A MARSOC Marine takes cover as a sand storm approaches the Village of Ranje Bala, Farah province, Afghanistan on February 28th, 2010. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicholas Pilch)
Five battle crosses representing five Marines who were killed in action stand during a memorial service on Patrol Base Hassan Abad in Garmsir district, Helmand province, Afghanistan on March 22nd, 2010. The Marines were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dwight A. Henderson)
USNS ARCTIC -Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit’s Force Reconnaissance Platoon and Security Element, Headquarters and Service Company, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment provide security while a CH-53E Super Stallion lands on the USNS Arctic during a simulated Expanded, Visit, Board, Search and Seizure, Dec. 7, 2011 The 24th MEU is currently taking part in Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), scheduled to take place Nov. 28 to Dec. 21. The training is meant to develop cohesion between the 24th MEU and Amphibious Squadron 8 (PHIBRON-8) in conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations while operating from the sea. The CH-53E helicopters are a detachment from HMH-464 based at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., and comprise part of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron VMM-261 (Rein), which is the Aviation Combat Element for the 24th MEU.
(Official USMC Photo by: Lance Cpl. Michael Petersheim/ Released), Lance Cpl. Michael Petersheim, 12/7/2011 8:45 AMMarines
US gay service members march in a gay pride parade for the first time ever.(Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker)
“What makes Operation Khanjar different from those that have occurred before is the massive size of the force introduced, the speed at which it will insert, and the fact that where we go, we will stay, and where we stay, we will hold, build and work toward transition of all security responsibilities to Afghan forces,” says Larry Nicholson, the Marine commander in Helmand.