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    Operation Anaconda was the first actual engagement of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. It was from March 1, 2002 until March 18, 2002 located in the Arma Mountains, southeast of Zormat in Afghanistan. Units that participated in the operation consisted of members from the 10th Mountain Division, 75th Ranger Regiment, 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta, CIA Special Operations Unit, British Royal Marines, Canadian Light Infantry, Afghan Commandos, Norwegian Special Forces, Australian Special Air Service Regiment, and New Zealand Special Air Service. Operation Anaconda was originally a three day engagement of light fighting however, it ended up turning into a fierce seven day battle with local Taliban. It officially ended on the seventeenth day. Once the battle had ended, several hundred Taliban fighters were killed and the rest retreated the Shahikot Valley. The intent of the operation was to destroy Al-Queda and Taliban forces. It was also meant to demoralize the supporters of the Taliban. Lessons learned from Operation Anaconda consisted of underestimating the fighting force and the amount of personnel required to engage in the operation. Operation Anaconda took place in the Shahikot Valley located in the Paktia Province, 18 miles south of Gardez and 80 miles southeast of Kabul at 7,500 feet in altitude. The valley is two and half miles wide and five miles long. Located on the floor of the valley are four towns: Serkhankhel, Marzak, Zerki Kale, and…

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