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Muhanded Turkay, a construction worker, digs a trench for plumbing systems for a new Iraqi Army compound in Western Al Anbar province, Iraq, April 16. Marines with Task Force Mustang, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, have been conducting security operations to ensure workers of the compound are able to work without the worry of being in danger.

Photo by Cpl Ryan Tomlinson

On the watch: Marines provide security for new Iraqi Army compound

23 Apr 2008 | Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson 1st Marine Division

A new Iraqi Army compound in the western Anbar province of Iraq is being built, and Marines with Task Force Mustang, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, are there to ensure the safety of the workers.

Task Force Mustang is a newly formed company of Marines comprised of one platoon from each company in 2nd LAR.

“It feels great to me that the Marines are here to protect us,” said Edgar C. Young, 47, a construction supervisor from Rock Hill, S.C. “It’s a dangerous area to work in, and I feel safer with them around.”

Task Force Mustang is on watch 24-hours a day ensuring the safety of the workers and structures of the compound. The Marines conduct weekly checks with Navy Mobile Construction Battalion 3, monitoring the progress and the overall safety of the facility.

“I believe we are doing a good thing out here helping these workers,” said Pfc. Ettai Doyle, 19, a scout with TF Mustang from Swansea, Mass. “We are protecting them from intruders and dangers and helping keep operations flowing.”

The Marines have been conducting these operations since arriving to western Anbar province and won’t be relieved until the compound is complete and Light Infantry Battalion, 4th Iraqi Army Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, moves in. Having a permanent compound for the Iraqi unit will help them establish a strong presence in the western Anbar province.

Although the Marines will be handing the reigns over to the Iraqi Army soldiers, the task force will still remain nearby to lend a helping hand whenever needed.

“This compound will (allow an) Iraqi presence between Rutbah and Ramadi, Iraq, and it will increase security for the nation,” said 2nd Lt. Ron C. Trogeson, 27, commander of 3rd Platoon, Task Force Mustang from Colgan, N.D.

1st Marine Division