US Marines in the War on Terror
From Operation Desert Storm to fighting the Taliban after 9/11 and the fight of Operation Enduring Freedom – here are 18 years of Marine missions.
S01:E01 - Flashpoints
Desert Storm was the largest single operation in Marine Corps history. Nearly 91,000 Leathernecks took part. The 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade arrived on August 14 in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The next day their tanks arrived by ship. Within five days the 7th moved north, ready to fight. 15,248 stopped the fourth largest army in the world from seizing the Saudi oil fields.
S01:E02 - Reap What You Sow
The task of retaking Khafji from Iraqi troops fell to the 2nd Saudi Arabian National Guard Brigade's 7th Battalion, composed of Saudi infantry and two Qatari tank companies attached to the task force. These were supported by U.S. Army Special Forces and Marine Reconnaissance personnel. The battle began January 29, 1991 and ended February 1st with Coalition Forces in control of the city.
S01:E03 - Building a Shield
Marine airpower is unleashed on Iraq. Marines mount small unit special ops. Marine pilots' turkey shoot against the 5th Iraqi Mechanized Division.
S01:E04 - The Storm Breaks
The Marines ground war begins. The Marines take 16,000 prisoners in one day. The Reveille Counterattack, Task Force Papa Bear meets the enemy at point blank range and the battle for the Burquan Oil Fields.
S01:E05 - FATWA
The fall of the Al Jaber Airfield and the tank fight at the Kuwait International Airport; the Marines and the fall of Kuwait City.
S01:E06 - Call to Action
Marines of the 15th and 26th Expeditionary Unit were the first conventional forces into Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in November of 2001. The Marines land in Kandahar. Operation Enduring Freedom had the support of several other nations and operations also took place in the Philippines, Somalia and the Sahara in North Africa against Al-Qaeda forces and supporting groups.
S01:E07 - Shadow War
US forces continue a build-up in Kuwait as the "Shock and Awe" campaign is ready to launch against the Iraqi army forces in Iraq.
S01:E08 - Axis of Evil
Soldiers roll into Iraq. Units include the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, the U.S. Third Division and First Marine Expeditionary Force. A combined British air and ground assault took control of Iraq's Al-Faw Peninsula, while U.S. Marines led an assault on the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.
S01:E09 - Yellow Footsteps
Iraqi troops inflicted heavy casualties on U.S. Marines in an ambush in the southeastern city of Nasiriya, peppering U.S. forces with bullets and artillery. Thousands of civilians trying to flee Basra Friday were fired upon by Iraqi paramilitaries. Three U.S. Marine infantry battalions occupy the northern and southern parts of Nasiriya. Scores of coalition soldiers were dropped deep into Iraq Friday in what is being called the longest helicopter-borne air assault operation ever.
S01:E10 - Build Up
In the beginning of the battle of Baghdad, U.S. forces start a major ground offensive against at least two Republican Guard divisions -- the Medina and Baghdad divisions -- south of the Iraqi capital. U.S. forces engage Iraqi Republican Guard troops in a major fight in Karbala. In Nasiriya, U.S. Marines go block by block mopping up and attacking paramilitary units loyal to Saddam Hussein. The 1st Battalion of the 7th Marines secured two sites on the outskirts of Kut, an ancient city whose location on the Tigris River about 40 miles south of Baghdad makes it strategically important.
S01:E11 - Charge
The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force attacks the Republican Guard's Baghdad Division, capturing a bridge and crossing the Tigris River. Air Force Major General Stanley McChrystal said the Iraqi Baghdad and Medina divisions are "no longer credible forces." The U.S First Marine Expeditionary Force engages in "hand-to-hand" combat with Iraqi infantry in southeast Baghdad. Elements of the U.S. 1st Marine Expeditionary Unit leave Baghdad for Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit and are engaged in sporadic fighting with troops loyal to Saddam. After a day of fighting, the Marines are in control and switch to clean-up mode, setting up checkpoints and patrolling the city and its suburbs.
S01:E12 - Dogs at the Gate
The Second Battle of Fallujah, Operation Al-Fajr and Operation Phantom Fury and the insurgent attacks in and around Fallujah. In September 2006 a push was mounted and lasted until January 2007. The success of the tactics developed during the push, often called the "Third Battle of Fallujah", were applied on a larger scale that lead to what can be called the Great Sunni Awakening. The episode concludes with the Surge and the stand down of forces in 2009.