Photo Information

KARABILAH, Iraq- (June 17, 2005)- Pfc. Nathan W. Pesch-Scott, a squad automatic weapon gunner with 3rd Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment opens fire on a sniper in Karabilah after recieving fire. Operation Spear is conducted to destroy insurgency leadership strong points. The Marines of 2d Marine Division conduct counter-insurgency operations with Iraqi Security Forces to isolate and neutralize anti-Iraqi forces, to support the continued development of Iraqi Security Forces, and to support Iraqi reconstruction and democratic elections in order to create a secure environment that enables Iraqi self-reliance and self-governance. (Official USMC photo by Cpl. Neill A. Sevelius (RELEASED)

Photo by Cpl. Neill A. Sevelius

Task Force 3/2, ISF fight insurgents at the tip of Operation Spear;

17 Jun 2005 | Lance Cpl. Lucian Friel 2nd Marine Division

As day breaks on the city of Karabilah, Iraqi Security Forces as well as Pfc Nathan W. Pesch-Scott and his fellow Marines with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, kick-off Operation Romhe (Spear) to root out insurgents in this western Iraqi city. For Pesch-Scott and the Marines of Company K, the first day of the operation led them into one of the largest fire-fights of their deployment thus far; a five-hour gun battle against insurgents and foreign fighters. “I was intimidated when I first heard the rounds pop over my head, but at the same time my training kicked-in and it’s motivating to know that you’re doing something out here,” explained the squad automatic weapon gunner with 3rd Squad, 3rd Platoon and Laingsburg, Mich., native. As the Marines moved through their first objective they came under heavy small arms and sniper fire. They responded with fire from M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, heavy machinegun fire and support from Marine close air support to counteract the insurgents’ attack. On the ground, Pesch-Scott found himself in the frightening position of not knowing where the enemy fire was coming from. “We were taking sniper-fire all afternoon. It was kind of scary because you don’t know where they’re at, you see the muzzle flash and then a round cracks six-inches over your head,” explained the 2003 Laingsburg High School graduate. Pesch-Scott’s main mission during the fight was to provide superior suppressive fire power for troop movement, which he put into effect shortly after the gun battle began. “My first thought when it started was to get cover and find out where they were at. Once I realized where the enemy fire was coming from I went to work,” said 19-year-old Pesch-Scott. As he and his team, along with ISF soldiers, moved closer to the fire fight, he witnessed the ISF in action. “They seemed scared at first, but after they saw that the Marines would not back down they followed suite,” he continued. “I saw them in action for the first time and they didn’t disappoint.” After the gun battle was over and things calmed down, Pesch-Scott said that he fired approximately 450-500 rounds and gained confidence in the ISF ability to take control of their country. “After seeing them today, from my point of view, I definitely believe they will eventually have the ability to take control of this country,” Pesch-Scott said. “They impressed me today. This was an intense fight that no one at home could ever truly understand, and these guys proved themselves.” Scattered fire continued through the evening.