Marines Pounce Behind Taliban Lines With Ospreys and Armored Steamrollers
Armored steamrollers, you might ask? Yes. And the sight of the new twin rotor V22 Ospreys dropping into the dust behind Taliban lines and armored steamrollers pounding through minefields to their front must have been a sight to behold. Marines bring the hammer and the anvil to the party.
From a report on "Operation Cobra's Anger" in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
U.S. Marines swooped down behind Taliban lines in helicopters and Osprey aircraft Friday in the first offensive since President Obama announced an American troop surge.
About 1,000 Marines and 150 Afghan troops were taking part in "Operation Cobra's Anger" in a bid to disrupt Taliban supply and communications lines in the Now Zad Valley of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the scene of heavy fighting last summer, according to Marine spokesman Maj. William Pelletier.
Hundreds of troops from the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines and the Marine reconnaissance unit Task Force Raider dropped by helicopters and MV-22 Osprey aircraft in the northern end of the valley while a second, larger Marine force pushed northward from the main Marine base in the town of Now Zad, Maj. Pelletier said.
A U.S. military official in Washington said it was the first use of Ospreys, aircraft that combine features of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft, in an offensive involving units larger than platoons.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to detail the operation, said that Ospreys have previously been used for intelligence and patrol operations.Combat engineers used armored steamrollers and explosives to force a corridor through Taliban minefields, known as "IED Alley" because of the huge number of roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices, and land mines, Maj. Pelletier said.