AL ANBAR PROVINCE, Iraq --
The building of Iraqi Security Forces is now advancing to a new level: aviation.
Marines with Charlie Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, have been providing security while a new Iraqi air base is being constructed here.
“I always have thought that this is what we are here to do, and that’s re-build this country,” said Lance Cpl. Tom C. Albertson, 19, a scout with Charlie Co. from Milford, Pa. “It’s better to boost their capabilities in the land and in air.”
The Marines provided security for the combat engineers of 3rd Marine Air Wing (Forward) as they inspected the terrain of an old Iraqi base that will become the air base. Before the engineers arrived, Charlie Co. dismounted and searched the area for any threats that may come during the operation.
“Acquiring another field for the (Iraqi) Air Force is a promising term of events for this region of Iraq,” said 1st Lt. Brent L. Vlcek, a platoon commander with Charlie Co. “We were there to provide security for those Marine engineers with the skill to envision creating (an air base).”
The Marines with Charlie Co. will continue the efforts of protecting the air base while it’s under construction.
“The logic of us being there served a great purpose for the Iraq military,” said Cpl. Andrew H. Hodgkins, 22, a scout team leader with Charlie Co. from Brunswick, Mass. “Workers are planning to get it up and running, but the survey was step one of many.”