CAMP BAHARIA, Iraq -- A Marine lieutenant stands before his men and surveys them with sharp, intelligent eyes. Behind him the first rays of sunlight start to crest the horizon.
He assessed each Marine standing before him, checking to ensure that they have the gear needed for today’s mission. He jokes around with the men as he does this, to put them at ease.
The men stand comfortably before him, for this is daily routine at the beginning of a long deployment. Lt. Martin B. Keogh, the platoon commander for Combined Anti Armor Team (CAAT) 4, Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines looks satisfied with what he sees, and utters a quiet command. “Let’s go,” he says.
Keogh’s order is acknowledged with short, confident grunts and the Marines move to their vehicles. The stillness of the morning is shattered by the thunder of numerous engines starting up at once. Every vehicle checks in by radio and Keogh, the convoy commander, gives the order to move out. The convoy moves forward and another day begins.
“We were tasked with setting up observational post security on the main supply route,” said Staff Sgt. Roy L. Rose, the platoon sergeant for CAAT 4. “I think it went fine. The area of operations seems to be changing now that Ramadan is in full swing and we have seen more activity in the area.”
While en route to set up a snap vehicle control point on a suspicious vehicle, Rose’s vehicle hits an improvised explosive device. It destroys his engine but does not penetrate the armored chassis of the Humvee.
“I think that for the first IED attack we have had, the Marines did exactly what they needed to do,” said Rose. “They did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
“I think everything went excellent today, as far as the IED,” said Cpl. Joshua S. Phykitt, who was the gunner for Keogh’s vehicle. “The IED went off and everybody set up security around the truck and made sure that everyone was alright.”
After a 15-hour patrol the Marines finally arrive back at Camp Baharia, their battalion’s home base outside of Fallujah. They will have the chance to grab some chow and get a couple hours of sleep before doing it all over again tomorrow.