“Towards the end our deployment, I’m talking right around the 30 day mark if I’m not wrong, I was standing post on an old British outpost called ANP Hill. It overlooked the ANP part of our main FOB on the backside, and on the front was a village that was, let just say, sympathetic to the Taliban. Off to the right was this mountain that the Brits had nicknamed Lucy Pinder…the two peaks of the mountain looked like a set of DD’s and if you’ve ever seen a picture of her well…enough said. The mountain itself provided a great view of the valley and the Taliban had used it numerous times to shoot at us, as well as an overlook for a suspected supply line, so it was only a matter of time until we went up there and did something about it. That’s what they were banking on. When the first Marines went up to set up our outposts up there, it was so mined it took a week to clear.
A couple of weeks later I was on our final OP rotation. I was getting ready to relieve my buddy (redacted) from his post on ANP Hill, and it happened to be the one looking at the village with good ole Lucy Ponder off to the right. I asked him if there was anything I needed to know and he told me that our snipers had gone up the mountain to help reinforce the OPs because the Taliban were massing an attack of some two hundred fighters. There were roughly thirty marines and a handful of ANA….
After I relieved him (redacted) put his shit down and came and sat outside my post while the night went on, just talking and making sure each other was okay and then it started. It was like watching real life star wars, only you’re listening to your friends on this mountain call in contact. Through my night vision all I could see were tracers going both ways and all I heard were the sounds of AKs and 240s ripping away. When you hear it talking guns truly is the infantry version of Mozart.
With the guns ripping away I could hear the radio chatter. Our sniper platoon closest too us was what caught my squads attention. I forget their call sign (lets call them war party for fun) reported their first contact it was during the first of the 240 fire. All the while my outpost had our GBoss (a surveillance camera with IR and night vision that can see for miles) pointed at the mountain. In the middle of the gun fight I remember watching a Taliban fighter get separated from the rest of his squad. As that was happening and he was trying to circle around we were trying to use a laser from the GBoss to mark this guy. We kept it on him and were radioing it up. Then all of a sudden, everything goes quiet. That’s when (redacted) from our sniper platoon came over the net and said “Cherokee main, Cherokee main, this is war party. there are nine enemy KIA, I say again have nine enemy KIA”, stopped mid transmission and all you heard was the 240 let a burst loose into the guy we had laser designated and (redacted) came back over the radio and said “break break, ten enemy KIA over”
The two outposts had apparently gotten into a gunfight with something like 90 fighters, the rest of them apparently hauled ass back to another village they were using as a staging point because they thought they were out numbered. That was one of the last operations we had our first tour….March 2011
– Anonymous US Marine. 1st Battalion 8th Marines Charlie Co. Now Zad, Helmand Province. Afghanistan
This interview was conducted by Battles and Beers (TM) Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.