Friday, May 2, 2008

Marines cleaning up the mess again

As you can read here in the original post, it is now clear that the Marines are on the ground in force and there to take names in Afghanistan. Here is an excerpt that caught my attention:

"Operation Azada Wosa — "Stay Free" in the local Pashto language — kicked off Monday and represents a new push by the U.S. military to retake territory that NATO troops have so far been unable to conquer and hold. The 2,400-strong 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit is on its first mission since it started arriving here more than a month ago."


If you read between the lines you see that this is something of a rather large push, using a MEU which consists of something like this (as described here):

"A typical MEU (SOC) structure has 2,100 Marines and sailors. It is equipped with:

  • 7 to 16 light armored vehicles
  • eight 81 mm mortars
  • eight TOW missile systems
  • eight Javelin missile launchers
  • 15 amphibious assault vehicles
  • six 155 mm howitzers
  • four M1A1 main battle tanks
  • 12 CH-46E medium lift assault helicopters
  • six CH-53E heavy lift assault helicopters
  • three UH-1N utility helicopters
  • four AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters
  • six AV-8B Harrier Jets
  • two KC-130 re-fueler/transport aircraft (on call in the continental United States)
  • two reverse osmosis water purification units
  • one LMT 3000 water purification unit
  • one sea tractor
  • four TRAMs (10,000-pound capacity forklifts)
  • two 4,000 pound capacity forklifts
  • three D-7 bulldozers
  • 30 5-ton or 7-ton/12-ton trucks
  • one dump truck
  • four Mk48 logistical vehicle systems
  • seven 500 gallon water containers
  • 63 HMMWVs."
Note the links at the bottom of the article and you see reason for concern, it seems the Pentagon is considering putting even more troops on the ground... is this our next big move in the war on terrorism?