Photo Information

An Afghan National Army soldier with the 215th Corps and a U.S. Marine advisor with Task Force Southwest discuss offensive strategy during an advisory meeting at Camp Hanson, Afghanistan, June 13, 2017. Marines and Sailors from Task Force Southwest are supporting and assisting the 1st and 3rd Brigades of the 215th Corps during Operation Maiwand Three, which is designed to clear Nad-e Ali and Marjah of insurgents. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins)

Photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

Task Force Southwest supports ANDSF Maiwand Three operations

15 Jun 2017 | Sgt. Lucas Hopkins II Marine Expeditionary Force

U.S. Marine advisors with Task Force Southwest continue to support their Afghan National Defense Security Forces partners during offensive operations throughout Helmand Province.

Known as Operation Maiwand Three, The Afghan National Army 215th Corps’ 1st and 3rd Brigades are clearing the Nad-e Ali and Marjah districts of enemy presence while also resupplying Kandaks in the area.

“[We’ve] been planning this with them and facilitating all the planning and coordination. About three days ago, they crossed the line of departure and began executing,” said Col. Matthew Grosz, the Task Force’s senior advisor to the 215th Corps.

The mission of Task Force Southwest is to train, advise and assist both the 215th Corps and 505th Zone National Police. Although the Marines are not engaged in ground combat, they are still “shana-by-shana,” or shoulder-to-shoulder, with their ANDSF counterparts, providing mentorship and guidance, as well as air and intelligence assets.

“We’re planning and doing this operation together. When we work together, we can take out the enemy,” said Lt. Col. Mohammed Sadeqh, the chief of planning operations for the 215th Corps.

Recently, Marine advisors also travelled to Camp Nolay for an expeditionary advising package, to support the 3rd Kandak, 2nd Brigade during operations in Sangin. Task Force Southwest remains steadfast in their commitment to promoting security and stability in the region by, with and through the Afghan forces as they continue to gain traction and build a ready force.

“We’ve been here two months, and in two months’ time, I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the [215th] Corp’s ability to plan and execute independent operations,” said Grosz. “These initial steps have been extremely positive… I think there are a lot of gains to be made in future operations.”

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