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Photo Information

AR RAMADI, Iraq (September 25, 2005) - Corporal Joseph Holloway, a combat engineer from 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, and Lance Cpl. Jason Smither, a infantryman from Weapons Platoon, Company L, work together to nail down a piece of the roof on a new living space for visiting members of the Iraqi Security Forces at Snake Pit Sept. 25. Photo by Cpl. Shane Suzuki.

Photo by Cpl. Shane Suzuki

3/7 Marines construct living space for ISF

25 Sep 2005 | Cpl. Shane Suzuki

To help with training operations involving the Iraqi Security Force, Marines from Company L, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, helped build a new berthing area for Iraqi troops working out of the Snake Pit base.The berthing area is being constructed so ISF soldiers can come to Snake Pit and stay for longer than the few hours an operation normally requires. The goal of projects like this is to increase the contact and training between the ISF and the Marines. This will ultimately lead to a better-trained and more independent ISF, decreasing the burden on the Marines, said Capt. Rory Quinn, the commanding officer of Company L.“We are building a living space for a platoon of the Iraqi Army,” said Quinn. “So that when they come to our base to train, they will have a comfortable place to plan and rest before a mission. “Right now they come for a few hours, maybe once a week. We figure that if we can give them better facilities, they will want to come here and train more often.”Currently, to work with the ISF, Marines have to travel to the center of the city, pick up the Iraqi soldiers and bring them back to Snake Pit. Then, when the operation is complete, a convoy needs to be arranged to bring them back to their home base in the city. By building this new living space, Quinn hopes that more time will be put into planning patrols and raids in the city, not planning missions to pick up the ISF.“My goal is that we will have twice as many missions, in half the time,” said Quinn. “Having them here will greatly increase our ability to train and mentor the ISF.”Overseeing the project is the 2nd Combat Engineers Battalion, who provided the majority of the men and tools for the project. “We really look forward to training the ISF to be proficient,” he said. “The sooner they are ready to protect their own the country, the sooner we can leave and not have to come back. It’s really endearing working with (the ISF) they work so hard and they are eager learners. When we are done with a training session, it’s very satisfying. These men have the will and the ability; they just don’t have the training. It’s a lot like teaching a new recruit.”