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The Battle of Takur Ghar

The Battle of Takur Ghar
2 USMC Marine Raiders were killed this Tuesday in Iraq during clearing operations. Please keep their families and friends in your thoughts and prayers. 

The battle of Takur Ghar is commonly referred to as “Roberts Ridge”, after Navy Seal PO1 Neil C. Roberts, the first casualty of the battle. 

Shortly after the beginning of Operation Anaconda, US Navy SEALS apart of DEVGRU, Team Mako 30, would be tasked with a observation mission atop the peak of Takur Ghar in the Shahi Kot valley. A hasty plan was sent to them from Operation Anaconda commanders. During the night of 3 March, they began attempts to insert by Chinook helicopters, callsigns Razor 03 & 04, near the peak of Takur Ghar. Due to delays and maintenance issues with helicopters, the insertion was not in progress until early morning 4 March. Limited observation and haste led to an uneasiness with the DEVGRU leaders and immediately upon insertion they came under intense enemy fire.

 Multiple Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and machine gun fire hit the first Chinook, Razor 03, carrying part of Mako 30. This heavy fire caused a loss of power and a fire upon the aircraft that led Razor 03 to make an emergency landing to protect it from more fire. After a quick assessment, Razor 03 would lift off to try pull out of the area. Due to damage the helicopter was not able to be controlled properly and Navy Seal PO1 Neil C. Roberts would fall off the rear ramp of the helicopter. Razor 03 would attempt to recover him, but due to damage pulled off and crash landed several kilometers away. 

Roberts would fall around 3 meters into the snow. Razor 04 would insert into the location and drop off the rest of Mako 30 to find Roberts. Due to continued heavy enemy fire, they would immediately have to leave the area. Mako 30 would suffer 3 wounded, 2 SEALs and Master Sergeant Chapman, a Air Force CCT. Mako 30 would mistakenly think Master Sergeant Chapman was killed and withdraw from the area, leaving a wounded Master Sergeant Chapman. Mako 30 would call for reinforcements comprised of a US Army Ranger Quick Reaction Force (QRF). The QRF would face a intense battle of their own. Upon arrival, their Chinook would be damaged and forced to crash land. 5 members of the QRF would be killed and they would face a up hill battle for the duration. 

Navy Seal PO1 Neil C. Roberts was either killed immediately upon falling out of the Chinook or by enemy fire some time later. Differing reports state he was captured and then executed or fought for nearly an hour bravely before being killed.

Predator drone footage shows Master Sergeant Chapman was alive and fighting a mere 45 seconds before the QRF arrived. Master Sergeant Chapman would posthumously receive the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle on 22 August 2018. 

In total 7 US service members would be killed with no major operational objectives being met. 

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