2/5 Marines replace 2/4 in Afghanistan


Lt. Col. William Vivian, right, commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, observes the flag during a transfer of authority ceremony with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. (Facebook photo)

The Magnificent Bastards are coming home.

Second Battalion, 4th Marines, out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., is returning to the U.S. this week after a seven-month deployment. Most of the unit was based in Musa Qala, but the unit also pressed into neighboring Kajaki district at times as part of an effort to squash the insurgency there.

The battalion will be replaced downrange by a sister unit, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. Its Marines will continue to push the Taliban as far as they can from population centers, facing a mix of small-arms ambushes, improvised explosive devices and other threats.

For 2/4, the deployment was complicated. As a New York Times magazine piece pointed out in February, the unit pushed into “the hinterlands” of their area of operations — and even beyond. In one example, the unit pushed into nearby Zamindawar, a historically violent area in a remote section of western Kajaki district.


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I'm a senior writer with Marine Corps Times, covering ground warfare, manpower, weapons acquisition and other beats. I embedded in Afghanistan in spring 2010, and plan to return at least once in 2011.

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