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Force Protection Company watches Camp Fallujah's back

Marine Corps News

Story Identification #: 20055302102
Story by Lance Cpl. Evan M. Eagan

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (May 30, 2005) -- With the security of Camp Fallujah and II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group, II MEF (FWD), area of operations in its hands, many lives depend on the Marines and sailors of Force Protection Company.

Force Protection Company, a unit of more than 200 Marines and sailors, is comprised of mainly reserve service members from various units in the western United States. Arriving in Iraq in early March this unit has been tasked with providing security for all service members and personnel on the camp.

“It is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week operation,” said Maj. Darrin Brightmon, commanding officer, FP Company, II MHG, II MEF (FWD). “We are never closed for business.”

The units that make up FP Company are: Alpha Company and Headquarters and Service Company, 4th Tank Battalion, from San Diego; Bravo Company, 4th Tank Battalion, from Yakima, Wash.; Delta Battery, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, from El Paso, Texas; and Anti-Tank Tow Company, 4th Tank Battalion, from Amarillo, Texas. Mobilized in early January, they met up at Camp Lejeune, N.C., for initial location training.

“We came together at Camp Lejeune where we reinforced as Force Protection Company,” said Brightmon, a San Diego, native. “Then we came out here and relieved Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, who was in charge of Force Protection.”

Along with providing security for those on the base, FP Company also provides security for convoys to Pump House Barney and Flanders, and recently has been tasked with doing security sweeps on the main supply routes.

“We have gladly taken this mission,” said Brightmon. “We like to get outside the wire on any given opportunity. Force protection is number one in my eyes and I keep it there so the Marines can see it as well. They always have the emphasis on protecting everyone on this camp and also the vital interests outside our camp that we are assigned to protect as well.”

Although the company is made up of units who had not worked together prior to forming at Camp Lejeune, this has not been a problem.

“We had good training before we came out here,” said Sgt. Edward Quezada, squad leader, 2nd Platoon, FP Company. “We’ve come along very well and we’re out here working together.”

Brightmon is also pleased with the way the Marines have handled the mission.

“The Marines have done extremely well. Their attention to detail has really impressed me over the past few months. As it’s getting hotter the freshness and newness of being in country is beginning to wear off so they are really focusing on the mission and focusing on keeping everyone safe.”


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