hours south from Camp Leatherneck for a security operation.
Marines and sailors with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, alongside elements of the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps conducted an operation to continue to show a military presence in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Sept. 3.
The operation was designed to deter enemy insurgents from operating in the southern area of Helmand province.
“This mission was just one piece of a larger operation conducted over several days to disrupt enemy activity,” said 1st Sgt. Brian Moody, Bravo Co. first sergeant.
The ANA soldiers and two sections of Marines and sailors searched opposite sides of nearby compounds for insurgent weapons.
“The ANA searched suspicious compounds in the area,” said Lance Cpl. Justin Countryman, a rifleman with Bravo Co. “They were aware of the situation and constantly on guard. They were able to talk to local nationals and help them any way they can.”
During the 18-hour operation, Bravo Co. Marines and sailors along with the ANA soldiers successfully patrolled the area with little resistance from Taliban fighters. The well-executed mission was a success because of the ability of each member of the company.
“The amount of responsibility we entrust in our junior Marines can be overwhelming,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Ford, 3rd Platoon Commander, Bravo Co., and native of Edgewater, New Jersey. “What they are able to accomplish day-in and day-out through a seven-month deployment is inspiring.”
“Leadership is key to the success of any mission,” said Moody, a native of Greenwood, South Carolina. “The best thought-out plan will fail if there is a lack of leadership by those executing the mission on the ground. Routinely, there are unforeseen challenges that cause friction during the execution of these missions, and oftentimes, it is the leadership of junior Marines that leads to the overall mission success.”
The Marines and sailors with Bravo Co. will continue to patrol and conduct security operations in Helmand province until transferring responsibility for the area to the Afghan National Security Forces by the end of the year.