The Game Changer by James Dietz

The Game Changer by James Dietz

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After months of fighting and multiple operations conducted the Soldiers of Task Force Arrowhead began to cement the design of Operation Talasha Dorot IX in order to defeat the enemy and achieve enduring effects throughout the Kandahar Province. The enemy had remained entrenched in their battle spaces for years; protecting key villages and establishing elaborately layered defenses to prevent Coalition Forces from disrupting or influencing their operations. Task Force Arrowhead identified the village clusters collectively known as Siah Choy as decisive to defeating the enemy. Shaping operations in Siah Choy resulted in the insurgents consolidating in the village of Azikzai and reconstituting their force. As the planning for Operation Talasha Dorot IX progressed it became evident that the village of Azikzai was a significant enemy strong point with extensive defenses. With 5th Battalion 20th Infantry Regiment leading the assault, the Soldier's of Task Force Arrowhead fought for three days killing the majority and forcing the remaining enemy fighters in the village of Azikzai to relinquish the area of operation.

The gains achieved in Azikzai came at a very high price; fourteen Soldiers were seriously injured and one platoon leader was killed in action. The platoon leader's platoon continued to fight for two and a half more days, led by an E5 Sergeant, not only clearing their designated objective but providing support to clear another unit's objective

The actions of the Soldiers left a mark in the history of warfare and gave this area of Afghanistan a chance to enjoy a better future.