Photo Information

AR RAMADI Iraq (June 29, 2005) -Sergeant Joe A. Salinas, squad leader for 3rd Squad, 4th Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, stands behind an Iraqi ice cream truck and hands out coalition forces fliers during a mission in the city here June 28. The 35-year-old from San Antonio, Texas and his fellow Marines conducted a patrol through a portion of their company's area of operations to locate enemy sniper positions. Company B's observation post has been taking sporadic sniper fire from the area around it. Photo by: Cpl. Tom Sloan

Photo by Cpl. Tom Sloan

1/5’s Bravo Marines seek out insurgents’ origin

28 Jun 2005 | Cpl. Tom Sloan

Marines with 4th Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, took to the streets of the Al Anbar provincial capital city June 28 on a hunt for insurgents. The purpose of the mission was to capture enemy snipers and locate the buildings they’ve been shooting from, according to Sgt. Joe A. Salinas, squad leader for the platoon’s 3rd Squad. “We’ve been taking sporadic sniper fire at our observation post from the surrounding areas,” said 35-year-old Salinas from San Antonio, in his company’s briefing room here prior to the undertaking. The observation post in the city is manned by Company B Marines, explained Salinas. “Today we’re going out to try and find the shooters and pinpoint their positions,” continued Salinas. “The mission is also a way for us to keep a presence in our (area of operations), which will hopefully deter insurgent activity.” Salinas said constant patrols hinder insurgents’ movements, which “makes them feel like they don’t have free rein of the area.” He added Company B hits the streets everyday for this reason. The 4th Platoon warriors loaded up into humvees, convoyed into the city and staged at observation post. From there, they took to the streets afoot and commenced their mission. The Marines patrolled through several neighborhoods, greeting Iraqi civilians as they went. After several minutes of walking, Salinas located a building that he wanted to check for threats. At approximately 300 meters from the observation post, “it’s close enough for someone to be engaging us from,” he said. The Marines quickly entered the dwelling. Once in side, they searched all the rooms. A fire team took to the roof to see what kind of view the place had while Salinas questioned the residents about insurgent activity. “I asked them if they know about anyone in the area who has been shooting,” he said. “If they know where the (insurgents) are, too.” From the roof of the home, the post was clearly visible. “Finding buildings that have a good view of the post tells us where they’re shooting at us from,” said Salinas. “This could very well be one of those.” Salinas said his company would record the dwelling’s location and “keep and eye on it.” Salinas and his Marines searched several more homes and questioned residents during their patrol. They encountered a suspicious-acting man and made the decision to test him for explosive residual. Lance Cpl. Neal R. Bassett, a mortar man with 3rd Squad, administered the test on the man. The 25-year-old from Davison, Mich., wiped the man’s hands with a small, white piece of paper and then sprayed it with the testing agent. “The spray will make the paper turn pink if he’s been handling explosives,” explained Bassett. “This test is a good tool to have because we can use it while we’re on patrol to determine who’s bad.” The paper failed to turn pink. Bassett put the spray can and paper back in a pouch on his Flak jacket and the Marines resumed their patrol. They patrolled through a small market place where several locals were shopping. Salinas used this time to hand out Coalition and Iraqi government fliers. “We’ve got to continue to hand out these fliers and talk to the people so they know we’re here to help them,” he said as he handed one of the leaflets to a man sitting on the sidewalk. “Call this number if you see any insurgents,” he said to him while pointing to a telephone number on the flier. Salinas said the number is a hotline Iraqis can use to report insurgent activity to Coalition Forces. The Marines finished their mission and returned to the observation post having located several houses, which they believed enemy snipers could be using to target their position. “We didn’t find any snipers,” said Salinas, “but we might’ve found where they’ve been shooting from, which will help us down the road.”