Operation Mountain Lion (US)
Operation Ptarmigan (UK)
Operation Mountain Lion began on 15 April 2002 and was designed to find enemy fighters in the Gardez and Khost regions, destroy those that were there and deny them control of the area and an opportunity to reorganize their forces. Operation Mountain Lion was the first major initiative since Operation Anaconda, a 12-day running battle, which ended in March 2002 in the eastern Shah-i-Kot Mountains. The US-led Operation Mountain Lion should not be confused with the Operation Mountain Lion began in April 2006, which was conducted by the Afghan National Army, with support of other Coalition forces.
British troops were also engaged in Operation Ptarmigan, the name given their share of military actions with US and coalition forces in the Gardez and Khost regions. Troops involved in Operation Ptarmigan included elements from 3 Commando Brigade's Reconnaissance Troop and 45 Commando Royal Marines, supported by RAF Chinook helicopters of 27 Squadron. The operation, the first by the Commando Group task force, and drawing on personnel in theatre already acclimatised, was also intended to provide a sound preparation for subsequent operations as well as securing the valley.
On 15 April 2002, 4 American soldiers were killed andanother was injured in Afghanistan when a 107mm rocketexploded while the troops were destroying captured weapons near Kandahar.
Operation Ptarmigan ended on 18 April 2002, with British forces returning to Bagram. Some British forces remained to help with the ongoing US Operation Mountain Lion, which continued through July 2002. US and coalition forces found ammunition caches and a Soviet-era BRDM armored personnel carrier.
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