Task Force Tarawa

Task Force Tarawa

Task Force Tarawa (TFT) was the name given to the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They were a Marine Air-Ground Task Force commanded by Brigadier General Richard Natonski Natonski message.] that was attached to the I Marine Expeditionary Force during the course of the invasion and were most notable for their participation in the heavy fighting in the city of an-Nāṣiriyyah and the rescue of U.S. Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch. During their time supporting , the task force suffered 23 Marines killed in action.


The 7,100 Marine and Sailors of TFT departed Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on January 15, 2003. They were transported on seven United States Navy ships that together formed Amphibious Task Force East (ATF East); otherwise nicknamed the 'Magnificent Seven'. The ships were the USS|Kearsarge|LHD-3, USS|Saipan|LHA-2, USS|Bataan|LHD-5, USS|Ashland |LSD-48, USS|Portland|LSD-37, USS|Gunston Hall|LSD-44, and the USS|Ponce|LPD-15. ATF East arrived in Kuwait on February 15, 2003 and quickly debarked their aircraft and ships then headed into the northern Kuwaiti desert.

The Task force’s equipment consisted of 81 aircraft, 26 Amphibious Assault Vehicles, 24 LAVs, 14 M1A1 Abrams tanks, and 18 M198 howitzers.

Operation Iraqi Freedom

TFT crossed into Iraq on March 21, 2003 with the missions of securing Jalibah Airfield and then securing the 3 bridges over the Euphrates River at An Nasiriyah to allow the 1st Marine Division to continue its attack north. From March 23 to March 29, 2003, Task Force Tarawa was engaged in heavy fighting in and around the city of An Nasiriyah as they came in contact with Saddam Hussein’s Fedayeen and members of the Iraqi 11th Infantry Division. TFT lost 18 Marines in the fighting and were involved in a friendly fire incident in which two A-10 Warthog aircraft killed a number of Marines in the unit by strafing.

During this time the original task force grew with the additions of the 15th and 24th Marine Expeditionary Units. The Marines of TFT were the first U.S. unit to come in contact with the remnants of the 507th Maintenance Company after they were ambushed and later on took part in the rescue of prisoner of war PFC Jessica Lynch.

After leaving An Nasiriyah, the Task Force was tasked with securing the highways to the rear of the 1st Marine Division and on April 3, 2003 they secured the town of Ad Diwaniyah. They continued to move and on April 7, pushed into Al Amarah and finally ended the invasion outside of Baghdad after conducting security and stabilization operations in Al Kut on April 11.

On May 14, 2003 Task Force Tarawa turned its Area of Operations over to the 1st Marine Division and returned to the United States via Kuwait.

Order of Battle

* 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade: 2nd Marine Regiment:: 1st Battalion 2nd Marines (1/2) :: 2nd Battalion 8th Marines (2/8):: 2nd Battalion 6th Marines (2/6) :: 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines (3/2) :: 1st Battalion 10th Marines (1/10) :: Company C, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion :: Company A, 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion :: Company A, 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion (Attached to 1/2) :: Company A, 8th Tank Battalion (Attached to 1/2) :: Company A, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion: Marine Aircraft Group 29::2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion: Combat Service Support Battalion 22


ee also

* Marine Expeditionary Unit


:"This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Marine Corps."
* [http://www.lejeune.usmc.mil/meb/default.asp 2nd MEB website] . Retrieved on 2006-08-06.

*cite web|url = http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/desertstorm/annasiriyah/default.aspx
title=The Battle of An Nasiriyah
author=Lowry, Richard S.
publisher=Military History Online

*cite web|url=http://www.iraqi-freedom-diary.com/uss-bataan.html
title=Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Personal Account of the Battle of An Nasiriyah
work=Iraqi Freedom Diary
author=Feiring, Doug

*cite web|url=http://www.lejeune.usmc.mil/meb/MessCG.asp
title=Message from the Commanding General 2nd MEB / Task Force Tarawa
author=Natonski, R. F.

External links

*cite web|url=http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/keegan200407010933.asp
title=Bumps in the Road
date=July 1, 2004
author=Keegan, John
work=The Iraq War
publisher=National Review Online

*cite web|url=http://www.clubhyper.com/reference/taskforcetarawach_1.htm
title=Task Force Tarawa: A Personal Perspective of Operation Enduring Freedom
author=Henthorn, SSgt Creighton L., Jr.

*cite web|url=http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/iraq-030410-usmc01.htm
title=Task Force Tarawa Marines aid Iraqi Freedom Force in reclaiming town
work=USMC News
author=Rhodes, Cpl Shawn C.
id=Story ID 20034109350
date=April 8, 2003
Reprinted on GlobalSecurity.org.

*cite web|url=http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13387
title=Task Force Tarawa Marines, lost but not forgotten
work=The Globe
Reprinted on Leatherneck.com.

*cite web|url=http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/iraq/forces/coalition/deployment/marines/2nd.marine.exp.html
title=2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade
work=War in Iraq

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