CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Marine Corps M1A1 Abrams tanks continue to roll into Afghanistan and are being staged here for inspection before being assigned elsewhere in Helmand province as another tool in waging counterinsurgency operations.
Five tanks have arrived so far, and another dozen or so are expected to arrive in the coming weeks, according to 2nd Lt. Matthew Glisson, officer in charge of the Initial Issue Provisioning lot aboard Camp Leatherneck, where the tanks will undergo inspections and any required maintenance.
“In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Marine Corps is looking to boost the combat power of the infantrymen on the ground and what better way to do that than with tanks,” said Glisson, 26, from Oxford, Pa., a member of Support Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward), 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward).
Marines from Maintenance Company, CLR-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD), will assist civilian contractors in inspections and conducting maintenance on the tanks as operations continue, added Glisson.
In addition to increased maneuverability and precision firepower, the tanks will provide superior optics, allowing coalition forces to spot improvised explosive devices being emplaced by the Taliban, their primary weapon of choice, according to Maj. Gen. Richard Mills, commanding general of Regional Command (Southwest).
“The superior optics provided by the tanks give us one more tool to take away the night from the enemy…..he can’t use the darkness to lay his IED’s that cause so many casualties among our forces and the civilian population,” said Mills.