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3/23 rolls in, takes suspected insurgents

28 Feb 2008 | Lance Cpl. Shawn M. Coolman

3rd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, conducted a cordon-and-knock operation in Zawiyah, Sunday with the use of local intelligence.

 The raid was conducted in part to round up suspected people with insurgent connections and collect further intelligence on future targets.

 Locals assisted the Marines in locating and speaking with the certain people needed for questioning.

 The operation was conducted using a combination of different elements, including the Military Transition Team, Company I and the Battalion Jump platoon, to accomplish the objectives.

 One element, the Battalion Jump platoon, provides the battalion commander protection while he conducts his missions and normally doesn’t conduct these types of operations.

 “We went on a cordon-and-knock operation to look for individuals that are suspected Sunni religious extremist group members,” said Sgt. Beau J. Burton, 24, from Edmond, Okla. “We were given these names by local intelligence.”

 Though they do not conduct this kind of operation on a routine basis, the Jump Marines conducted the mission with confidence and performed flawlessly.

 “We usually do not conduct this type of operation; it is the job of the line companies,” aid Burton, the personal security officer for the battalion commander. “The battalion commander wanted us to participate in an operation because we haven’t done these types of operations yet.”

 Burton spoke of his last deployment and how things have changed in the way operations are conducted.

 “Last deployment… we would get intelligence on where this person is located, and conduct a raid on the house, and forcefully take the suspected insurgent,” said Burton.

 “Now, since we are trying to use the local intelligence and get the people to give up the insurgents,” Burton added, “we’re doing a lot more work with the (locals) of the villages.”

 The continued success of the area’s security has increased opportunities to work with the local leadership.

 With the use of local intelligence and the support of the village leaders, the Marines were able to locate the individuals needed for questioning and successfully completed the operation.

 “It was a very successful operation,” said Burton. “We found the individuals we were looking for and there were no difficulties or resistance.”