Subject: RE: Marine offensive in Afghanistan a shock to Taliban
I am happy for the BLT 1/6 Marines in seeing this article. In Afghanistan, the Marines did what Marines are always trained to do — take the fight to the enemy.
We killed over 100 of the enemy and captured 131 with only minimal casualties (although we did loose Cpl Ron Payne in an ambush). Post-battle results are higher on the number of enemy dead based on the number of bodies that were reported buried.
I know the enemy will remember this for a long time to come. To the enemy’s credit, despite our reputation and combat power advantage, he wanted to engage and fight us. When he did the, MAGTF’s combined arms decisively crushed him.
As the article states, these Marines have done more than any previous unit since the war started. I could not be prouder of the Marines of 1/6. All acquitted themselves with great courage. Some, while wounded, continued to chase the enemy in the mountains and eventually killed them.
These young men and women (yes, we even had women Marines with us as female searchers — all did superb) relentlessly focused on the enemy in some of the harshest environment that Marines have operated in. Our vehicles went over 4000 miles (of which only 100 miles on paved road) on some of the roughest terrain imaginable.
Most of my Marines operated/chased the enemy for 3 months straight — no showers, rack, hot chow, phones, or internet — none complained. Most lost 15 – 20 pounds and are now fattening up in Kuwait as we get ready to backload and head home.
Some of the operations were at 9500+ ft elevations and the Marines did superb. We used donkeys to move our HMGs and for MEDEVACs.
In my view the key to success is nothing new: focusing on the tactical fundamentals, small unit leadership, and when in contact, winning the tactical fight — always.
Take care and a special thanks from the Marines of BLT 1/6
LtCol. Asad Khan