first published on November 28, 2018 by Josh
Sangin was one of the most contested areas in all of the Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Marines from 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines initially took control of the area from 40 Commando Royal Marines, who were operating in the area for over 4 years prior to handing the area over to American Marines. In total, the British Royal Marines sustained over 106 KIA trying to wrestle control of Sangin from the Taliban.
When 3/7 landed on scene in July of 2010, they immediately began an intensive clearing operation known as “Operation: Sangin Sunrise,” which involved clearing out all of the major tree lines in the region all the way to the Helmand River using Marines from the 1st Marine Tank Division. At the conclusion of their deployment, they handed over control of Sangin to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines who would endure some of the bloodiest fighting of the war in Afghanistan throughout the duration of their tenure in the region.
During the 3/5’s deployment, casualties would mount so quickly that a reserve rifle company from 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, and an active duty company from 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines would be called into action in order to bolster their strength. In total, the Marines of 3/5 would suffer 25 Marines Killed in Action, with another 184 Marines being Wounded in Action during the clearance phase of their operations against the Taliban. If you would like to read more about the experiences of a 3/5 Marines, Logan from Black Rifle Coffee Company has chronicled a few posts, which you can find at this link.
The video below was recorded by the Marines of 3/5 as they conducted an ambush against the Taliban in Sangin. The ambush goes in their favor, and quickly turns into a running gunfight against members of the Taliban in Sangin. It is a small glimpse into the daily lives of the Marines who deployed to Sangin in 2010 and 2011.