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5 Incredible Firefight Photos From One Of Afghanistan’s Deadliest Provinces
In early 2011, the Army’s 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, was deployed to Afghanistan’s Kunar province during one of the deadliest years of the war.
Dubbed “No Slack Battalion,” the unit operated out of far-flung positions deep in Taliban-held territory. They were in regular, if not constant, contact with the enemy.
"Our enemy had grown too large, too bold, too capable to ignore any longer," said Lt. Col. Joel B. Vowell, the battalion’s commander in a Department of Defense news release. "Task Force No Slack met that challenge and we destroyed and killed over 130 insurgent fighters and wounded scores of others in our biggest battle since Vietnam."
Kunar province is home to the deadly Korengal valley, the subject of journalist Sebastian Junger's award winning documentary “Restrepo.” No fewer than five living Medal of Honor recipients emerged from battles in the province: Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer and the Army’s Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts, Capt. Florent A. Groberg, Capt. William D. Swenson, and Staff Sgt. Salvatore A. Giunta.
What follows are five incredible photos from a March 29, 2011 firefight during a multi-day operation in the valley of Barawala Kalay in Kunar province.
The images were captured by Army combat cameraman Pfc. Cameron Boyd and show infantrymen with “No Slack Battalion” and Afghan soldiers fending off a Taliban attack on an isolated hilltop outpost.
A soldier directs fire toward an enemy position. At the time this photo was taken, it marked the fifth day in a row that their position came under enemy attack.
A U.S. Army soldier From the 2/327th No Slack Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, points towards incoming fire during a fire fight with the Taliban in the valley of Barawala Kalet, Kunar province, Afghanistan, March 29, 2011.U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Cameron Boyd
A grimacing infantryman returns fire with his M249 squad automatic weapon. Food, water, and ammunition had to be flown in to the isolated outposts the soldiers operated out of.
Men take cover behind sandbags and rocks as they take fire from above, and one soldier takes aim with his rifle-mounted M203 grenade launcher.
An Afghan National Army soldier attached to the unit returns fire against the Taliban with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher.
Relieved at the battle’s end, a soldier opens his mouth toward the sky to taste the snow as it falls.
GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies that Washington fears may be under threat by Iran.
Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.
Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.
Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."
Minnesota Democratic Party staffer under fire for calling USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul a 'murder boat'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he is appalled by a state DFL Party staff member's tweet referring to the recently-launched USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul as a "murder boat."
"Certainly, the disrespect shown is beyond the pale," said Walz, who served in the Army National Guard.
William Davis, who has been the DFL Party's research director and deputy communications director, made the controversial comment in response to a tweet about the launch of a new Navy combat ship in Wisconsin: "But actually, I think it's gross they're using the name of our fine cities for a murder boat," Davis wrote on Twitter over the weekend.
'We are there to deter aggression' — Pompeo addressed CENTCOM on Iran mere moments before Shanahan announced his departure
TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will "not to go forward with his confirmation process."
Trump said that Army Secretary Mark Esper will now serve as acting defense secretary.