Friday, November 13, 2009

Taliban Fortress Inhabited by Marines

Since August 1st 2009, Marines of Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine has set up operation out of an old Taliban fortress. The fortress has been come to be know as the “the mansion.” This is not usual for the Marines. Marines throughout history have shown that they have the ability to make any place “home.” Home can be anything from: sand, gravel, dirt or a newly captured Taliban compound. According to local Afghans, the compound formally belonged to a drug lord. The drug lord started building it to house his entire family but it was never completed because he was arrested and taken away. The Marines were tasked with capturing the compound and the mansion that was centered in the compound. It was believed that insurgent forces had moved into the vacant compound. When the Marines whet to capture the compound, they encountered some resistance but it was promptly eliminated. The mansion itself was empty; insurgents occupied only the outlying areas of the computed. The empty mansion was in a lot of disarray. "It was a real mess when we first got here," said Cpl. Jacob Mikesell, 22, a mortarman from Papillion, Neb. "There was grass growing up to our chests, the buildings had mounds of dust covering everything and trash was thrown all over the place." The Marines and Afghan Army soldiers stationed there are conduct both foot and vehicle patrols to in an attempt to keep the surrounding areas safe and to keep the Taliban from recruiting new members. After we moved in, locals told us that most of the Taliban in the area had run away," said Sgt. Nicholas Hine, a squad leader with Weapons Co., 1/5. "But we know there are still some here who are trying to coerce the population to go against us." This new acquisition gives the Marines the ability to get close to the locals and learn and understand their needs and problems. Click Here for hte Full Story

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