Dec 1, 2010

Marine tanks arrive in Afghanistan

The Marine Corps released photographs of M1A1 tanks at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, today. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Brofer/Marine Corps)
Last month, the Marine Corps made national headlines while acknowledging that they were deploying a company of tanks to Afghanistan.
That report was no joke. The service has released photographs showing M1A1 tanks at Camp Leatherneck, along with a story by a combat correspondent that reports that five tanks are already in theater, with more to arrive soon.
There also is video of the first tanks rolling off a C-17 transport plane at Camp Bastion, which abuts Leatherneck, last week. The only piece that is still interestingly absent: The Corps has not identified which company of Marines will deploy to operate the tanks.
For what it’s worth, a Marine offered the following commentary on the deployment of tanks:

… The big difference between one of our armed UAVs versus an M1A1 is the psychological impact the presence of a tank on the battlefield has on the enemy. Just placing a tank within view, even far off view, of the enemy has a non-kinetic effect on them.
Best case in point was up in Now Zad a year ago when 3/4 began to reclaim that ghost town from the Taliban. Tanks were brought over from another NATO force in addition to the Corps ABV’s and the impact they had on the enemy was immense. Even the media that was present wrote about the effect. Seeing 68 tons of a metallic monster that is armed to the teeth is a sure way to discourage the enemy from wanting to confront you head on.

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