22nd MEU Afghanistan Recap: Operation THUNDER ROAD

2 Sep 2004 | Gunnery Sgt. Keith A. Milks

The final major combat operation undertaken by the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) in Afghanistan kicked off on June 27 and ran through July 10.Dubbed Operation THUNDER ROAD, the mission was a battalion-sized operation in the Cahar Cinah district of Afghanistan's Oruzgan province. While Alpha Co., Battalion Landing Team 1st Bn., 6th Marines established blocking positions to the north and scoured the area for anti-coalition fighters and weapons; Bravo, Charlie, and Weapons Companies pushed up from the south.The 14-day operation netted an impressive quantity of arms, ammunition, and ordnance which was all destroyed by Marine and Navy explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) technicians. Additionally, those enemy fighters who rose up to resist the Marines were quickly dealt with.On the first day of the operation, a brief yet intense firefight between anti-coalition fighters and Marines from the Combined Anti-Armor Team (CAAT) of BLT 1/6 resulted in the deaths of three enemy fighters. Found in their possession were numerous communications devices and bomb-making materials.Later in the operation, Marines from Bravo Co. came under fire during the search of a village and one AK-47-armed fighter was killed. An attempted attack against the BLT 1/6 forward operating base several days later was beat back by Afghan National Army troops assigned to the task force who killed at least one enemy fighter and forced the others to flee. No Marines or Afghan allies were wounded in any of these engagements.This is the tenth installment in a 11-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