HABBANIYAH, Iraq --
Marines of 2nd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1 and Company B, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion, have worked together day in and day out, searching for weapons caches and disabling the enemies number one threat; improvised explosive devices.
The two reserve units, 2nd Bn., 24th Marines from Chicago, and Bravo Co., 4th CEB from Roanoke, Va., have together uncovered thousands of pounds of explosive ordinance, ammunition and explosives throughout the first four months of their seven-month deployment in the Anbar Province of Iraq.
“We’re out there every day digging up areas where we have intelligence about a cache,” said Lance Cpl. Michael W. Lund, a combat engineer with 4th CEB. “Since we’ve been here, we’ve (together with 2/24) found thousands of pounds of ordinance and it’s important because it takes away weapons that could have been used against Marines.”
On an intelligence driven mission May 30, a section of Marines from 4th CEB and Company E, 2nd Bn., 24th Marines swept an area said to have a bunker of explosives located inside of it. Although the bunker of weapons was not located, they were able to locate and destroy a smaller bunker, which could have been used for the future storing of ammunitions, weapons and explosives.
“It wasn’t the bunker we were looking for, but it could have eventually been used against us,” said Lance Cpl. Brad N. Harvey, a combat engineer from Roanoke, Va. “So we used a little C-4 (explosive) and destroyed it.”
Although the Marines go out on several missions per week, trying to locate weapons caches, they sometimes do come up empty handed.
“We go out a lot, but we don’t always find either what we came out here for, or find anything at all,” said Lund, 20, from Goldvein, Va. “But regardless, we have to be ready to go out at anytime. Sometimes they’ll call at midnight and we’ll need to be ready to go by (3:00 a.m.).”
Marines aboard Camp Habbaniyah know taking any type of weapons system away from the enemy is an essential part of winning the Global War on Terrorism and are determined to do their part until their time to leave Iraq and return home.
“We don’t want any more Marines to get hurt or killed. No one does,” said Cpl. Isaac H. Flint, a team leader with 4th CEB, from Natural Bridge, Va. “So we’re gong to do everything we can to prevent the enemy from having that opportunity until we leave.”