first published on April 24, 2016 by Josh
A group of Soldiers are pinned on a hillside, by Taliban forces during a major offensive operation, in the Watapur Valley of Afghanistan in 2011.
On June 25, 2011 Soldiers of Task Force Cacti entered the “Gambir Jungle” as part of operation Hammer Down. The intent of the operation was to move into The Watapur Valley of Afghanistan, and eliminate major Taliban training camps as well as disrupt the flow of Taliban fighters into the Pech River region.
As they entered the area to begin the operation, the men of Bravo Company, 2/35 Infantry Regiment, came into heavy contact with Taliban forces. The initial contact immediately slowed the operation when one of the platoon commanders, 1st LT Dimitri del Castillo, was killed. In this same initial contact, the company’s commander and fire support officer were also seriously injured, and required medevac.
The level of aggression the Soldiers were met with by the Taliban fighters in the area then prompted the task force commander to rewrite the operations order. What was initially supposed to be a two day operation to clear out Taliban strongholds, turned into a week long battle against determined Taliban forces for key terrain in the area.
If you would like to read more about operation Hammer Down, and the men who fought there, you can read a full synopsis and study of the operation >>>HERE.<<<