The 700-strong force arrived by RAF Chinook and Royal Navy Sea King helicopters, Viking armoured vehicles, Leopard tanks, and on foot, and achieved total surprise in the latest phase of Operation AABI TOORAH ('Blue Sword').
Lieutenant Colonel Al Lister Royal Marines, Chief of Operations for Task Force Helmand, summed up the success of this phase, saying:
"This was a very successful, deliberate joint operation that demonstrated clearly to the enemy that the Task Force continues to operate where and when it chooses. Marjah has previously been a safe haven for the enemy; we have shattered that illusion and more will follow. We will continue to erode the capability and influence of the enemy and enable the extension of legitimate governance throughout Helmand."
This latest phase of Op AABI TOORAH had three main objectives: firstly, through rapid manoeuvre and build up of combat power, to surprise the enemy and disrupt their movement and planning; secondly, to confuse their situational awareness by hitting their fighting forces across several of their key, central locations; and finally, to allow the spread of legitimate Afghan governance, further enhancing the stability of the neighbouring districts of Nawa and Nad e-Ali.