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Lt. Col. Thad R. Trapp (left), the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, passes Sgt. Maj. Jose L. Santiago, the sergeant major of 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, a plaque during a relief-in-place ceremony in Ramadi, Iraq, Oct. 9. 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, relieved 1st Bn., 9th Marines, RCT-1, of their responsibilities in the Ramadi area during the ceremony. Lt. Col. Saleh Mahde Saliah al Alali, the Iraqi District Chief of Police for Ramadi gave the plaque to Lt. Col. Brett Bourne, commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, and his battalion as a token of appreciation for their partnership. The exchange from one battalion to another was meant to signify the transfer of that partnership. (Official Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Jerry Murphy) (Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jerry Murphy

‘Hell in a Helmet’ relieves ‘The Walking Dead’; begin seven month deployment in Ramadi

9 Oct 2008 | Lance Cpl. Jerry Murphy

RAMADI, Iraq (Oct. 9, 2008) – With the mayor of Ramadi on-hand, along with several of Ramadi, Iraq’s, tribal and civic leaders, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, relieved 1st Bn., 9th Marines, RCT-1, of their responsibilities in the Ramadi-area during a ceremony Oct. 9.

 The ceremony was held at an Iraqi police station in front of Ramadi’s most important leaders as a display of commitment towards continuing a relationship that Marines and Sailors of ‘The Walking Dead’ battalion worked continuously to establish throughout their deployment.

 “It’s important to symbolize the Marines’ relationship with the Iraqis,” said Lt. Col. Thad R. Trapp, commanding officer, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines.

 During the ceremony, Lt. Col. Brett Bourne, commanding officer, 1st Bn., 9th Marines, passed on to Trapp a plaque given to his battalion by Lt. Col. Saleh Mahde Saliah al Alali, the Iraqi District Chief of Police for Ramadi.

 Saleh gave the plaque to Bourne and his battalion as a token of appreciation for their partnership, and the exchange was meant to signify the transfer of that partnership. 

Trapp said that the exchange helped affirm the importance of the relationship between the Iraqis and Marines.

 ‘Hell in a Helmet’, a common pseudonym for 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, is on its first deployment to Iraq as a unit, but Trapp said he is certain his Marines can handle the task with confidence and efficiency.

“This is this battalion’s first deployment to Iraq, but many of my Marines have been here before,” said Trapp. “I know my Marines are well trained on what they need to do and are ready to get the job done.”

During their turn-over process, Marines from the out-going battalion trained the in-coming Marines on what they learned during their deployment.

  “They are all very experienced in their jobs and are giving us good insight,” said Cpl. Glen A. Brannen, a squad leader with Company G, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines. “They’re painting a good picture for us on what to expect based on what they’ve seen over the last seven months.”

 Trapp said 1st Bn., 9th Marines, conducted one of the best battalion turn-over’s he has ever seen, noting that from the most junior Marine to the commanding officer levels it was 100 percent professional.

With their deployment just beginning, 2nd Bn., 9th Marines, is now focused on achieving their objectives, and Trapp said their performance is not just important for the security of Iraq.

 “We’re going to partner with the Iraqi Security Forces and assist them in their development towards self sufficiency and help them improve the security of Ramadi,” Trapp said. “Ultimately, our job is not only important for the security of the Iraqi people, but also the security of those in the United States as well,” he said.