RUTBAH, Iraq --
Over the course of two years, the city of Rutbah has encountered change towards its people and government. With Coalition forces support, the town has been able to rebuild its structure and remain safe from insurgency.
Marines with Security Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, have helped make the changes possible for the western Al Anbar province city.
“Our mission is to provide security for Coaliton forces leaders while interacting with Iraqi leaders of Rutbah,” said Cpl. Daniel M. Smith, a scout squad leader with Security Platoon. “We’re here to help build a better infrastructure in Iraq.”
The platoon visits the city weekly to converse with the people and to escort key personnel to carry out requests for materials such as medicine, food and water.
“Being around the people makes me feel like I’m really doing my job as an infantryman,” said Lance Cpl. Sergio A. Flores-Reyes, 20, a scout with Security Platoon from San Juan, Texas. “I like what we’re doing for these people. I came here to do something great and to actually accomplish it feels special.”
The Marines with Security Platoon are ready to conduct operations at a moments notice to escort 2nd LAR elements and other units aiding the government and people of Rutbah.
“It’s really cool to actually be involved with the planning of the government in Rutbah,” said Pfc. Ian R. McIntosh, a gunner with Security Platoon. “It makes me feel that I’m making a difference by re-building the town that’s (one of) the gateways of shipping in Iraq.”
The Marines will continue their efforts of supporting the re-building of the city that was at once a war-zone and is now a peaceful area.
“The city went from us against them to us working with them,” said Smith, 21, from Sacramento, Calif. “It not only shows progress, but it also demonstrates that were winning the war. For those who came before us, their sacrifices were worth it.”