12 March 2005: India-2 Firefight in Shoryak Valley

“An India Company observation post in the Shoryak Valley, Pech District, Kunar Province received RPG, RPK, and small arms fire and returned fire with 60mm mortars and small arms fire which caused the enemy element to flee to the north, and resulted in the minor injury and MEDEVAC of two India Company Marines.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005


“On 12 March India Company made contact in the Shoriak Valley, Pech District, Kunar Province. The brief firefight was initiated by the AQAM wounding Lance Corporals Dash and Huey. Both Marines sustained small shrapnel injuries to the shoulder and were routinely evacuated the next morning. The AQAM quickly disengaged after being engaged with 60mm mortar fire.” — Source: 3/3 Command Chronology for the Period 01 January to 30 June 2005


News

U.S. Marines Attacked in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2005 – Two U.S. Marines were wounded March 12 in an ambush by anti-coalition militia while conducting routine security patrols north of Jalalabad, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border.

The unit reported receiving rocket-propelled-grenade, automatic-weapons and machine gun fire at about 6 p.m. local time.

Both Marines received shrapnel wounds to the shoulder, and both were treated at the scene before continuing with their mission.

The insurgent fighters retreated after the ambush. The Marines conducted a search of the area and continued their mission.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

Source: American Forces Press Service


Two U.S. Marines Wounded in Afghan Ambush

Sun Mar 13, 2005

KABUL (Reuters) – Two U.S. Marines were wounded when their patrol was ambushed by Taliban guerrillas in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said Sunday.

They came under fire early Saturday evening on a routine mission north of the city of Jalalabad, close to the border with Pakistan. Remnants of the Taliban militia and their allies led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar have been active in the area.

Both of the wounded were hit in the shoulder by shrapnel after their unit received rocket-propelled grenade, automatic weapons and machine-gun fire.

“The anti-coalition militia members retreated after the ambush. The Marines conducted a search of the area and continued their mission,” the statement said.

The attack was carried out by Taliban fighters, one of the militants’ commanders, Mullah Dadullah, told Reuters.

After a lull over the harsh winter months there are some signs of increased militant activity in recent weeks.

In the southeast province of Khost, Taliban fighters fired some seven rockets, striking the Salerno U.S. military base and a nearby airport without causing any casualties, General Mohammad Ayoob, Khost’s police chief, said.

A Taliban spokesman, Mullah Samad, told Reuters in Khost that the attack was a message of defiance.

The U.S. military is hopeful that an offer of amnesty expected soon from the Afghan government will persuade rank-and-file Taliban members to rejoin the mainstream.

“We won’t join the reconciliation process, and we don’t want reconciliation process,” said Mullah Samad.

Defense Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimi said Afghan army troops had captured 15 Taliban fighters since March 8 in raids across the south and east.

There are some 18,000 U.S.-led troops hunting Taliban and al Qaeda remnants in the south and east of the country, and over 8,000 NATO-led peacekeepers deployed largely in Kabul and parts of the north and west. The Afghan army numbers around 22,000.

U.S.-backed Afghan opposition forces drove the Taliban militia from power in late 2001 after its leaders refused to surrender Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 al Qaeda attacks on the United States.

Source: Copyright © Reuters 2005


Video

India Marines several hours prior to the attack.


Awards

Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device

Gideon Hornung

NAMHeroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as squad leader, Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Combined Joint Task Force-76 on 24 December 2004 and 12 March 2005 in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan. On 24 December, while operating in the Korangal Valley, 2d squad was ambushed by Al Qaeda forces employing small arms and rocket propelled grenades. During this attack, Corporal Hornung was wounded by enemy fire and continued to engage the enemy while refusing medical evacuation until his platoon was extracted. On 12 March 2005, during operations in the village of Salar Ban, 2d Squad was attacked by 10-15 Al Qaeda fighters. While under heavy enemy fire, Corporal Hornung moved to assist the rest of his team in gaining cover and establishing fire superiority. Learning that two Marines in his squad were injured, he assisted the squad leader in attending to the wounded. After being struck by fire in the small arms protective insert plate positioned over his chest, Corporal Hornung continued to treat the wounded and fight the enemy. By his enthusiasm, professionalism and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Hornung upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service

David Parkinson

NAMFor heroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as squad leader, Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Combined Joint Task Force-76 from November 2004 to June 2005. On 24 December 2004, Corporal Parkinson’s squad was ambushed by Taliban forces employing small arms and rocket propelled grenades from an elevated position. During this attack Corporal Parkinson’s quick and decisive action led to the capture of several Taliban forces. On 12 March 2005, while manning an observation post in the village of Salar Ban, Corporal Parkinson’s squad was attacked again. With two Marines in his squad wounded by rocket propelled grenade fragments and with no corpsman present, Corporal Parkinson attended to the Marines while simultaneously calling for 60mm mortar fire on the enemy. During another enemy attack on 23 March 2005, Corporal Parkinson ran from his fortified position, exposing himself to enemy fire in order to locate a position to more effectively support his platoon by fire. Corporal Parkinson’s courageous actions and complete dedication to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

James Rogers Jr

NAMHeroic achievement in connection with combat operations against the enemy while serving as fire team leader, 2d Platoon, Company I, 3d Battalion, 3d Marines, Combined Joint Task Force-76 on 24 December 2004 and 12 March 2005 in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. On 24 December 2004, during an ambush in the Korangal Valley, Afghanistan, Corporal Rogers displayed great courage under fire as he effectively suppressed the enemy until the platoon was in position to maneuver. While moving against the locations to which the Al Qaeda forces had fled, Corporal Rogers selflessly volunteered to assist with the search of the compounds that harbored the enemy. His actions ultimately led to the capture of several enemy combatants. Later, on 12 March 2005, during operations in the village of Salar Ban, approximately 15 Al Qaeda fighters attacked Corporal Rogers and his fire team. Pinned down by heavy enemy fire, Corporal Rogers remained calm and confident as he called in fire missions that ultimately repelled the enemy assault and protected his team. By his enthusiasm, professionalism and unwavering devotion to duty, Corporal Rogers reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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