HIT, Iraq -- Soldiers with the Iraqi Security Forces and Marines with 4th Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, work together in Operation Sword here today to clear the city of insurgents.
As Marines questioned local residents to gain information, the ISF set up a blocking, or cordon, of the area and conducted a presence patrol to show the locals that they were here to stay.
The four Iraqi soldiers involved in the patrol were attached to a fire team of Marines and worked with them as a single unit.
Lance Cpl. Matthew W. McGuire, a combat engineer with 1st Squad, was their team leader.
“The soldiers worked really well with my Marines and when I told them to do something during the cordon or set them in place, they always listened to me,” explained the Monroe, Conn., native.
According to McGuire, the Marines and ISF worked together to overcome the language barrier the Marines have with the community.
“Some of them speak decent English and they help us with Arabic, but they know what to look for in these houses and they usually know where people hide things because it’s their culture and country. We just help them with their military tactics and techniques, but they are a big help when it comes to communicating,” McGuire explained.
One of the ISF soldiers in McGuire’s team was Pvt. Ahmed Ali Ubaid, 23, from Najaf, Iraq.
Ali Ubaid described his time with the Marines as one of the best times of his life.
“You know, I’m here to save my country from the insurgents who come in here and try to terrorize my people,” Ali Ubaid explained. “Working with the Marines I have learned so many new things about military formations and tactics. They are the best fighters I’ve ever seen, very organized and I want our army to mirror them.”
The young soldier’s enthusiasm extends to his own personal goals as a soldier.
“I want to be promoted and continue being promoted. My goal right now is to become a sergeant and be in charge of a squad,” he continued. “No matter what happens during this time of Iraqi reconstruction, I know one thing for sure; I will never give up until all the terrorist are gone.”
According to McGuire, Ali Ubaid and his fellow soldiers are continuing to grow as a group.
“They still have a lot to learn, but they are getting better and I think once they have enough experience, they’ll be good to go,” said the 2001 Fairfield Preparatory Academy graduate.
As the day came to a close, McGuire said that the ISF did an “awesome” job and have another successful mission under their belt.
“They have become really good at patrolling from the first time I saw them. They are really picking things up quickly,” McGuire said.