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Alpha 1/5 Marines, NIA soldiers conduct mission together in Ramadi

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 20055203510
Story by Cpl. Tom Sloan

AR RAMADI, Iraq (May 16, 2005) -- Marines with 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, teamed up with soldiers from the Iraqi Security Force and, together, executed a cordon and search mission in the city here.

The three-hour joint-operation was geared towards maintaining a presence in the area and establishing a positive relationship between Iraqi civilians and members of their own military, according to 3rd Platoon’s platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Cole Daunhauer.

“We’re letting the Iraqi people know that the Marines are here (conducting missions aimed at ridding the city of terrorism),” explained the 31-year-old from Louisville, Ky. “Seeing their military out here with us doing the same is equally, if not more, important.”

Daunhauer added the intent is for locals to become confident with their own Iraqi forces. Witnessing them in action will help accomplish this goal, he said.

“The people need to know that their military is professional and capable like the Marines,” he said. The ISF soldiers will eventually be responsible for keeping Ramadi secure and stabilized once the Marines and coalition forces leave.

The Iraqi soldiers intermingled in 3rd Platoon’s two squads, 1st and 2nd, during the mission. Together, the warriors searched several houses for weapons and anti-Iraqi propaganda. They also questioned residents to find out if they had ties to or knew members of the terrorist network.

Corporal Joel Jaime, squad leader for 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, had seven Iraqi soldiers in his squad. The 22-year-old from Las Vegas welcomed the help his attachments provided.

“They have a high intensity and know what they’re doing,” the 2001 Chaparral High School graduate said while in a house with his squad. “They’re helping make the searches go well because they’re communicating with the people and explaining what we’re doing.”

In addition to helping break the language barrier, the soldiers also served as a vital security element, explained Jaime, who’s on his third deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“They know what they’re doing and are aware of the dangers that exist out here,” he said. “They aren’t letting their guard down, which makes me feel safer.”

Jamie employed three Iraqi soldiers to post security, which enabled him and his Marines to conduct more detailed searches.

Corporal Kevin M. Spiwak, a team leader and grenadier with 1st Squad, was impressed each time he provided security with the Iraqi soldiers.

“As soon as we got into position, they set up security,” said the 28-year-old from Rochester, N.Y. “They quickly got down to avoid snipers, too.”

The infantry battalion’s information operations officer, Navy Lt. Mike A. Quaresimo, also joined the effort and posted pro-Iraqi government flyers on walls throughout the neighborhood.

The 32-year-old from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., said the area has been tainted by the insurgency.

“There’s insurgent propaganda painted on a lot of the walls here,” he said. “We’re continuing to inform the people here and all over Ramadi that they have a choice. We’ll stop searching their houses if they turn in the insurgents and the attacks stop. If they don’t and the attacks persist, then we’ll continue our search missions.”

The Marines and Iraqi soldiers didn’t run across any insurgents, though, and they finished their mission without incident.

Jaime believed the effort was a success. “We showed the Iraqi people that the Marines and (ISF) are working together to help secure their city.”


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