Monday, April 4, 2016

COMMAND CHRONOLOGY--Operation Fatah--SUBJ MAKHMUR, MOSUL, 27TH MARINES.

TO MLBR
FROM DSRT
SUBJ COMMAND CHRONOLOGY//APRIL, 2016    ---CLASSIFIED--


HEADQUARTERS
27th Marine Regiment
1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF
FPO San Francisco, California 96602

COMMAND CHRONOLOGY
01 April-30 April, 2016

INDEX

PART  I -- ORGANIZATIONAL DATA
PART II -- NARRATIVE SUMMARY
PART III -- SEQUENTIAL LISTING OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS
PART IV --  SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS
ANNEX A -- 1st Battalion Chronology
ANNEX B -- 2nd Battalion Chronology
ANNEX C -- 3rd Battalion Chronology
ANNEX D --S3 JOURNAL
ANNEX E -- SITREPS

(NOTE; ANNEX A-E Filed Separately)

----------------------------------------------------------------

PART 1. --ORGANIZATIONAL DATA

1. DESIGNATION                                          COMMANDING
27th Marines                                                   Col. AG Sierra
SUBORDINATE UNITS
HQ Company                                                  1st Lt  HJ Papa
1st Battalion                                                    Lt Col JE Golf
2nd Battalion                                                   Lt Col LJ Bravo
3rd Battalion                                                    Lt Col TJ Whiskey

2.  LOCATION
01-30 April, 2016--Firebase Rodes, Makhmur, Iraq (AT001002)

3.  STAFF OFFICERS
Executive Officer                                            Lt Col NG Romeo
Adjutant                                                          1st Lt  DE Mike
S-1 Officer                                                      1st Lt DG Alpha
S-2 Officer                                                      Maj LA Bravo
S-3 Officer                                                      Maj JR Charlie
S-4 Officer                                                      Capt WA Sierra
Communications Officer                                Maj RD Bravo
Medical Officer                                              Lt  MC Golf
Chaplain                                                         LtCmdr MC Lima
Air Liaison Officer                                         Maj LA Charlie
FSCC Officer                                                 Maj HR McMike

4. AVERAGE MONTHLY STRENGTH

        USMC                                                  USN
OFF          ENL                              OFF            ENL
135          3294                                  10             157

------------------------------------------------------------------

PART II--NARRATIVE SUMMARY

During the month of April, 2016, the 27th Marine Regiment was operating at less than10-percent on-the-ground strength, with the rest of the regiment in ready reserve on board ships in an unspecified location. The objective of those on the ground, in and around the TAOR was to provide direct support to the  attached artillery unit serving as fire support for field operations of the Iraqi 15th Division as well as Kurdish units also operating in the area.

In particular, the forward units found themselves at a base wholly inadequate for defensive purposes, both in terms of housing and perimeter security. Immediate attention was paid to setting up bunkers, Command HQ/COC; guard posts, towers and road checkpoints. 10,000 sandbags were airlifted in at a makeshift helicopter pad, designated LZ 410, for the purpose of reinforcing trench lines and guard posts. Several thousand feet of concertina wire was strung along the perimeter and adequate lighting provided by a platoon chopped from the 7th Engineers.

Access to Firebase Rodes is by means of two dirt trails that became nearly impassable when heavy rain drenched the TAOR in late March. Gravel was brought in and used to bolster access but was met with limited success so that only lighter weight vehicles were allowed to pass.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

PART III--SEQUENTIAL LISTING OF SIGNIFICANT EVENTS

a.) Summary--The Iraqi 15th Division has embarked on the first phase of Operation Fatah (Conquest) with the ultimate objective of the eventual liberation of ISIS controlled Mosul. The operation was met with immediate setbacks due to the intensity of resistance from enemy units entrenched in nearby villages, persistent mortar attacks, suicide cars and very bad weather which limited air cover for the advancing mobilized columns.

b.) Intelligence-- It has been noted in section (a) that resistance has been heavy. Now, the Kurds are reporting that there may be ISIS spies in the ranks of the Iraqi regulars. Locally, there are some Sunni irregulars assisting in rooting out the enemy enclaves in the villages but this has been met with limited success. There has been very little forthcoming in the form of captured enemy fighters and radio chatter has been kept to a minimum.

c.)  Operations-- The unit has been assigned security for the Tactical Area of Operations (TAOR) set forth in NAVCOM msg A-0655-N and includes the following area. Makhmur lies about 15 miles to the east of the Tigris River with numerous villages along the east-west Makhmur-Al Qayyarah Highway. There is one junction just a few miles in from the river and the road itself has been mined and blown in several locations. The following map indicates some of the more prominent features of the TAOR:


There is single access across the Tigris at Liberty Bridge, with a span of about 500 feet.. Beyond that and to the southwest is the abandoned large airbase of Al Qayyarah West, or "Key West". Its tactical value currently is under consideration but the runway is so badly bombed, and its remote location in the opposite direction of Mosul, the objective, makes its usefulness doubtful. It may well be bypassed as the operation moves across the Tigris and proceeds north.

Make no mistake, the Kurds are suspicious of the Iraqis, the Sunni irregulars have a limited role, and the 15th Division is a bit shaken at every incoming mortar attack and rocket barrage. Planners have been turning the clock ahead into 2017 for the actual final push into Mosul..


d.)  Supporting Arms--Currently, there are four (4) 155mm howitzers operating at Firebase Bell, redesignated "Kara Soar" following recent rocket attacks. The base is not fully functional with tents that need to be protected from the attacks. The missions are in support of the 15th maneuvers in the field. In addition, air cover is provided by jet aircraft and helicopter gunships depending on the terrain, whether out in the open or urban, and in relation to the weather.


e.) Another consideration is the influx of refugees from the villages currently being cleared as the 15th pushes across Liberty Bridge. Any number of small villages dot the barren landscape to the north of the highway, Arizona Territory, and to the south, Dodge City. The refugee flow has not only slowed movement of the 15th west but has added security concerns as the families aggregate in Makhmur, currently being housed at the soccer stadium.







PART IV--SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS--TO BE FILED SEPARATELY; SITREPS FWD CMD ASAP--

END OF REPORT--
































ROAD TO MOSUL--The Riviera, Boot Hill, Firebase Rodes--SUBJ MAKHMUR, OPERATION FATAH...