Saturday, June 12, 2010

VIDEO: 40 Commando Royal Marines in patrol base fire fight in Sangin

Royal Marine Commandos commemorate D-Day anniversary whilst spending the day under fire in a Sangin patrol base

On the 66th anniversary of D-Day, a memorable day for the Corps, commandos from 8 Troop, Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines (RM) spent the day under constant enemy threat in a patrol base (PB) 600 metres south of the Sangin district centre. It is a day like many others in the region, with the troop suffering casualties in recent weeks. But today the commandos took time to remember their colleagues after being fired upon by accurate fire and attacked by IEDs.

Lieutenant Doug Spencer, 40 Commando RM said, "Sixty-six years ago, the Royal Marines on this day put the troops ashore, facing unbelievable conditions. It's on days like this when you remember that even though conditions here are fairly austere, we're being contacted on a daily basis, people before us have had it far harder."

The day started early with the troop putting in place a vehicle check point in the village adjacent to their patrol base along with Afghan security forces. On returning from a successful patrol, a re-supply patrol was sent back to the forward operating base in the district centre to retrieve supplies and water. Whilst away from the base, the location came under IED attack to the south-west, with the outer walls being breached. The returning re-supply patrol was then contacted by enemy fire whilst moving back to the patrol base location to link up with their colleagues.

Lance Corporal Joe Leborgne, 40 Commando RM said, "About an hour after the patrol left the PB we had a large explosion to the south-west edge of the PB. It turn out it was an IED in a wheel barrow. At that stage I was on the sangar, so I stood the two marines to and got myself relieved from the sangar that I was on, and got on the net to the Company commander to let him know what was going on."

Once inside the base, the commandos worked with Afghan security forces stationed at the location to rebuild the defences to the outer wall, under the constant threat of fire. No sooner had the repairs been made than the base came under sustain accurate fire from the south. A fire fight then ensued with the marines returning fire on positively identified insurgents.

"We received accurate fire, rounds were landing inside the sangars and close to the guys, so we stood the lads to, put them in the sangars and up on the roofs and observed likely firing points. We spotted two Taliban with weapons that were shooting at the base, so we engaged them," said Lieutenant Spencer.

Despite the pace of the day's events, the troops took time out as the sun set to commemorate the D-Day anniversary with the reading of a poem written by John Henry Beale, who had landed on the beaches of Normandy as part of 41 Commando RM. Royal Marines were involved in the operations on Sword, Juno and Gold beaches.


  1. How did you know that they are Taleban and not insurgents? Not that I really care...all I care about is the fact that none of you were wounded or killed....

    However, this is the problem in that minute you could be looking at a farmer the next that same person has a gun in his hand....or worse may have just spoken to him when you had been on patrol in their village....

    At the end of the day, besides feeling so sorry for you having to be there...Proud Of You - I continue to pray for all our troops(Past and Present)

  2. Following your tour lads, keep it going and stay strong. Almost there with Taunton beckoning.

  3. You guy's are true Heroes,and have had the toughest time in Sangin.
    Stay positive and look after each other.
    Great Britain is so grateful for what you are doing, and have done.
    You are the toughest troops, the best in the world
    There will be one big party in Taunton when you return.