In November 2009, President Barack Obama announced that an 30,000 additional U.S. troops would be sent to an Afghanistan. Several thousand Marines from 1st Battalion and 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment were deployed to opium-rich Helmand province where the Taliban-held stronghold of Marjah was to be the the proving ground for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. On Feb. 13, 2010, Marine and coalition forces launched an all out assault on Marjah. The attack was highly publicized and the city’s diehard Taliban defenders had spent the previous month’s turning Marjah into a heavily mined and well defended stronghold.
Lance Cpl. James Clark deployed to Helmand province with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment as a combat correspondent from December 2009 to July 2010. His job was to write news stories and capture photos that depicted the day-to-day operations of an infantry battalion. This is his story.