Photo Information

Hit, Al Anbar, Iraq (June 29, 2005)--Marines with 1st platoon, Lima Co., 3/25 roam the streets during Operation Sword. (Official USMC Photo by Corporal Ken Melton)

Photo by Cpl. Ken Melton

3/25 tips Operation Saif

28 Jun 2005 | Cpl. Ken Melton 2nd Marine Division

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment along with other multi-national forces began Operation Saif (Sword) here as part of ongoing missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The intent of Operation Saif is to sweep and clear the city of insurgents allowing the citizens of Hit to live without fear of insurgents’ intimidation and indiscriminate killings. The mission began around 4 a.m. the morning of June 28 when Marines arrived at their insertion point in the southern part of the town. “We came in expecting heavy resistance in the town,” said Sgt. Phillip R. Jolly, 3rd Squad leader, 1st Platoon, Company L. “We later engaged a suspected SVBIED (Suicide Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device), but after that everything seemed to become quiet.” The citizens of Hit seemed comfortable with the Marines being in their town. Most were already waiting for them, ready to be searched by the time Marines reached the first few houses. “The citizens saw the Marines not as a threat, but as someone who would help remove the insurgents from their city so they could be left in peace,” said the 25-year-old Billings, Mont., native. “It felt good to have an operation start this way but we still are not going to let our guard down.” Many people continued their daily lives while cooperating with the Marines wishes. Some even offered helpful information in hopes that it would eradicate insurgents from their town. As the day drew on, Marines continued to push towards their day’s objectives. The squads searched houses by preplanned sections and stayed in line with one another to prevent any friendly fire incidents. “Missions like these are really effective because we come prepared to handle anything,” said the 1998 Russell High School graduate. “Though we haven’t met any resistance we continue to stay alert as we have a lot more of the city to push through before we are done. “When we make it through this operation I know it will be another blow to the insurgency and another step helping the Iraqi government get back on its feet.”