CAMP AL QA’IM, Iraq -- The Camp Lejeune-based 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division took control of the Al Qa’im area of operations in Western Iraq during a turnover ceremony here Sept. 10, 2005.
The 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, known as the Teufelhunden Battalion, takes control from the Betio Bastards of the Camp Lejeune-based 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division who spent the past seven months operating primarily in the Al Qa’im area, conducting various operations to include Operations Matador, Spear and Quick Strike.
“The 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines have been successful here. This place had no existing Iraqi security element,” said Marlow, Okla., native Maj. Toby D. Patterson, executive officer, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines.
One of the missions of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines in the Al Qa’im area of operations will be to build up and support the fledgling Iraqi Army, according to Patterson.
“We want to be able to give the Iraqi Army a chance to get in place and legitimize them as a force,” said Patterson.
Patterson also stated the Marines of the Teufelhunden Battalion will be in place here to support the upcoming Iraqi national elections as well.
During the turnover, the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines showed the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines how they conducted business while ‘outside the wire’ of Camp Al Qa’im.
During one such mission, the Marines of Company K, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines conducted a cordon and knock mission of a local cement factory just a few kilometers from the camp.
“The [mission] was to maintain a presence. Basically, it served as a security patrol,” said Peidmont, Ala., native Staff Sgt. Timothy P. Hanson, platoon sergeant, 2nd Platoon, Company K.
“It’s good to see a unit coming in that has a lot of experience,” said Hanson, referring to their relief’s recent deployment to Afghanistan. “They’re going to hit it hard and get results.”
According to Patterson, the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines made great strides in providing security to the Al Qa’im region.
“We’ll follow in their steps to make it a safer part of Iraq,” he said.