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FALLUJAH, Iraq (Aug. 30, 2008) – An Iraqi local poses for his picture that will be displayed on his identification badge during a remote badging operation here, Aug. 30. Company I, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines and Iraqi Police in the Shuhada District of Fallujah held the badge drive to serve more than 100 citizens with outdated identifications. Residents need a badge to enter the city and take advantage of employment opportunities. (Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Chris Lyttle) (RELEASED)

Photo by FALLUJAH, Iraq

Marines conduct badge operation for Fallujah

30 Aug 2008 | Cpl. Chris Lyttle

Company I, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, continued their service to residents in Fallujah after they held another remote identification badge drive for residents here, Aug. 30.

Every resident age 16 and up in Fallujah is issued an identification badge to allow them access into the city. Marines and Iraqi Police worked together in the Shuhada District of southern Fallujah and served more than 100 residents with updated identifications.

Several entry control points on the outskirts of the city offer identification issuing services daily. 2nd Lt. Sean Leahy, platoon commander, 2nd Platoon, said remote badging operations bring the service closer to outlying residents and give IPs and Coalition forces an opportunity to become more familiar with citizens who live in the area.

“It was a good opportunity for us to gauge the atmospherics,” Leahy said. “We talk to locals and find out how they feel about security in the area, their local government and things of that nature.”

Leahy said on a previous operation, the company served approximately 700 residents with updated identifications. A more recent operation serviced around 350, and with this drive, there were fewer locals in line for IPs to manage. This indicates most residents of Fallujah have current identifications to declare their residence and apply for employment opportunities, which are two main reasons Fallujans need a badge, as Leahy described.

“It helps them in a number of ways,” Leahy said. “It’s important to get in and around the city. It makes it a lot easier for them when dealing with Coalition Forces, IPs and ISF at the checkpoints.”

Cpl. Clarence Reid, an analyst with company I, said valid identification holders also have more employment opportunities than those without one. He described the basic process that people go through to get a new badge.

“The residents come in and give us their old badge or Gensia (Government of Iraq identification),” said Reid, who finished his fourth remote badging operation during the battalion’s deployment. “We’re able to update their profile on our computer system, update their badge and give one back out to them.”

Reid said the benefit from operations like this comes through seeing familiar faces in their area of operations.

“Local leaders come in with their badges like sheiks, mokhtars (pronounced muk-tar, a local leader with less precedence than a sheik), or if they work for the government, it shows it on their badge,” Reid said. “It’s a good way for us to see the residents in the area as you become more familiar with the people.”