4 Firefight Photos From Afghanistan’s Deadliest Province

History
Associated Press photo by Brennan Linsley

In late 2009, President Barack Obama announced a surge of troops in Afghanistan. In the first full year of that operation, 2010, of the nearly 500 U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan, more than half were from Helmand province. It was the deadliest year of the war for American troops and also the deadliest in year in the province.


A Taliban stronghold, Helmand provided a key source of income for the restive insurgency —  opium was the dominant cash crop. In February 2010, coalition forces launched an all-out assault on the city of Marjah, an opium hub in the Taliban’s southern heartland. Its roads and alleys were heavily mined, as were the surrounding fields, and it was defended by die-hard Taliban fighters who flooded the area ahead of the U.S. Marine-led coalition advance.

Related: 5 Incredible Firefight Photos From One Of Afghanistan’s Deadliest Provinces »

What follows are four pictures of the first major operation of the Afghanistan troop surge, taken by Associated Press photographers David Guttenfelder and Brennan Linsley. The images underscore the danger facing American troops and their allies, as well as the courage and resolve required to overcome such odds.

A Marine with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment leaps over a wall during a firefight as Taliban fighters open fire during a Feb. 15, 2010, gunbattle in the town of Marjah.

Associated Press photo by David Guttenfelder

A wounded Marine is rushed to a waiting Black Hawk helicopter for casualty evacuation in Marjah, on Feb. 14, 2010. The soldiers of Task Force Pegasus supported U.S. and coalition forces fighting to break the Taliban’s hold on the city.

Associated Press photo by Brennan Linsley

Marines from 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment open fire on Taliban positions in Marjah during a Feb. 15, 2010 firefight.

Associated Press photo by David Guttenfelder

Marines and Navy corpsmen huddle around a pair of wounded Marines, shielding them from the dust kicked up by a helicopter during a casualty evacuation on Feb. 15, 2010 in Marjah.

Associated Press photo by Brennan Linsley

(Department of Defense)

Actor Mark Wahlberg will be visiting troops overseas to plug Wahlburgers, a fast-casual restaurant chain owned by the actor and his two brothers, Donnie Wahlberg, and chef Paul Wahlberg.

Read More Show Less
From left to right: Naval SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, and Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn (DoD photos)

The U.S. military will not disintegrate into an undisciplined horde following President Donald Trump's recent intervention in three war crimes cases, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley assured lawmakers on Wednesday.

Milley was testifying before the House Armed Services Committee when he was pressed by Iraq war veteran Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) about the president's actions in the cases of former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, retired Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, and retired Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher.

Read More Show Less

Taliban fighters attempted to fight their way into Bagram Airfield on Wednesday by invading a medical facility just outside of the base's perimeter, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support said Wednesday.

J.P. Lawrence of Stars and Stripes and Jim LaPorta of Newsweek first reported that the battle lasted for several hours after using car bombs to attack the hospital, which is near the base's northern corner. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft were reportedly used to drop ordnance on the hospital.

Read More Show Less
The welcome sign at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi (Facebook photo)

An armed suspect was taken into custody at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on Wednesday morning after a brief lockdown period, according to the Texas base's Facebook account.

Though the exact nature of the incident is unclear, base officials wrote that no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.

Read More Show Less
(DoD photo)

Among the dozens of requirements outlined in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act is the requirement for the Secretary of Defense to create a public database for privatized housing complaints.

So, that will be... a lot.

Read More Show Less