Captain Mackenzie Green, Officer Comanding 10 Troop sends a situation report during the initial breech (entry) into the enemy compounds during Operation VOLCANO, Afghanistan. [Picture: LA(Phot) Gaz Faulkner]
"The dam needs a lot of maintenance and another turbine in order for it to work more efficiently. Once this happens and the local surrounding area is safer the dam will provide electricity for millions of local Afghans and create jobs for thousands." Sayed Rasul, manager/senior engineer of the Kajaki Hydro-Electric Dam
Notice the part in the above quote about "the local surrounding area is safer"?
That's what the Royal Marines are for (and didja notice the bayonet on the good Captain's rifle? I dig how Captain G rolls!)...
Below is the story and video, courtesy of the Ministry of Defense. In the video, you'll see the operation unfold (including a commander's sand table brief of the op):
Royal Marines have cleared a Taliban base, consisting of 25 compounds, near the Kajaki hydroelectric dam, in an effort to help bring stability and power to Afghanistan.
Once fully operational the dam will bring electricity to 1.8 million people. But the area around Kajaki, northern Helmand Province, has been the site of regular insurgent mortar attacks over the past two months and civilians have been forced from their homes leaving the dam largely unservicable.
The recent clearance was part of an ongoing operation to create a safe-zone around the dam and allow engineers to re-enter the area and bring the dam back up to full power.
Troops from M Company, 42 Commando, have been based in the area of Kajaki clearing compounds for the past six weeks. They regularly receive enemy small arms fire, mortars and rockets from insurgents firing from the villages surrounding Kajaki.
Operation Volcano was mounted to clear insurgents from firing points in the village of Barikju, north of Kajaki.
Surveillance over the past two months had observed numerous enemy forces conducting sentries in two main positions with an administration area to the rear. The village of Barikju is completely deserted except for insurgent forces.
Using the cover of darkness, M Company, with elements of 59 Commando Royal Engineers, Arms Explosives Search Teams and Royal Engineer Search Teams in support, moved into the area of Barikju. 10 Troop M Company conducted the initial break into the well-fortified and high-walled first compound, receiving heavy fire from Taliban rifles, machine guns and Rocket Propelled Grenades. They accomplished this with a mixture of support from mortars and from the air...
I'll post a MoD video of the dam after the jump. No combat in that one, the outside footage of the dam is beautiful...