Courtesy of David Palka
Task & Purpose: ‘ISIS… They Were More Bold’: Marines Shed Light On Violent Mystery Deployment
The day-to-day ground truth for U.S. troops involved in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq has been shrouded in relative mystery. It’s been characterized by politicians and reporters as an “advise and assist” mission, in which American forces train and manage local troops, largely avoiding direct combat. But new information obtained by Business Insider’s Paul Szoldra shows that the men of one particularly cloistered Marine company were under near-constant threat of enemy attack, taking fire more than a dozen times during a two-and-half month stretch at Fire Base Bell in 2016.
Maj. David Palka, the commander of that unit — Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines — was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with “V” on May 1 for leading his Marines during the violent stretch in an austere and isolated artillery position near the front line in the fight against ISIS. Business Insider reconstructed much of the Marines’ activity from interviews with Palka and his subordinates, as well as from government documents.
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WNU Editor: I posted this story on one of my Military and Intelligence News Briefs posts a week ago, but considering the impact that they had on the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq, it definitely deserves a post of its own. The night before I watched a Russian documentary on the effectiveness of a Russian artillery base in Syria .... the accuracy and the ability to project firepower by today's artillery onto a distant battle is truly impressive.