Browsing: Camp Leatherneck

I now introduce an insurgent’s worst nightmare. Below is new video of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, better known as HIMARS. It was recorded by Combat Camera recently at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, where Kilo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marines, operates from to assists infantry units downrange: The rockets carry M270 rounds, and are no joke. Military officials say they can be fired up to 186 miles, with the warhead reaching an altitude of more than 31 miles on long-range shots. HIMARS use was briefly suspended in February 2010 after two rockets fired from a HIMARS unit fell about 300…

It’s not every day that I learn a new word while searching for the latest and greatest Bored Marine Video. Today is one of those days. Below, Marines with Combat Camera in Afghanistan perform “Don’t Turn the Lights On.” This is no Britney Spears jam, though. This song is originally by Chromeo, an “electrofunk duo.” And thus, the word of the day: electrofunk. I have to say, this Bored Marine Video is a cut above the typical material. Well-produced? Check. Well lip-synced? Check. Psychedlic undertones? Absolutely. For the record, it appears these Marines are based at Camp Leatherneck, where they…

It’s that time of the year again. It’s time to eat dirt. At least it is in Afghanistan, where the summer sandstorm season is underway. The photograph above was posted recently on the Facebook page of 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, depicting a sandstorm in Sangin district. As noted on Battle Rattle last year when I was downrange, the season is known as the “120 Days of Wind.” It runs from late-spring through Afghanistan’s hot summers, whipping up storms on a regular basis that suffocate light, halt air traffic and prevent some Marines from going on patrol. After all, if a squad…

It’s a time of change in Helmand province, Afghanistan. Marines at Camp Leatherneck are in the midst of a transition from I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) to II MEF Fwd. The change of command from Maj. Gen. Richard Mills to Maj. Gen. John Toolan hasn’t occurred yet, but it likely will soon. First Marine Division (Fwd.), commanded by Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, already has stepped down in favor of 2nd MARDIV Fwd. That unit is known in Afghanistan as Task Force Leatherneck, and will be commanded for the next year by Brig. Gen. Lewis Craparotta. The transition doesn’t end there,…

Never let it be said that the Marine Corps likes missing handing out a good slap in the face for their enemies. During a press conference conducted today from Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. Richard Mills shared a fun little anecdote about a senior Taliban leader Marine forces have been tracking. Speaking about the plans his forces have this winter, he said the Marines will put on a “full-court press… at a time that has traditionally been a little slower” in terms of combat operations. “We can take advantage of that weakness as his numbers decline and his leadership goes…

Last month, the Marine Corps made national headlines while acknowledging that they were deploying a company of tanks to Afghanistan. That report was no joke. The service has released photographs showing M1A1 tanks at Camp Leatherneck, along with a story by a combat correspondent that reports that five tanks are already in theater, with more to arrive soon. Here’s video of the first tanks rolling off a C-17 transport plane at Camp Bastion, which abuts Leatherneck, last week. The only piece that is still interestingly absent: The Corps has not identified which company of Marines will deploy to operate the…

Unless you’re a comic-book villain or stuck in the 1980s, you’re probably aware that mustaches get a bum rap in the 21st century. They inspire accusatory T-shirts. They receive frequenty mockery, even when worn by movie stars. Things have become so bad for mustaches, The American Mustache Institute was founded (ironically, I think) to “fighting discrimination against mustached Americans.” This doesn’t scare away Marines, though. As this story out of Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, points out, they are an active participant in “Movember,” the month-long campaign to promote prostate cancer awareness by growing a fearsome ‘stache. For perspective’s sake, it’s worth pointing…

Meet Taker, a black labrador retriever with 3rd Combat Engineer Battalion, out of Twentynine Palms, Calif. The Marine Corps released this image Monday as part of a series showing the work done by Dental Detachment, Charlie Surgical Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan. Taker was in for a root canal, the Corps said. And since everyone loves a good dog photo, why not share it here?

Not long after I first started at Military Times, I had a conversation with a colleague, Andrew Tilghman, about a particular memory he had of an embedded assignment in Iraq. Covering Army operations in violent Mahmudiyah in 2006, he had several striking conversations with Army Pfc. Steven Green, who offered a simple statement: “I came over here to kill people.” Tilghman, not yet employed by Military Times at the time, later wrote about the encounter for the Washington Post. The memory became especially vivid after Green was convicted of raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then killing her and her family.…

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – I went to the gym today at 3 p.m. That may not exactly sound like breaking news, but the time signifies something bigger: Camp Leatherneck’s gym controversy is finally over. About a week ago, Capt. Thano Pravong, Leatherneck’s camp commandant, made the decision to close the gym from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. after it was discovered that the midday temperature inside was edging toward 120 degrees.  Helmand province cracks triple digits regularly now, and when you add in a few hundred men (and a few women) pumping iron in an enclosed tent, it can get…

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