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Artillery Marines Headed Home After ‘Raining’ Fire On ISIS In Syria
A contingent of roughly 400 Marines are headed home from Syria after three months of providing fire support to U.S.-backed Kurdish and Syrian Arab Forces who battled Islamic State fighters in the militant group’s former capital.
The Camp Lejeune, North Carolina-based Marines and sailors were part of an artillery detachment with 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, and arrived in Syria in September, where they proceeded to shell ISIS with such intensity that they burned out not one but two M777 155mm howitzer barrels, according to Marine Corps Times.
The Nov. 30 announcement that the recently arrived artillery detachment is on its way home was cited as a sign of success following the Oct. 20 ouster of ISIS from Raqqa.
“The departure of these outstanding Marines is a sign of real progress in the region,” Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga, director of operations in Iraq and Syria, said. “We’re drawing down combat forces where it makes sense, but still continuing our efforts to help Syrian and Iraqi partners maintain security.”
Marine Corps artillery units, especially those deployed from a Marine Expeditionary Unit — an all-in-one Marine Corps task force able to bring troops, indirect fire, and air support to bear — provide U.S. allies a long and devastating reach.
"With a 155mm artillery battery in the fight, their mission was to deny and disrupt ISIS from gaining ground or moving from their defensive positions," Lt. Col. Jon O’Gorman, chief of fires for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, said of the Marines from 1/10. "These Marines rained relentless and highly accurate firepower on the enemy."
The employment of Marine artillery batteries in the fight against ISIS over the last year-and-a-half is one of the few instances where conventional ground-combat personnel — rather than special operations forces in Syria or Iraq — have engaged the militants.
A U.S. Marine fires an M777-A2 Howitzer in the early morning in Syria, June 3, 2017.Photo by Sgt. Matthew Callahan
Conventional forces or not, information surrounding the employment of these artillery batteries, their time on the ground, and specifics on their mission there, are often vague.
The Marines and sailors with 1/10 replaced an artillery battery reportedly attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Prior to the all-weather fire mission conducted by the 24th MEU’s artillery Marines in June, troops with the 11th MEU fired upwards of 4,500 rounds at Islamic State targets in and around Raqqa, Task & Purpose previously reported.
For two and a half months in 2016, artillerymen with Echo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines provided fire support to Iraqi security forces as they advanced on Mosul, which was liberated from ISIS in July. The first conventional American ground troops to set up a semi-permanent fire base, the Marines stood up a small outpost March 16 and were rocketed by Islamic State militants on numerous occasions. The news that Marines were manning a fixed position and engaged in fire missions against ISIS only came to light following a rocket attack that resulted in the death of Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin, the Washington Post reported March 22, 2016.
Much of what is known about the challenges facing these Marine gun crews is still unclear, and often remains so until the information is released following a tragedy, or an award ceremony. As for what we know for sure: The Marines with 1/10 are expected to head back home, and with Raqqa no longer under ISIS control, the arty unit's replacements have been "called off," according to the Operation Inherent Resolve statement.
A Corpsman went to a military hospital for a routine shoulder surgery. 4 days later he was dead, and his parents say the Navy is to blame
Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.
The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.
Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.
"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."
To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.
Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.
"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.
Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.
The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.
A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.
The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.
An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.
Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.
Read the entire message below:
VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.
At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.
Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.
Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.
A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.
Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.
This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.
The commander of the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment has been relieved over a loss of "trust and confidence in his ability to lead" amid an investigation into his conduct, a Corps official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
Col. Lawrence F. Miller was removed from his post on Thursday morning and replaced with his executive officer, Lt. Col. Larry Coleman, who will serve as interim commander of the Quantico, Virginia based unit.
President Donald Trump has nixed any effort by the Navy to excommunicate Eddie Gallagher from the SEAL community.
"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted on Thursday. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"
A pair of Texas congressmen have introduced legislation to the House to create a monument "to honor the valiant service" of Medal of Honor recipients in Washington, D.C.