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Cpl. Brandon J. Frazer searches in the province's west for traces of insurgent activity during an area sweep Sept. 7 by 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5. Frazer, 21, is a scout team leader from Kissimmee, Fla., serving with Alpha Company, 2nd LAR Bn.

Photo by Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson

Marines continue desert search for insurgents

12 Sep 2008 | Cpl. Ryan Tomlinson

Coalition forces continue to scour the desert to assist the Iraqi Security Forces in making Iraq safe.

Marines with Alpha Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 5, are searching for groups or individuals who pose as a threat to the security of Iraq in western Anbar.

"There had been intelligence of bad things happening in the less-patrolled areas," said Sgt. Austin B. Groves, 21, a vehicle commander with Alpha Co. "We needed to go out there and see what kind of leads we can find to further protect the people."

The company has been conducting operations in and around the town of Nukhayb. Since the beginning of their deployment, they have destroyed weapons caches and have found five insurgents, three of whom were killed in an engagement.

"We still have individuals who undermine the security of Iraq. With the Iraqi Highway Patrol and Coalition forces working together, we can handle those individuals," said Maj. Steven Sutey, company commander of Alpha Co. "The company has been successful because of the Iraqi Security Forces working with us."

The Marines recently encountered evidence of insurgent activity after they explored an old government building in western al-Anbar province. According to the Marines, it is one of the many places they have gone to gather intelligence to crack down on the suspected insurgents operating in that area.

"We needed to search that abandoned (Iraqi Police) station to find something useful in finding leads," said Lance Cpl. Michael A. Curry, 20, a scout from Columbia, Ky., with Alpha Co. "(The area) has been a hot spot for the last three deployments, and taking that area will strip away another place they could hide."

It’s a continual effort to get rid of the insurgency in the area, but the Marines are handling it. As 2nd LAR Bn.’s deployment approaches its conclusion, the company will now focus on setting the next unit up for success.

"We have a new unit coming out here, and we’re trying to provide them as much intelligence and knowledge as possible," said Groves, 21, from Elkhart, Ind. "With how much we’re providing them, they will be able to start off on the right foot."