Photo Information

AR RAMADI, Iraq (April 24, 2005) - Corporal Christopher A. Hook, a rifleman and team leader with 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, shows a picture of a suspected terrorist to an Iraqi man and asks him if he knows him and, if so, where he might be found. The 26-year-old from Chelsea, Va., and his fellow 3rd Platoon warriors cordoned off a two-block radius of Company A's area of operations and conducted a detailed search of its buildings and residents. The Marines didn't encounter any insurgents or threats during their three-hour-mission and returned safely to their firm base at Camp Hurricane Point without incident. Photo by Cpl. Tom Sloan

Photo by Cpl. Tom Sloan

1/5 searches Ramadi for mysterious enemy

24 Apr 2005 | Cpl. Tom Sloan

Random attacks on coalition forces with improvised explosive devises, rocket propelled grenades and mortars is a telltale sign insurgents are in the city here. To discover their hiding places and safe-houses, Marines like Cpl. Christopher A. Hook and other Marines with Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines conducted cordon and search operations here April 24.“It’s like we’re after a ghost out here,” Hook, a rifleman and team leader with 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, said while on a mission with his platoon. “It’s hard to determine who our enemy is; whether they (local citizens) are friend or foe.”The 26-year-old from Chelsea, Va., and his fellow Marines cordoned off a two-block radius of Company A’s area of operations and conducted a detailed search of its buildings and residents.“We’re looking for insurgents and anyone associated with the terror network,” explained the 1996 graduate of Chelsea High School. “The goal is to find them and rid the city of terrorism.”He said doing so would give the Iraqi people a safer place to live and a chance to prosper.Armed with his M-16 and a set of heavy-duty bolt cutters, Hook led the way for 2nd Squad as they searched several storage buildings, houses and even a four story apartment complex. Some of the storage buildings were locked and required Hook’s services with the bolt cutters so they could be searched.Hook, who’s also a graduate of the Close Quarter Battle Tactics School in Chesapeake, Va., said he and his fellow Marines are the right men for these particular missions.“We are the advanced (military operations in urban terrain) platoon and are very knowledgeable in clearing houses and conducting other CQB missions,” he explained while pointing to the second floor of a house he and his Marines just entered. “See, they’ve already cleared the upper room of this building. My guys know what they’re doing. Everyone is an asset. They all bring their own quality to the squad, which helps us accomplish our missions.”At one point during the three-hour mission, Hook showed an Iraqi man pictures of suspected insurgents, while his house was being searched.“I asked him if he knew the men and where we might find them,” he said. “He told us he didn’t know.”Hook’s squad, and the rest of 3rd Platoon, bounced from building to building as they conducted their searches.“We’re moving fluidly today,” he said. “The people are cooperating when we search them and their houses.”The Marines concluded their mission without incident and returned safely to their base, Camp Hurricane Point.“We’re like a fat man running a hundred meter dash,” Lance Cpl. Jesse H. McClellan, a squad automatic machine gunner with 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company A, explained as he took off his flak jacket and prepared to relax in his hooch at HP. “Once our squad gets all our weight moving in one direction, there’s no stopping us. We were flowing in and out of those buildings,” added the 20-year-old from Borger, Texas.
2nd Marine Division