FALLUJAH, Iraq --
Marines with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, worked alongside Iraqi soldiers and police in the Fallujah district of Andaloos to establish the newest precinct during Operation Alljah July 28.
“Operation Alljah is a shaping operation,” 1st Lt. Brian P. Mahon, executive officer of Company E, explained. “We’re sectioning off the city into more manageable communities for Iraqi security forces.”
For this step of the multiple-phase Operation Alljah, a police precinct was established as a
joint service station for Iraqi soldiers, police, Marines and local community leaders in the historical Andaloos district, which remains a dangerous area of the city. The district is known to have the most mosques and schools within the city, and is considered a very strategically-important piece of the overall operation.
“It’s a very bold plan,” said Mahon. “It’s labor-intensive. It definitely wouldn’t be something everyone would volunteer for, but we understand that this plan has a great chance to succeed because we’ve already seen it work with other areas. It’s the most effective thing I’ve seen or heard of in Iraq since we’ve been here.”
These precincts create a secure outpost in their respective districts. They also provide a center of gravity for Iraqi Security Forces to maintain a constant presence as well as helping them build relationships with the people living within the district.
“We’re working a tri-partnership with (the Iraqi police) and (Iraqi army) to push all of the insurgency out and make a safe gated community so the Iraqi people can live in peace,” said Staff Sgt. Donnie F. Bridges, a platoon commander with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
Setting up the precinct was a four-day process of combined efforts between this three-way partnership.
First, Marines established cooperation with community representatives to plan the course of action. District leadership came together to establish plans and coordinate actions. Marines took an early look at the precinct led by the leadership of the Iraqi army and police to find a suitable location for the precinct.
The operation went underway with the Iraqi soldiers providing protection in the area. Marines with Combat Logistic Battalion 6 moved in, emplacing bunkers on the roads and rooftops and placing barriers to restrict traffic in and out of the area.
Iraqi soldiers, police and Marine commanders were appointed to take charge of the precinct to maintain security, manage civil assistant projects and lead a neighborhood watch recruitment project.
In a tentative manifestation of success in increasing the rate of progress in the city, Marines have been working with the lowest level of leaders within the communities to find progressive solutions to problems.
Marines were optimistic about the operation, believing their efforts were fully supported by the local populace.
“It’s exciting to be a part of, and the people of Fallujah are excited to be apart of it,” said Mahon.
To ensure continued success, plans are in place to continue civil assistance throughout the community regularly.
“The precinct is really succeed or fail based on what we do out here,” said Mahon. “We’ll sustain it with a surge of civil affairs projects. We’ll have our civil affairs group out there in the precinct. They’ll be distributing food bags, assessing the precinct for potential civil affair projects and engaging the community collecting atmospherics.”