2nd Marine Division: Success on Frontlines

24 Mar 2005 | 1st Lt. Kate S. VandenBossche

Coalition Forces with the 2d Marine Division have detained a total of 147 suspected insurgents since taking the reins from 1st Marine Division on March 17. Since the transfer of authority, Marines from the Camp Lejeune-based division have worked to bring about peace in the restive Al Anbar Province by detaining individuals actively terrorizing innocent civilians."Over the past few months, 1st and 2nd Division . . . have pursued and captured many terrorists attempting to prevent a free Iraq," said Col. Bob Chase, operations officer for the 2nd Marine Division. "These are criminals and murderers who display wanton disregard for their fellow Iraqis."The division's two Marine Regimental Combat Teams and one Army Brigade Combat Team have conducted numerous raids and operations netting: (14) mortar rounds of various sizes, (1) 120mm tank round, approximately (1,000) small arms rounds, (66) rockets of various sizes, and (40) small arms, include AK 47's, shot guns, pistols and machine guns."Tirelessly, our young Marines move through the countryside and deny the enemy solace, keeping him off-balance and under increasing pressure," Chase said. These raids and operations were conducted throughout the Al Anbar Province with the cooperation of the Iraqi Security Forces, he continued.The ISF has also shown success in this joint stabilization and security effort, confiscating IED making materials: several pounds of explosives, cell phones, cell phone batteries, batteries, spools of wire and blasting caps. They also confiscated various types of insurgent propaganda, to include leaflets, posters, newsletters, and videos."Our main effort since our arrival in Al Anbar is to accelerate the training and partnering of the emerging Iraqi Security Forces," explained Chase. He stated that the ISF provided what they call "eyes and tongues" allowing US forces to discern foreign fighters and strangers. "Most importantly, they are able to interface with the locals and get information Iraqis might be unwilling to share with US personnel for fear of repercussions from the terrorists." Chase made clear that we would remain true to our promise to the Iraqi people; saying, "We will stand with them until their forces are ready to stand alone and can protect themselves from those that fear a united Iraq." The 2nd Marine Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Richard A. Huck, are continuing to work with the people of the Al Anbar Province to bring about peace and prosperity in Iraq.All the battalions currently serving with the division here have previously deployed in support of various operations around the globe to include, Afghanistan, Haiti, the Horn of Africa or here in Iraq."Having served for over 32 years, every day I grow prouder of our Marines," Chase said. "In Iraq, just as in every other 'clime and place,' these selfless men and women continue the mission regardless of the challenges or danger."