Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Marine Artillery Unit Went Hard On ISIS During Syria Deployment Shrouded In Secrecy
During a recent mission to Syria, Marines with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit fired off upward of 4,500 rounds of ammunition against ISIS, 11th MEU spokesman Maj. Craig Thomas told reporters on May 24.
An artillery unit entered Syria in early March to support Kurdish and Syrian Arab Forces isolating Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital in the country. The news of the Marines’ presence in Syria broke at the same time that Army Stryker combat vehicles were seen in the Manbij area.
The number of rounds fired was one of the only details that officials were able to discuss, according to Marine Corps Times’ Jeff Schogol, who was present for a roundtable discussion with Thomas on May 24.
It’s an ongoing operation,” Thomas said. “We have another Marine unit that’s there – to my knowledge, they have not released that name, so we’ll let [Operation Inherent Resolve] do that. It’s not exactly an established theater as Iraq or Afghanistan was.”
The capacity in which these Marines have been aiding Kurdish and Syrian Arab Forces for the last two months is largely unclear, but the detachment is connected to the larger 11th MEU, which had been deployed with the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group for seven months and recently returned home to San Diego earlier this month.
In all, roughly 400 members of 11th MEU deployed to Syria. These Marines have since been replaced by a different Marine artillery unit, but the unit has not yet been named publicly. Marine Corps Times speculated that the replacement unit likely belongs to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is currently deployed with the USS Bataan’s amphibious ready group. On April 23, the 24th MEU uploaded and image to its Facebook page, which showed artillery Marines at Camp Buehring in Kuwait, firing M777 A2 howitzers at an artillery range.
“Some stuff we just simply cannot talk about,” Col. Clay Tipton, 11th MEU commander, added during the roundtable.
This article originally appeared on Military.com.
Inside Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan stands a wall painted with a mural of an airman kneeling before a battlefield cross. Beneath it, a black gravestone bookended with flowers and dangling dog tags displays the names of eight U.S. airmen and an American contractor killed in a horrific insider attack at Kabul International Airport in 2011.
It's one of a number of such memorials ranging from plaques, murals and concrete T-walls scattered across Afghanistan. For the last eight years, those tributes have been proof to the families of the fallen that their loved ones have not been forgotten. But with a final U.S. pullout from Afghanistan possibly imminent, those families fear the combat-zone memorials may be lost for good.
After a string of high profile incidents, the commander overseeing the Navy SEALs released an all hands memo stating that the elite Naval Special Warfare community has a discipline problem, and pinned the blame on those who place loyalty to their teammates over the Navy and the nation they serve.
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.