FALLUJAH, Iraq -- For Lance Cpl. Daniel Ramos and his teammates, sunset does not mean the day’s work is done. It just means the temperature will drop from hellish to simply hot as they continue their operations around town.
Such was the case here July 2, when the 19-year-old Orange Park, Fla. native, fellow Marines, and Iraqi Security Forces rolled out from several bases around the town to conduct their latest counter-insurgency mission, Operation Rolling Barrage.
Ramos and several other infantrymen from Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment blocked off various street intersections around designated sectors here by stretching concertina wire across them and assuming a defensive position designated to block incoming and outgoing traffic.
“What we’re trying to do here is interdict traffic,” explained Ramos, a 2003 Orange Park High School graduate. “Only foot traffic can now walk through these streets.”
During Rolling Barrage, two of Weapon Company’s Combined Anti-Armor Teams and Headquarters section blocked off sectors of Fallujah, while Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment infantrymen and supporting Iraqi soldiers swept through the blocked off areas to disrupt potential insurgent activity.
Iraqi policemen helped Weapons Company personnel regulate traffic, while Marine M1A1 Abrams tanks and assault amphibian vehicles patrolled alongside the roving infantrymen.
The operation concluded well past sundown with Weapons Company tearing down their protective wiring and all infantrymen heading back to their respective operational headquarters.
Rolling Barrage, however, was only one mission in a lengthy series of counter-insurgency operations Ramos and Weapons Company’s Marines have performed since their arrival here in mid-March.
Weapons Company’s CAAT Marines often assisted the battalion’s infantry companies during raids and area sweeps by setting up defensive outer perimeters, similar to their role during Rolling Barrage.
Marines with the company’s surveillance, target and acquisition (STA) platoon like Ramos can also proclaim accomplishments against terrorism. Currently, the scout snipers are among few 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment personnel who can boast several confirmed insurgent kills.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in Saqlawiyah providing MSR security,” Ramos said, referring to how he, other scout sniper team members and several CAAT units set up observation positions outside Fallujah looking for insurgents emplacing improvised explosive devices.
“It’s good to get out and do these things, even though it’s hot as hell out here,” he added with a chuckle.
Due to their continuing vigilance, Ramos and his fellow Marines have prevented several terrorists from attacking convoys with these roadside bombs.
“I feel really good about having helped to stop a couple of IEDs from going off,” Ramos stated.
Weapons Company continues to help the ISF rid Fallujah and the surrounding areas of insurgent activity.