Operation Anaconda


During OPERATION ANACONDA a battle took place on a ridge top now known to us as TAKUR GHAR. Six brave special operators lost their lives, 3 of them members of this battalion. This is a brief summary of the battle. On the 4th of March 2002, while operating in Afghanistan, a CH-47 carrying Navy SEALS came under enemy machine gun and RPG fire. A RPG tore through the left side of the aircraft and Petty Officer First Class Neil Roberts fell from the rear ramp.   Responding to this situation, the Ranger QRF platoon was alerted and took off from Bagram airfield to rescue the stranded SEAL.  As the aircraft approached the LZ, it was hit with small arms and rocket propelled grenade fires.  While attempting to exit the aircraft, SGT Bradley Crose, CPL Matthew Commons and SPC Marc Anderson were killed by enemy machine gun fire. The remaining members of the platoon attempted a direct assault on the enemy positions but fell back to consolidate and reorganize after falling under overwhelming enemy fire. The second aircraft carrying the remaining members of the QRF platoon landed 2000 ft below the ridge top in order to avoid a ‘hot’ LZ. Forced to climb to get into the fight. The Rangers scaled the mountain in two hours. Finally reaching the top the Rangers began to assault and destroy the remaining enemy  resistance. With help from Air Force Combat Controllers and ETAC’s, Navy F-14’s were called in  and destroyed the remaining enemy fighters.

 During the next period of darkness, a rescue mission was sent to relieve the embattled Special Operations force, and all personnel were recovered.  The Rangers from the 1st Ranger Battalion, airmen from the Special Tactics Squadron, Tactical Air Control Party, helicopter crewmen from the Special Operations Aviation Regiment once again lived the embodiment of the Ranger Creed as they did not “leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy” during the 14 hours of intense combat.  SGT Crose, CPL Commons and SPC Anderson gave of themselves so that others would survive. 

Rangers Lead The Way!