CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq -- With every week that passes, the members of the Iraqi Army get closer to their goal of operating independently and creating a free Iraq with the help and guidance of the United States Marines.
First Battalion, 4th Brigade of the Iraqi Army, has been working side-by-side with the Marines and Sailors of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment trying to accomplish that objective.
“The Iraqi Army has come a long way since last year, when 2nd Marines were clearing the insurgents out of Fallujah,” said 1st Lt. Nathan P. Dmochowski, the executive officer for Company E. “They take over more responsibilities as the weeks go by.”
The Iraqi Army had been working hand-in-hand with the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines to hone their skills. Now it is time for the Marines of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines to combine Marine determination with Iraqi Army knowledge to continue to suppress the insurgency’s ability to fight.
“The group of Iraqi Army we are working with at Camp India are learning very quickly and have no problems taking the lead when we search houses on daily patrols,” Dmochowski stated.
Since the Iraqis of 1-4-1 learned most of the basics from the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, tactical integration with the 2nd Marines was easier.
Conducting daily joint patrols (with the Marines) of their areas of operation, the Iraqis seem to get more confident as time goes by. The Marines are trying to instill the idea that the Iraqi Army’s primary mission is to stop the insurgency from being able to wage war. But because the Iraqi Police are still somewhat in their infancy, the Iraqi Army continues to deal with matters the police would normally handle. The Marines are working to focus the Iraqi Army effort toward stopping the insurgents.
“We are helping the Iraqi Army to just deal with the insurgency as their primary mission and leave the common criminal things to the police,” Dmochowski stated.
The Marines’ primary mission is to support the Iraqi Army when they do patrols and other operations throughout this area. They are trying to let the Iraqi Army do as much of the work as possible so they can start doing more and more on their own.
“The Iraqi Army is able to run their own patrols and get their own intelligence about what is going on in the area,” Dmochowski said. “They are working very hard to get everything on their own.”
With determination on their faces, together the Marines and the Iraqi Army of the 1-4-1 will push forward to stop the insurgents at every turn to create a free Iraq and defeat terrorism.