22nd MEU Afghanistan Recap: Operation RIO BRAVO

16 Aug 2004 | Gunnery Sgt. Keith A. Milks

Operation RIO BRAVO commenced on May 11, 2004 and saw the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) continue to prosecute its offensive campaign in south-central Afghanistan..RIO BRAVO involved the bulk of Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 6th Marines, the MEU's ground combat element, who pushed its three rifle and one weapons companies deep into regions that had long harbored Taliban and other anti-government factions.While BLT 1/6's Alpha and Charlie Company conducted cordon and search operations on a string of villages looking for enemy fighters and weapons caches, Bravo Company set up blocking positions on a mountain where the enemy was likely to seek refuge. Elsewhere in the region, elements of Weapons Company used their Humvees and light armored vehicles to conduct independent cordon and searches and establish vehicle check points.Throughout the operation, helicopters from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 266 (Reinforced) and ground assault convoys from MEU Service Support Group 22 keep the units in the field supplied with food, water, and ammunition.RIO BRAVO lasted nine days and yielded one enemy fighter killed in action and a substantial stockpile of arms, ammunition, and ordnance. More importantly, was the initiation of dozens of civil affairs projects that sought to generate good will between the coalition forces and isolated Afghan villagers.This is the fifth 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