UK — 40 Commando’s final operation in Sangin

After hand­ing over author­i­ty for San­gin to their US coun­ter­parts last month, the Roy­al Marines of 40 Com­man­do under­took one final mis­sion to dis­rupt insur­gent activ­i­ty.

A vehicle convoy makes its way through the inhospitable desert east of Sangin
A vehi­cle con­voy makes its way through the inhos­pitable desert east of San­gin
Source: LA(Phot) Si Ethell, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

40 Com­man­do have now arrived back in the UK after hav­ing spent six months oper­at­ing in San­gin. They were the last UK unit to have respon­si­bil­i­ty for secu­ri­ty in San­gin before hand­ing over to US forces. See Relat­ed News to read more on this.

Their final mis­sion, which began on 21 Sep­tem­ber 2010, was a mas­sive vehi­cle oper­a­tion deep into insur­gent-influ­enced areas to the east of San­gin in the arid and inhos­pitable desert.

This oper­a­tion, GHARTSE SURLANDAY, involved Bra­vo and Delta Com­pa­nies work­ing intri­cate­ly with the Afghan Nation­al Army’s ‘Tiger Team’ to form a Mobile Oper­a­tions Group and con­duct oper­a­tions to inter­act with local nation­als while con­cur­rent­ly dis­rupt­ing insur­gent activ­i­ties.

Designed to inter­dict iden­ti­fied insur­gent ingress routes into San­gin, the oper­a­tion was part of the con­sid­er­able effort made to pro­tect San­gin from malign insur­gent influ­ence.

This oper­a­tion, through work­ing on the periph­eries of the town, also helped US forces fur­ther estab­lish them­selves, pro­vid­ed a greater under­stand­ing of the pop­u­la­tion make-up of the area and increased the influ­ence of the Gov­ern­ment of the Islam­ic Repub­lic of Afghanistan (GIRoA).

The oper­a­tion also enabled Afghan and ISAF forces to devel­op an under­stand­ing of an area not rou­tine­ly patrolled by ISAF.

The oper­a­tion used Jack­al, Mas­tiff and an assort­ment of oth­er vehi­cles and extend­ed deep into the east­ern desert.

It was judged a com­plete suc­cess, and 40 Com­man­do, yet again, proved to be a high­ly effec­tive and pro­fes­sion­al force.

Cap­tain Matt Shaw RM said:

“The men were out­stand­ing, as always, and it was great to see them suc­cess­ful­ly car­ry out the mis­sion in a seam­less man­ner and, most impor­tant­ly, to all return unharmed after­wards.

“This oper­a­tion was the cul­mi­na­tion of our six-month tour and it has made me extreme­ly proud to lead such out­stand­ing Marines.”

Major Paul Lynch RM, Offi­cer Com­mand­ing Delta Com­pa­ny, said:

“We achieved our mis­sion to dis­rupt the insur­gents and gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of the lives of the local nation­als in the area so that efforts can be made to draw them into GIRoA and, where pos­si­ble, assist them with regen­er­a­tion.”

Although the oper­a­tion was in the desert it was con­trolled from For­ward Oper­at­ing Base Nolay by the company’s sec­ond-in-com­mand, Cap­tain John Zaal, on exchange from the Unit­ed States Marine Corps. He said:

“Work­ing with the British has been a once-in-a-life­time expe­ri­ence, one which I will always remem­ber.”

Cap­tain Mar­ty Adams RM said:

“It was excel­lent see­ing the lads go out, achieve their mis­sion, and all return unscathed on their last oper­a­tion.”

With Char­lie Com­pa­ny already in the UK, the com­ple­tion of this oper­a­tion saw the remain­ing Roy­al Marines of 40 Com­man­do arrive at Camp Bas­tion before return­ing home to Nor­ton Manor Camp in Taunton with their Com­mand­ing Offi­cer, Lieu­tenant Colonel Paul James RM.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK

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