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'1/6 hard' leaves Lejeune, continues fight in Fallujah

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 2005391746
Story by Cpl. Mike Escobar

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (March 9, 2005) -- First Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment’s main body of troops began leaving here for Iraq’s Al Anbar province March 9.

The unit will relieve 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment based in Camp Pendleton, Calif. to continue rooting out insurgents, seeking out weapons caches and helping Iraqi Security Forces provide security and stability in the area.

“We are deploying during a decisive time in the continuing development of Iraq, so you can expect the Marines and Sailors of 1/6 to be involved everyday in making a difference,” stated Lt. Col. William M. Jurney, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment’s battalion commander and Statesville, N.C. native. “Whether we are working to restore essential support facilities or working with the development of the local police and security forces, our 1/6 team will be making a difference in bringing peace and stability to the people of Iraq.”

According to Capt. Ed Burns, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment’s assistant operations officer, the unit will conduct similar missions to those 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment performed. This includes patrolling the area searching for terrorists and illegal arms and restoring Fallujah’s infrastructure by rebuilding schools, hospitals and homes.

“3/5 has done a lot of great things in the area we’re going to be in and were instrumental in the fight for Fallujah,” the 36-year-old Bethesda, Md. native stated. “They maintained a very aggressive hunt for weapons and insurgents since the fall of 2004, and now we’re going to continue along the same path.”

The 1997 Arizona State University graduate also said 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment personnel will help train Iraqi military and civil law forces, teaching them to gain and maintain security and stability in their communities.
This will be beneficial for all Iraqi citizens, Burns continued.

“If operations keep on going the way they’ve been so far, and we continue getting rid of insurgents and ammunition, it will help the Iraqis see that we’re there to help them, and that they can trust us.”

Burns also said he feels confident in 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment’s ability to succeed at the mission ahead.

“I feel absolutely fantastic in that we have an extensive amount of combat experience in the battalion. The leadership from the NCO (noncommissioned officer) level up will facilitate the tasks we have to perform.”

Jurney agreed with Burns and also thanked the deploying Marines’ and sailors’ loved ones.

“The encouragement and support the families have shown the Marines and sailors of 1/6 are the foundation from which we draw both our strength of purpose and peace of mind to serve. I am proud to have the privilege to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with such a fine group of young Americans, and equally as proud to stand with the families and friends who have courageously been by our side.”

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