Submitted night operation video shows India Battery, 3rd BN, 12th Marines in the Kajaki District of Helmand, Afghanistan engaging enemy positions on October 5, 2010. The footage was filmed by 2nd platoon, 3rd Squad's support by fire postion, while 1st platoon maneuvered onto the enemy.
From the submitter: (It) was a 2 day mission deep in the green zone along the Helmand River on October 2010. The night prior, 1st Squad & 3rd Squad emplaced late in the afternoon and were holding a few compounds in the Southern AO, close to Kajaki Sufla.
An intense firefight broke out, small-unit maneuver was conducted & a few JDAMS came in to end the engagement. Both squads held firm overnight in their respective compounds til the next morning.
3rd Squad was low on ammo and ordinance after the engagement from the night prior, so 2nd Squad (QRF) comes out in the morning to link with 1st Squad while 3rd Squad retrogrades to resupply and assume QRF for the remainder of the mission.
1st & 2nd squads are now both co-located in the same compound in the green zone, sending out multiple satellite patrols into the AO during the mid day and late afternoon.
Right as the sun sets, the compound is barraged with 73mm rockets and the two conjoined squads take nearly a dozen casualties. Many of which are urgent surgical.
Simultaneously, the Marines of 1st & 2nd squad in the compound begin getting assaulted from numerous locations directly south of the compound, in a complex coordinated attack. The Marines are now repelling the enemy assault and delivering a hellish defense to the gunfire, engaging enemy combatants at less than 100 meters away.
At this point, the casualties are being loaded onto stretchers in the compound and an LZ is being assigned about 700 meters north, behind the cover of conjoining tree lines. The Marines at the compound still have to repel the assault while stabilizing the casualties, under the cover of nightfall.
Back at FOB Zeebrugge, a contingent of Marines from 3rd squad departs as QRF, sprinting 4 clicks through the IED-laced treelines on foot with radio and firepower support, and are able to make it to the rest of the platoon within 17 minutes of the initial blast.
3rd squad secures the LZ, and is now assisting the transport of the wounded Marines between the compound & LZ, and are treating of the casualties at the the collection point.
The OP SBF position (video vantage point) has multiple machine guns & a MK19 on the hill surpressing on the enemy and are conducting danger close overhead fires to allow the platoon to safely evacuate the casualities. The platoon on the ground is also coordinating 81mm illum and HE from the ground, until air is confirmed on station.
Shortly after, 81’s cease fire & fast movers are on station with payload. The jets identify targets and are dropping ordinance danger close within 150 meters of the compound.
British Medevac gets on station after 45 minutes with an escort overhead and makes a daring landing to a hot LZ where the urgent surgicals are loaded onto the bird. The firefight is still ensuing back at the compound 700 meters to the south.
The bird goes wheels up, and now the focus shifts back to the Marines at the compound who are still actively engaged against a force of 30 estimated Taliban.
With only remnants of 1st & 2nd squad left on the compound rooftop, the concussed Marines & corpsman grab all the gear they can and begin evacuating the compound. 3rd squad assumes the southern-most position closest to the compound to provide security during the evac, and gathers the rest of the gear from the wounded to haul back to the FOB.
It takes nearly 3 hours for 3rd squad to conduct the retrograde back to the FOB, bumping & bounding through the green zone while still under fire. Back at the FOB, the remaining priority & immediate casualties are evaluated, treated & evacuated.
Despite the dozen casualties, all Marines & corpsman survived the engagement. Many awards were given that night, to include a Navy Cross.
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