RUTBAH, Iraq -- Marines from Company B, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Task Force Tarawa, are leaving their mark in the hearts and minds of the citizens here.
The company, having been in the area for only a few months, has noticed a change in the people’s attitude toward coalition forces.
“The people here are helping us out with information that is vital,” says Capt. Brent H. McClellan, the company commanding officer. “Especially, ever since the Iraqi police were put in place, we’ve had full support from them.”
The Marines have made strenuous efforts to bring safety to the area for themselves, as well as the Iraqi people.
“Bravo Company is here for one reason, a peacekeeping mission,” said 1st Sgt. Ramon M. Nash, the company first sergeant. “We are here to protect the innocent and one of our biggest concerns is to look out for not just our own, but the Iraqi people’s welfare as well.”
The company is having no trouble keeping that promise to the people, as patrols are kept on a routine basis allowing Marines to constantly be searching for anything that could bring harm to the area.
“We are looking out for them, and because of this we have been well accepted,” Nash said. “Unfortunately, we sometimes have to interrupt their daily routines for a search, for example, but they understand that it is only in their best interest.”
The mission has been highly successful since their arrival, and has only hit a few bumps along the road.
“We have received some problems in the city, but nothing I would have considered dealing with the insurgency,” McClellan said. “Rutbah, like any other city, has criminals, and I believe that is what those problems have been.”
Having met constant success, the company looks toward a bright future for the stabilization of the city and the surrounding areas.
“They main idea is hoping to turn over the entire area to the protection of the Iraqi police, who have done an amazing job, but are not quite ready,” McClellan said. “Until then, we will continue to maintain security in the area for the safety of the Iraqis.”
Task Force Tarawa is part of Regimental Combat Team 2, a Marine Corps command responsible for more than 30,000 square miles and 5,500 Marines, sailors and soldiers in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province.