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Lance Cpl. Michael Stangelo, a rifleman with Company F, Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Regimental Combat Team 5, climbs a barrier while en route to the civic center in Rawah, Iraq, August 17. Marines with Company F have moved out of the city of Rawah, but still patrol the streets of the city to assist the Iraqi Security Forces.::r::::n::::r::::n::

Photo by Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray

‘Warloards’ help city of Rawah grow

25 Aug 2008 | Lance Cpl. Joshua Murray 1st Marine Division

After nearly three years of Marine Corps units operating out of the Rawah Iraqi Police Station, the “Warlords” of Company F, Task Force 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 have officially demilitarized the building and returned it to the city Aug. 12.

The Marines have moved just minutes away to Combat Outpost Rawah and will continue to support law-enforcement operations here as needed by the local governing officials and Iraqi Police Force.

“Having transitioned to an overwatch (role), we will continue to interact and work with our Iraqi counterparts,” said Capt. Aaron Schwartz, 31, company commander, Co. F. “We will still maintain a capability to backstop the Iraqi Security Forces, in regards to security, while continuing to work by, with and through the local and provincial government. Our aim is to continue to assist the local government to advance Rawah through all the lines of operation.”

Marines with Co. F still patrol the streets of Rawah, maintaining the peace and relationships with citizens that have been established over the years. Working alongside the Iraqi Police Force, Marines are helping them move closer to a self-reliant security in Rawah.

“The security situation is well in hand, and the Iraqi Police are becoming more and more capable of maintaining security each day,” said Schwartz, who is from Hatsfield, Pa. “Everyday, Marines from both the Police Transition Team and Co. F continue to operate with the Iraqi Police to bring security and stability to the people of Rawah.”

Although the city has a substantial amount of its own security forces patrolling the streets, the majority of the IP are not citizens of Rawah and have had to work hard becoming acquainted with the local populace.

“The relationships between the Iraqi Police and the civilians are better now,” said Hamid Khalid Ibrahim, the mayor of Rawah. “We’ve made some advancements, but we need more police who have lived in Rawah because they know the people.”

Together, the Marines of Co. F, local leaders and Iraqi Security Forces are working to improve Rawah and will keep working together to maintain the peace and make Rawah a prosperous city.

“Slowly, the city of Rawah is progressing,” said Schwartz. “Elected officials are beginning to work toward solving the problems of essential services and economics. Each day, Rawah makes small gains toward complete self-reliance.”

1st Marine Division