HIT, Iraq -- It was a long day in the city for the Marines of 1st Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment. The Marines conducted a patrol and cordon and knocks from dawn until well into the evening hours but the day would prove to be well worth the effort according to the 1st Squad leader. “We were sweeping the streets for insurgents and to let them know that we are going to be here for a while,” explained Sgt. James Angelone, 27, from Cleveland. According to Angelone, the patrol today was a good way for the Marines to get to know the surrounding area and secure it. “We have only been to this city once, so it was important for us to get out here and learn the area and meet some of the locals,” Angelone said. Most of the local people greeted the Marines with open arms thanking them for their presence. “The people were really friendly allowing us to go in and search their homes. Some of them thanked us for being here,” he said. The Marines of Company K are setting up bases here during the operation, which, according to Angelone, is going to be good for the city. “We are establishing a presence here and eventually the Iraqi Security Forces will take control of the bases,” explained the 1996 Valley Forge High School graduate. Although Angelone’s squad didn’t directly work with the ISF today, he said that he is confident in their abilities to work with local citizens. “I liked working with the ISF because they can tell if somebody doesn’t belong here because they know the culture and the dialect of the local people,” he continued. “These guys (ISF) want to make a change in their country and I can see that.” As the day came to and end, the Marines of 1st Squad believed that their patrol and cordon and knocks were a success. “We conducted a successful patrol of part of the city, met some of the locals and got a general feeling of the atmosphere of the city because you have to be prepared for anything,” Angelone explained.