View Full Version : Marines prepare boys in blue for duty

06-22-04, 07:03 AM
Marines prepare boys in blue for duty <br />
Submitted by: 1st Marine Division <br />
Story Identification #: 200462122054 <br />
Story by Cpl. Macario P. Mora Jr. <br />
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CAMP AL ASAD, Iraq(June 19, 2004) -- The...

06-22-04, 07:04 AM
Iraqi Leader Defends Attack <br />
Premier says U.S. missile strike on Fallouja hit a site used by terrorists. He plans to enlarge his nation's army to fight the insurgency. <br />
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By Ashraf Khalil, Special...

06-22-04, 07:04 AM
30 locally based Marines will be heading to Iraq

June 21, 2004

Members of a U.S. Marine Corps communications unit are again being deployed to Iraq for up to seven months.

Thirty Marines of the Detachment Communications Company, Headquarters Battalion, 4th Marine Division, based in Indianapolis, are expected to go to Iraq within the next two months, said Lt. Col. Charlie Haislip.

The troops, specialists in radio and data communications, will be active for a year, seven months of it in Iraq, Haislip said. They report today and should ship out to California by Thursday.

It will be the second trip to Iraq for about half of the Marines, who spent a tour last year in Ramaldi, Iraq. The other half are new to the unit.

Four Marines from the company already are at Camp Pendleton, Calif., awaiting deployment to Iraq, and 10 others are just arriving in Iraq.

From Star and news service reports



06-22-04, 07:06 AM
In the Line of Fire <br />
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Journalist Robert D. Kaplan joined U.S. Marines as they stormed Fallujah, and returned to share his impressions <br />
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..... <br />
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hen The Atlantic Monthly's correspondent Robert...

06-22-04, 07:07 AM
I never carried a weapon, though it's fun to go to the range and fire rifles and pistols with the troops. (The most fun I've had with weapons was in Afghanistan when I got to shoot a hundred-year-old...

06-22-04, 07:07 AM
The Abu Ghraib Combat Operations Center, at the Abu Ghraib Forward Operating Base, is a completely different place from the Abu Ghraib prison, which is some miles away. I did visit the prison a few times, however. A good part of the prison grounds is not a prison at all, but a base for Marines who help the Army's 1st Cavalry patrol the town of Abu Ghraib, which is one of the most crime beset in Iraq. The Marines I was with had no contact with the prisoners. They were told in no uncertain terms by their commanders that they shouldn't. I did see some of the living quarters where the Army units who did have contact with the prisoners lived. They had been defaced by soldiers' graffiti, and there was garbage and old food lying all around. A Marine commander ordered the place whitewashed before any Marines moved in, intimating that you can tell the character of troops by the way they live. He then berated what he called "the non-infantry part of the Army." His point was that the Army has great fighting divisions with real espirit de corps, like the 82nd Airborne, 10th Mountain, 1st Cavalry, etc. But the Army is vast, and there are all these units that fall between the cracks, like those later implicated in the prison scandal, which at the time we had little inkling of.

How do you anticipate the June 30 handover will affect the situation for the Marines?

I don't think that the June 30 handover is going to make all that much of a difference in terms of the standard operating procedures for the troops on the ground. In terms of the security function they're performing, they're going to go right ahead doing it—they're not going to stop patrolling, and they're not going to stop hunting down people who fire mortars at the bases. Obviously there will be changes, but in terms of the troops on the ground, it will probably be more symbolic than anything.

In "A Post-Saddam Scenario," your article in the November, 2002, Atlantic, you expressed optimism that a U.S. invasion of Iraq could change the dynamics of the region for the better—perhaps chastening Iran and Syria into more moderate stances. "The real question," you wrote, "is not whether the American military can topple Saddam's regime but whether the American public has the stomach for imperial involvement of a kind we have not known since the United States occupied Germany and Japan." Has your thinking on these matters changed since the ousting of Saddam? Are you primarily concerned that America's resolve will falter before it can follow through to the point where the benefits of U.S. influence in the area can be realized?

In that article I also warned against any evangelical lust to impose democracy in a society with little tradition of it. Indeed, Iraq is being held together not by any Western-imported democratic governing councils, but by the blood ties of tribe and clan. Given the chaotic situation, the public's stomach for continued involvement will be crucial, so that when the troops do leave Iraq, they can leave behind a functioning governing structure. With a supportive home front in America, countries like Iran may kick and scream at our ruthlessness and staying power, but privately they will seek deals with the United States. At the moment I'm pessimistic less about the public than because the President —despite his May 24 speech on the subject—has yet to articulate a coherent way out of the anarchy that's plaguing significant parts of Iraq.



06-22-04, 07:08 AM
Issue Date: June 21, 2004 <br />
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Mortuary specialists show respect when preparing casualties <br />
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By Christopher Munsey <br />
Times staff writer <br />
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CAMP WOLVERINE, Kuwait — A slow day is a good day for the...

06-22-04, 09:18 AM
A conflict of blood and belief
Daily Herald Reports
Posted 6/20/2004
For Raleigh Sutton, untroubled sleep is only a dream these days.

As a self-avowed American liberal who sports "Wage Peace" and "I Love My Country; It's The Government I'm Afraid Of" bumper stickers on his car, this nation's involvement in Iraq gives him sleepless nights.

As a father with a warrior son assigned in early June to explosive Fallujah, the term "sleepless" doesn't do justice to his personal case of insomnia.

For this Elgin man, every news story and TV news program is a reminder to him of both his nation's folly and the peril into which his 41-year-old son, Marine Maj. Matthew E. Sutton, volunteered to walk daily for at least the next six months.

"This war is against what I think is right," Sutton said. "But the situation is not his fault. He's a competent, able young man. And I support him because it's what he wanted to do."

In an e-mail to his father last week between 15-hour work shifts, the younger Sutton tried to explain why he volunteered for Fallujah.

"My opinion of this war is as yours, but to me, this is about helping the Marine Corps succeed," said Matthew Sutton to his dad. "After 23 years, one can't help but love the Corps, and I'm fortunate to be in a position to help write another successful page in our history. … Somebody has to take care of these extraordinary young men and women here. It's an honor and a privilege to help lead them."

On this special day for fathers, Sutton will not be the only man both proud of his son and living in fear of a phone call or a personal visit from a man in uniform.

But he might be one of the few living on a knife's edge honed by knowledge that his son might also have used up more than his fair share of good luck.

Matthew Sutton, his dad said, was once assigned to the 24th Marine Amphibious Unit. That's one of the U.S. Marine Corps units that was blown to smithereens in the 1983 terrorist attack on its Beirut barracks. Only because of a last-minute reassignment was Sutton not among the 241 U.S. dead.

And on Sept. 11, 2001, Raleigh Sutton watched in a special sort of horror as airplanes flew into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, turning them into infernos. Matthew Sutton was assigned to the Pentagon at the time. As it turns out, he was working in an annex building that day, but the elder Sutton didn't learn that until days later.

"Your heart just drops out of your body," said Sutton the elder, who was a military brat himself and so understands the risk, the special dread and the gray hairs that are part of the territory for a military family.

"I understand how things are," Sutton said. "You just have to wait. It's terrible, terrible for anybody. You try to look at it with optimism … but you also know you might get the worst news you can possibly imagine."

And now his son serves as an ordnance officer with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Fallujah, a dangerous tour in an ill-defined war zone at an extremely volatile moment.

"He's happy," Dad said of his son, who also has trained as a paratrooper and in long-range reconnaissance. "He didn't go to Panama, to the first Iraq war … or to Afghanistan. He wanted to be in it. It's what he's trained for."

Whether he supports the war or not, Sutton clearly understands a warrior's duty and desire, saying that being a warrior without experiencing war is like being "a sled dog without a sled."

He and his son don't discuss politics much, and he says his family includes a collection of disparate beliefs. It's rather a tradition; Virginia-area antecedents split about down the middle during the Civil War, too. He was raised, he says, by a Republican, white Anglo-Saxon Protestant businessman filled with prejudices.

"But I grew out of being a Republican and became a human being," said Sutton, adding that though John F. Kennedy had a lot to do with that conversion, Harry Truman is his real hero.

To emotionally survive his son's choices as a father, Sutton says he "compartmentalizes."

"It's his choice, his career," he says. "He's my son and I love him. So I support him in what he wants to do."

And consigns himself to sleepless nights wherein his bumper stickers and his blood ties wrestle in the dark in a real-life version of Mortal Kombat.

Conflict: Father started out Republican



06-22-04, 09:44 AM
A small correction on the first story in this thread. The Marine Reserve MP unit is out of Dayton, OH, not Columbus (which has an '03 unit). Makes me proud to see my old unit in action. Semper Fi, Dayton Marines!

06-22-04, 11:20 AM
June 21, 2004

Think tank espouses quick U.S. pullout from Iraq

By Vince Crawley
Times staff writer

Conventional wisdom says the United States can’t afford to make a hasty exit from Iraq, but the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, says a quick departure is now the only way to win a long-term victory.
The ongoing presence of 140,000 U.S. troops in Iraq undermines the very goals the Bush administration hopes to achieve, said Cato’s Christopher Preble, who directed a team of 10 scholars to develop a quick-exit strategy from Iraq.

“It is in America’s best interest to quickly end the military occupation of Iraq,” Preble said Monday in a Capitol Hill news conference at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington.

The presence of U.S. troops in Iraq “enables anti-American terrorists to expand their operations,” Preble said.

The troops are also undermining the authority of the local Iraqi government, viewed by many as a puppet controlled from Washington, he said. And the massive military operation saps U.S. troops and resources that would be put to better use going after terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida organization, Preble said.

Numerous studies have shown that before the March 2003 invasion, no Iraqis were involved in anti-American terrorist attacks, Preble said.

“In short, Iraq was never a hotbed of terrorism — but now it has become a magnate for terrorist activities,” he said.

One reason for that is the sheer violence of any extended military operation. “War involves killing,” Preble said. “Each victim of collateral damage leaves behind a legacy of bitterness.”

Many of these newly made enemies never supported the repressive Saddam regime that U.S. troops overthrew.

In addition, using U.S. troops to leverage the creation of a liberal democratic government means, by definition, that Iraqis are not in control of their own destiny.

“Brute force may succeed in removing tyrants,” Preble said. “But brute force cannot force people to elect good men.”

The United States should announce an exit date for the summer of 2005, but promise to keep a strong over-the-horizon presence to prevent Iraq from spiraling out of control, Preble said.

U.S. leaders must clearly explain that a withdrawal does not signal American weakness. And a withdrawal would depend on certain conditions, Preble said. These include: “Do not threaten us. Do not harbor anti-American terrorists. And do not develop weapons of mass destruction. If you do, we’ll be back.”

Michael O’Hanlon, a prominent defense analyst with the Brookings Institution, doesn’t fully support the departure plan but says many elements of it have merit.

Under the current Iraq plan, U.S. leaders insist they must stay in country because “failure is not an option,” O’Hanlon said.

“Unfortunately,” he added, “failure is a distinct possibility.”

A hasty departure without the creation of strong, democratic central government might leave Iraq divided into three semi-autonomous zones — Shia, Sunni and Kurd — and could even lead to civil war. But, he said, it’s not clear a civil war won’t happen even if Americans stay.

O’Hanlon said the U.S. military also would be able to recover from the apparent loss of prestige surrounding an early exit from Iraq. Other nations would conclude that the United States “is not really good at stabilization missions, but they’d better not take that lesson so far as to invade [their] neighbor.”

That’s because even with the mixed results of the violent occupation — which has claimed the lives of more than 830 U.S. troops and an estimated 16,000 Iraqis — America’s military also has demonstrated its capability for the kinds of swift, decisive combat operations that routed Saddam from power in just three weeks, O’Hanlon said.



06-22-04, 02:42 PM
Issue Date: June 21, 2004

Adapting for urban warfare
Joint Forces Command emphasizes better intelligence, new facilities

By Jason Sherman
Times staff writer

U.S. Joint Forces Command is drawing up recommendations for new technology and training to improve the military’s ability to operate in urban environments.
A classified list of new needs will soon be forwarded to the Pentagon’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council, which will consider launching procurement efforts for the most pressing issues, including improved intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for urban combat and new facilities for large-scale, joint-service urban operations training.

“We’re working on those [proposals] right now,” said Duane Schattle, deputy director for the Joint Urban Operations Office at Norfolk, Va.-based Joint Forces Command.

The effort is one result of a weeklong war game in March led by the Marine Corps in partnership with Joint Forces Command.

“Joint Urban Warrior 2004” was set in a fictitious city with a population of millions where the participants — from all services, the intelligence community, other government departments and eight nations — examined various tactical, operational and strategic challenges of urban combat.

Those challenges are immense. The Pentagon is trying to adjust the military it trained and equipped over decades to fight the Soviets on the open plains of central Europe to fight in cities — what one defense analyst calls the postmodern equivalent of jungles and mountains.

Training for urban combat received little focus during the Cold War. “The world has changed since the fall of the Iron Curtain,” Schattle said. “Our adversaries have figured out that our firepower and ISR capabilities really are negated in urban areas because it becomes a close fight. They’ve started to adapt.”

Recognizing the changes

This recognition of a needed shift in emphasis is not exactly new. In the wake of the Army’s experience in Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993, where 18 service members were killed fighting Somali militiamen, the Army and Marine Corps have focused on the need to improve combat operations in cities.

To broaden this focus to include all the services, Joint Forces Command last year was tapped to lead the Defense Department’s joint urban-operations experiments. One of the command’s main tasks in that area is to craft a “Joint Urban Operations Integrating Concept,” a document to provide a common framework for using joint military force in a city.

War-game participants are recommending this draft document be modified to reflect the need to simultaneously conduct combat, security and stability and humanitarian assistance operations.

“We’ve seen ... in a lot of recent operations that there wasn’t a nice, neat division between those,” said Dave Dilegge of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, who led the war game. “We found that you’re doing all three right from the get-go, and that’s one of the very complex issues we’re trying to deal with.”

Another recommendation from the war game is to improve training for urban operations. Existing training facilities with mock cities are not large enough for realistic preparation, according to a summary of the war game’s findings.

“It’s a shortcoming,” Schattle said. “We need to build new facilities that allow us to do the kinds of things that we’re actually having to do in the world today.”

Along with new facilities, the document suggests a new curriculum for urban operations is needed in the military’s professional education system.

Other needed technologies, according to the war-game report, include a family of unmanned ground, air and sea vehicles to support logistics operations, medical evacuation, fire support, intelligence gathering and communications, and a “universal translator” to help troops communicate with the local populace.



06-22-04, 04:15 PM
Marine uniforms on fence pose mystery <br />
Are they meant as a tribute or simply castoffs? <br />
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KevinDuggan@coloradoan.com <br />
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J.W. Weaver, who are you? <br />
Where are you?

06-22-04, 07:20 PM
June 22, 2004

Planes hit Fallujah safehouse

Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq — The United States launched an airstrike Tuesday in Fallujah on a safehouse used by followers of Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — the second strike against the terror network in three days, the U.S. military said.
Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the U.S.-led coalition’s deputy chief of operations, said the strike involved precision weapons to “target and destroy” the safehouse and was based on “multiple confirmations of actionable intelligence.”

“Wherever and whenever we find elements of the Zarqawi network, we will attack them,” he said.

Large explosions rocked the restive Sunni Muslim city west of Baghdad. Ambulances raced to the area after the 10:30 p.m. blasts. Wounded and dead were being evacuated, said Iraqi Police Col. Mekky Zeidan.

U.S. officials offered no casualty figures, but Al-Jazeera television reported that three people were killed and six were wounded.

An attack in the same area Saturday leveled a building U.S. officials said was a suspected al-Zarqawi safehouse. Fallujah officials claimed the house was owned by an Iraqi family and that no foreign terrorists were there.

Al-Zarqawi, who is thought to have ties to al-Qaida, has been blamed for a string of car bombs across Iraq, including a blast last week that killed 35 people and wounded 145 at an Iraqi military recruiting center in Baghdad.

His Monotheism and Jihad movement carried through Tuesday on its threat to behead South Korean hostage Kim Sun-il after South Korea refused to withdraw its troops from Iraq.



06-22-04, 09:19 PM
Into the cauldron

Biggest troop rotation in Marines' history under way in Kuwait, Iraq
By Rick Rogers
June 22, 2004

OUTSIDE KUWAIT CITY – There should be a sign at a desert base camp here with two arrows on it, one pointing to the United States and home and the other to Iraq and combat duty.

About 43,000 Marines, thousands of whom are based in San Diego County, will pass through the base camp in coming weeks, headed one way or the other in what military planners call the largest troop rotation in Marine Corps history.

Last weekend marked the first large-scale movement of fresh troops into Kuwait for the next round of operations in Iraq.

Hundreds of Marines from Camp Pendleton's 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment will pause here before entering Iraq to replace the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, another Camp Pendleton unit.

The Marines were briefed and processed at 1 a.m. Sunday and were divided into groups of 50 to board C130 aircraft to the combat zone. The mission was temporarily delayed because of mechanical problems.

Between now and October, said Maj. Carl Small, a 1st Marine Division logistics officer, several thousand local Marines will pass through Kuwait to Iraq.

Security concerns prevent disclosure of exact troop numbers or movements.

Small downplayed the task of moving so many Marines and sailors, saying the Marines' repeated trips to the Middle East have made them "very familiar with the process."

But even Small said this deployment is different.

In the past, Marines – especially infantry – spent days and sometimes weeks getting accustomed to 115-degree desert conditions in Kuwait while living in tents cooled by air conditioners as large as cars.

Not this time.

Now, Marines arriving here from Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, N.C., and elsewhere are often staying less than 24 hours before entering Iraq.

Some units, such as the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, might spend even less time than that.

Such quick passage suits the Marines, one officer said.

"We've been preparing for this since December and we are ready," said Lt. Terry Horton, 28, the battalion's assistant logistics officer. "Morale is high and the Marines are excited."

"With the June 30 turnover (of sovereignty to Iraqi authorities) coming, we don't know what to expect," Horton said as Marines sounded off their names during roll call.

"We have trained preparing for the worst and hoping for the best," said Horton, of Manhattan, Kan.

The 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment is familiar with the process after returning from duty in Iraq last June. This is the start of a seven-month deployment that will take them to Anbar Province, where some of the most dangerous cities in the Sunni Triangle are located.

Since the 25,000-strong 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, including 19,000 from Camp Pendleton and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, entered Iraq earlier this year, more than 84 Marines have died and 700 have been wounded.

Most of those casualties came after the deaths and mutilations of four U.S. contractors in April that sparked a Marine offensive.

Clashes in Ramadi and Fallujah have killed hundreds of people and left both sides bitter.

The uneasiness in Fallujah between Marines and insurgents was strained Saturday when U.S. forces attacked a reputed safe house for insurgents, killing at least 17 people.

In the past week, a London daily reported that seven Iraqi truck drivers were beheaded in Fallujah for allegedly working for U.S. forces, presumably the Marines. The report quoted relatives as saying Fallujah police handed the Shia men over to their Sunni killers.

As the June 30 transfer of authority approaches, the Bush administration and military officials predict more violence against U.S. troops.

It is into this cauldron that the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment and thousands of other Camp Pendleton Marines and sailors are arriving.

Union-Tribune staff writer Rick Rogers and staff photographer Nelvin Cepeda are in Kuwait, where they are preparing to accompany Camp Pendleton-based Marines into Iraq.


NELVIN CEPEDA / Union-Tribune
Camp Pendleton-based Marines were briefed at a base camp in the Kuwaiti desert early Sunday morning and were divided into flight groups of 50 before they were to board aircraft to Iraq. A mechanical problem temporarily delayed their departure.