FERRIS, Iraq --
A recent enemy attack at a hospital in Ferris, Iraq has Marines and Iraqi Security Forces searching the city for clues to find suspects linked to the incident.
Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, assisted the ISF during a joint operation in the city to gather information, recently.
ISF work daily to ensure safety of the citizens by walking through local streets and visiting businesses to talk with those who live, work and commute in the area.
IPs from the Ferris station often gather useful information and work with many of the citizens to help prevent violent attacks. They ask questions about suspicious activity that goes on in the cities neighborhoods and investigate their findings.
Weapons Company Marines have aided several of these missions, adding to the number of forces going on security patrols in recent months.
The Marines use the opportunity to teach IPs what they know about security.
“Local security patrols are now joint with Iraqi Police, and we are ensuring they are doing their job and help fix their shortcomings, so they will be ready to completely take over and keep Ferris safe,” said Staff Sgt. Aaron K. Johnson, a platoon sergeant with the company. “The (patrols) are going well; IPs are doing what needs to be done and we will keep working with them.”
The recent attack in the area is being called an isolated incident, but security forces are not taking any chances. IPs and Marines are continuing efforts to prevent attacks and are taking several proactive measures such as additional security patrols as well as hiring more personnel to conduct searches at check points.
In past combat deployments to Iraq, Marines usually patrolled separately from the IPs.
Today’s mission calls for Marines to take a different approach to security. They are assuming an over-watch position, and in many areas IPs are taking the lead in security operations while Marines provide assistance when necessary.
Lance Cpl. Zachary K. Kapinus, a team leader with the company, was deployed to the area last year. He said despite the recent attack, overall security in the area has improved tremendously.
“I worked with the Iraqi Security Forces last year during my deployment and I think things for this deployment are getting better,” said the 20-year-old from New Braunfels, Texas. “We (Marines and ISF) are definitely working together well.”