ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq --
In the endless deserts of Iraq, the insurgency attempts to hide weapons for future use. Charlie Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, is there to find them.
Scouts and light armored vehicle crewman with Charlie Company, nicknamed ‘Gunfighter,’ searched the deep, dark corners of western Anbar province in one of the key cache areas: the old Iraqi military bunkers at H2 airfield.
“It’s a preventative measure to cut off the insurgency from many hiding areas for weapons,” said Lance Cpl. Jeremy A. Pratt, a scout with Charlie Company. “The reconnaissance is an advantage for us to be safe and take out the enemy at the same time.”
Gunfighter has supported the border patrol since arriving in western Anbar province. Whenever a smuggler tries to sneak by the border patrol, the Marines are there to gather what weapons they may have stored.
“We look for caches and meeting sites the enemy seeks to accomplish their missions,” said Sgt. Marty S. Crisp, 26, a scout squad leader with Charlie Company from Lenoir, N.C. “It denies their freedom of movement and keeps them from even entering that area simply from our presence.”
The Marines foot patrolled in and around the area, ensuring the bunkers and old Iraqi Air Force fields between Rutbah and Akashat were clear of ordnance or weapons. During the operation, the Marines also logged in a grid to know where each bunker is located for faster responses in that area until they hand the area over to the Iraqi Army.
“The Iraqi security forces’ taking over the area is our major goal,” said Lance Cpl. A. J. Hansen, 21, a scout with Charlie Company from Bellevue, Neb. “If we all work together, we will get this country to where it needs to be for the Iraqis to conduct the operations.”