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Marines cut into insurgents ability to operate

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 20053703221
Story by Cpl. Matthew R. Jones

HUSAYBAH, Iraq (Feb. 28, 2005) -- In the middle of the night, the Marines of Heavy Equipment Platoon, Company C, 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 7 did some town renovations to Husaybah, Iraq, by demolishing several buildings used by insurgents.

The mission was the kick off of Operation River Blitz in the Husaybah area, and it destroyed buildings known to be used by insurgents, said Staff Sgt. Ronald S. Gillaspie, heavy equipment operation chief, Headquarters and Support Platoon, Co. C, 2nd CEB.

In addition to the leveling the buildings, the Marines of Company C, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, worked further to disrupt the insurgents by limiting their ability to move freely through the area.

The Marines placed a curfew in effect and conducted cordon and knocks to find and possibly detain insurgents in the area. They also used vehicle control checkpoints (VCP).

The use of VCPs was prevalent throughout the Al Qaim area, including Husaybah, according to Gillaspie, 29, a native of Crown Point, Ind.

Not only are VCPs instrumental in limiting the movement of insurgents, they help to deter them from planting or trafficking improvised explosive devices and weapons in to the city. This is essential since Marines have often been attacked on the roads and shot at from the houses.
The Marines also increased their base safety by blocking roads approaching their bases and preventing civilian traffic from traveling on them.

All of the measures during the operation made it harder for foreign fighters to get into the country and those who were already in would find it difficult to move around.

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