Two Marine Raiders have received valorous awards for actions during a firefight with al-Qaida militants in northern Africa, Marine officials have confirmed.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Africa Command confirmed to Task and Purpose that on Feb. 28, 2017, during a three-day mission to train, advise and assist partner forces, a Marine Special Operations team engaged al-Qaida enemy fighters.
Two Raiders were awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a valorous device following that incident.
Partner forces initially engaged and killed one al-Qaida fighter with small arms fire before calling for helicopter support. Militants then attempted to flank the Marines and partner forces from the rear, leading the Marines to return fire in self-defense, Africa Command spokeswoman Samantha Reho said in a statement to Task and Purpose.