Forward Operating Base Ripley / Kamp Holland
Located deep in the Oruzgan province of south-central Afghanistan, Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ripley, was the base of operations for the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable). It was established in Early May of 2004 during Operation Mountain Storm. Establishment of the FOB was critical to the MEU's concept of sustainment and combat power projection and was named after Marine Colonel John W. Ripley of Dong Ha fame, eventaully the base would feature a 6,000-foot runway, a complete helicopter fueling and rearming point, and 13 helicopter landing pads.
Taking off and landing nearly every day from a remote,but improved, desert airstrip, KC-130R Hercules transport planes from Marine Aerial Refueler and Transport Squadron-252 (VMGR-252) were keeping the MEU supplied and capable of conducting combat and civil military operations.
Located near the town of Tarin Kowt approximately 60 miles north of Kandahar, the airstrip was pitted and unserviceable until Army engineers assigned to the MEU moved in and improved it sufficiently to support KC-130 operations. Normally used for long range transportation, the KC-130R, now nearing its 30th year of operational service, has proved particularly adept at operating under the rough conditions in Afghanistan.
The role of the MEU(SOC) in Oruzgan was to conduct offensive operations against the Taliban providing a safe environment for the registration of voters in time for those first elections in 2004. The MEU out of Ripley was involved in over thirty engagements resulting in hundreds of Taliban killed leading to dramatically reduced violence all the way south to Kandahar.
The 22d MEU (SOC) consisted of its Command Element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 6th Marines, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 (Reinforced), and MEU Service Support Group 22. The MEU was working with Combined Joint Task Force 76 and was designated Task Force Linebacker.
In August, 2006 about 1600 Dutch troops deployed as part of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. The Dutch were part of Task Force Oruzgan whose primary base of operations was Kamp Holland formerly FOB Ripley. Task Force Uruzgan was made up of two elements, a battlegroup consisting of infantry, light armor and some artillary and an air detachment for support that included five AH-64/D Apaches and six F-16's. Additionally there was about 185 Dutch Special Forces soldiers and Marines that were part of Task Group Viper stationed in Uruzgan. There was also about 1,000 Australian soldiers in total in Afghanistan at least several hundred of which (mostly Special Forces) were known to be operating in Uruzgan province.
The Dutch commitment was due to last two years roughly August 2006, to August 2008. In November of 2007 the Dutch renewed their commitment to Afghanistan for another two years but indicated that they would be leaving in December of 2010.
Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group, was honored for their accomplishments during a ceremony at Kandahar Air Field, on April 23, 2008. During their six-month deployment to FOB Ripley in southern Afghanistan Members of Charlie Co. were very active in establishing and maintaining security in Southern Afghanistan. According to their citations they conducted more than 150 combined and joint combat operations, resulting in the deaths of more than 350 insurgents. The company also participated in more than 200 combat reconnaissance patrols, 60 medcaps and was involved in more than 50 fire fights.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|