Combat Outpost Protect Iraqis, Marines’ Lives

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No matter what time of the day it is, Iraqis and Marines can rest assured knowing there are troops here watching their backs.

Lance Cpl. Robert J. Rowland, a 19 year old rifleman, readies his weapon before manning a combat outpost above Patrol Base Steelers, Iraq
Lance Cpl. Robert J. Rowland, a 19year-old rifleman, readies his weapon before manning a combat outpost above Patrol Base Steelers, Iraq, Dec 6. Rowland and other Marines assigned to I Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment keep Marines and Iraqis safe by manning the 24-hour posts. Rowland is from West Hartford, Conn. All the Marines are currently serving a seven-month deployment in the Habbaniyah, Iraq, area under Regimental Combat Team 5. (photo by Cpl. Ray Lewis)

The infantry Marines assigned to I Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment are keeping their teammates safe from insurgent danger with the combat outposts here.

Many said the posts have proved useful.

“When we got on patrol, we won’t run into anything,” said Lance Cpl. Daniel Villalobos, a rifleman with I Company. “And supply convoys make it through safely to where they need to go. It keeps Marines and Iraqis safe.”

The 19-year-old infantryman from Green Cove Springs, Fla., and other Marines observe the main supply routes and make sure no one is planting improvised explosive devices here.

“Or being involved in other suspicious activity,” Villalobos said.

The Marines here have had first-hand experience.

“It was early in the morning by the school,” said Lance Cpl. Ryan J. Woodruff, a team leader with I Company. “We got attacked and were able to fire back because we had the post.”

The 19-year-old rifleman from Syracuse, N.Y., said it was the Marines on watch in the post who minimized the effects of the attack.

The combat outposts not only help Marines protect their fellow Marines but also themselves when they’re standing post.

Marines man the watches here “to keep it safe in here,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew H. Perry, a mortarman with I Company. “Make sure no one attacks us, and if we get attacked, we can fire back.”

The 19-year-old infantryman from Southaven, Miss., and his Marines did exactly that. During one recent attack, Marines on post proved their worth.

Marines killed the insurgent attackers.

“We got identification, and we’re able to fire back,” Perry said.

The troops are prepared to do it again if they must. They’ll do anything to protect their fellow Marines and Iraqis here, Woodruff said.

“We can provide support for any squad in our area of operations,” he said. “If a patrol goes out and takes contact or communication we’ll have eyes on them.”

By Cpl. Ray Lewis

Military Friends of NewsBlaze originated these stories, sending them directly to us from Iraq, some from Afghanistan and some in the USA.