Marines Expelled From Afghanistan

Bad news for the Marine Special Operations Command.

Army general kicks Marines out of Afghanistan
By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Mar 23, 2007 17:15:41 EDT

The Corps’ first Marine special operations company has been expelled from Afghanistan after a March 4 enemy ambush on the Marines left eight Afghans dead and another 34 wounded, a U.S. spokesman said Friday.

The decision to remove the MSOC was made by Army Maj. Gen. Frank Kearney, head of U.S. Special Operations Command-Central Command, based on his assessment of the people’s perceptions of what happened, said Army Lt. Col. Louis Leto, a spokesman for SOCCent.

“After the incident, which prompted an ongoing investigation, the general thought or felt it degrades the unit’s ability to conduct counter-insurgency,” Leto said.

The MSOC’s deployment into Afghanistan is significant and historic, as it is the Corps’ first spec-ops unit to deploy into combat since the creation of Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command in early 2006. The command is the Marine Corps’ portion of the joint U.S. Special Operations Command.

But SOCCent is investigating an incident on March 4 in which Afghan witnesses and several wounded civilians told Associated Press freelancers that U.S. forces had fired on civilians in Nangarhar province after a suicide attack on a Marine convoy.

“The investigation is still ongoing,” Leto said. “It’s very thorough.”

The Marines’ status wasn’t readily available.

“The MSOC is in the process of redeploying out of Afghanistan,” Maj. Cliff Gilmore, a MarSOC spokesman, said Friday.

The command isn’t part of the investigation, but “MarSOC is being aware,” Gilmore said. “The investigation at this point is a SOCCent issue.”

But it’s given the command a slight pause.

“What we are primarily looking at, basically, is reviewing our processes and procedures… [and] see what we may be able to do to improve.”

The company deployed with the Camp Lejeune, N.C.-based 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in January.


War Hero
Tomahawk, do you by any chance have a link? Thanks.


War Hero
Much appreciated. The other story I saw was rather light on details.


War Hero
There'll be a load of disappointed Jinglies come "Man-Love Thursday" then...

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