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Lone Star Battalion probes for enemy during Operation Frank Jr.

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Adam Leyendecker, II MEF (FWD)

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Marines with the Houston-based Lone Star Battalion, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, Task Force Belleau Wood, pushed through south Habib Abad in Nad’ Ali District, Helmand province, and linked up with troops from Task Force Helmand during Operation Frank Jr., July 13

The operation resembled the battalion’s previous patrols in the area except this time the Marines pushed through the boundary lines separating their area of operations from Task Force Helmand’s, which is managed by U.K. troops.

In recent weeks, troops with Task Force Belleau Wood have encountered improvised explosive device strikes. To counter this, the Marines conducted much of the operation dismounted from their vehicles to search compounds of interest alongside Afghan National Army soldiers.

There was concern about possible insurgent activity in the mostly unpatrolled area due to recent attacks, said 2nd Lt. Edward E. Arrington, a platoon leader for Charlie Company, 2nd platoon and native of Charlotte, N.C.

Though the Marines did not detain any locals during their compound searches, they did discover IED making materials such as battery carbons, wiring and circuit boards.

Marines also took time during the operation to meet with and build stronger relationships with locals in the area.

Several locals said they were pleased to see the Marines and felt more confident and safe when Marines are close by.

One particular local also told the Marines he appreciates what they are doing and he is happy peace is being brought to the region.

By conducting the operation, the Marines hoped to filter out and deter any insurgent forces which might remain a threat to the nearby coalition base at Camp Leatherneck, said William R. Yale, law enforcement professional advisor for Task Force Belleau Wood and a native of Arlington, Texas

“The operation sends a message that we can push out to other areas, and prevents insurgents from planning attacks against coalition movements,” said Yale. “The goal is to keep insurgents as far away from Leatherneck as we can.”

Marines with the battalion said the day-long operation should let insurgents know that using Habib Abad as an area to take cover and launch attacks from will not be tolerated.

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