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UNSUNG HEROES: The Recon Marine Who Killed 18 Enemy Fighters In A Single Battle
On Aug. 8, 2008, in Farah province, Afghanistan, Cpl. Franklin Simmons was part of a small Marine force tasked with clearing the city of Shewan of Taliban fighters.
More than 30 Marines from 2nd, Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment and 1st Force Reconnaissance Company were ordered to route the enemy, which outnumbered the Marines eight to one, according to a 2011 report by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Roughly 250 enemy fighters, many of them highly trained, were dug in along a treeline near Shewan.
Under the searing heat of the Afghan summer, the Marines faced brutal resistance from the city’s defenders as they advanced on foot and in Humvees. Enemy rockets and small arms stopped one of the Humvees in its tracks, leaving the Marines inside trapped and exposed.
With Marines stuck in the kill zone, Simmons, a team leader and designated marksman, moved to an exposed position on top of a berm where he had a better view of the enemy. As rounds impacted within a foot of his position, Simmons returned fire at the enemy.
“I thought that would be the spot to make my final stand,” said Simmons, in an interview with the Union-Tribune. “I started shooting as many as I could. By some miracle I didn’t get shot … I guess the big man upstairs had other plans.”
Simmons was deadly accurate, even under intense enemy fire. By the end of the eight-hour long battle, he had killed 18 enemy fighters, and wounded at least two others.
In recognition of his courage and extraordinary marksmanship, on July 4, 2011, while attached to the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Simmons was awarded the Silver Star Medal during a ceremony aboard the USS Boxer.
There's something very, very wrong with a recent tweet from the official Twitter account of the Defense Department. Can you spot it?
Let's zoom in, just in case.
2 years after the Fitzgerald and McCain collisions, the Navy has no idea if its new ship-driving training is working
Two years after a pair of deadly collisions involving Navy ships killed 17 sailors and caused hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, the Navy still can't figure out whether its plan to improve ship-driving training has been effective.
In fact, according to senior Navy officials quoted in a recent Government Accountability Office report on Navy ship-driving, it could take nearly 16 years or more to know if the planned changes will actually have an impact.
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
An Air Force private housing company faked its maintenance records to get millions of dollars in bonuses
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A U.K. company that provides housing to U.S. military families came under official investigation earlier this year, after Reuters disclosed it had faked maintenance records to pocket performance bonuses at an Oklahoma Air Force base.
At the time, Balfour Beatty Communities said it strove to correctly report its maintenance work. It blamed any problems on a sole former employee at the Oklahoma base.
Now, Reuters has found that Balfour Beatty employees systematically doctored records in a similar scheme at a Texas base.