22nd MEU Afghanistan Recap: Operation PEGASUS

10 Aug 2004 | Gunnery Sgt. Keith A. Milks

For years, Taliban insurgents and anti-coalition factions in Afghanistan have used violence and the threat of retribution to coerce Afghan villagers into supporting their cause.In an effort to protect the people of the town of Khas Oruzgan, a remote village in south-central Afghanistan that has long suffered at the hands of Taliban and ACM elements, the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) launched Operation PEGASUS on May 9, 2004.While the purpose of PEGASUS was to disrupt and deter enemy activity in the region, the Marines also provided security for local government officials and established a safe environment for voter registration efforts orchestrated by the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA).The core of the task force participating in PEGASUS was the MEU's Force Reconnaissance platoon which was reinforced initially, and throughout the mission, by various elements from the MEU Command Element, Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 6th Marines, MEU Service Support Group 22, the Afghan National Army, and Afghan Militia Forces. The MEU's aviation combat element, Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 (Reinforced), regularly flew in reinforcements and supplies to the isolated village.After several weeks, the Force Reconnaissance Platoon was pulled out to conduct missions elsewhere in the Oruzgan Province and replaced by a reinforced rifle platoon from Alpha Co., BLT 1/6. Eventually, ANA forces assumed the helm of security operations in the Khas Oruzgan region.PEGASUS was named after the winged horse of Greek mythology that sprang from the blood of Medusa, the snake-haired Gorgon slain by Perseus.This is the fourth installment in a 12-part series chronicling the 22nd MEU (SOC)'s operations and missions in Afghanistan.For more information on the 22nd MEU (SOC)'s role in Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, visit the unit's web site at http://www.22meu.usmc.mil.
22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit