View Full Version : Delta Company defends Marines

10-01-05, 07:17 AM
Delta Company defends Marines

Since their deployment to Iraq earlier this year, the men of Middlesboro's Delta Company 1st Battalion 149th Infantry have been busy protecting other military units.

According to a United States Marine Corps news release, Delta Company soldiers, now attached to the 1st Battalion of the 109th Infantry (Mechanized) took over force protection operations in and around Al Asad, Iraq, in August. Based in Scranton, Pa., the 109th, an Army National Guard unit, assumed responsibilities for interior and convoy security from the Provisional Security Battalion Marines of 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion.

When Delta Company was activated in the spring, they were sent to Camp Shelby, Miss., where they were attached to the 109th.

"It has been an interesting deployment so far," said Army Staff Sgt. Brian Hagy, a squad leader and Lexington native.

"This is our first time working with Marines so we weren't sure how it was going to go. But, we worked really hard to prepare and things have been good so far. We've always been on the same team, just this time we're a lot closer than normal."
The battalion's companies rotate responsibilities for interior security and convoy security missions.

During convoy missions, soldiers escort Marines and other personnel out of AI Asad, secure whatever location their mission calls for and escort everyone back into base.

Delta Company recently escorted engineers and other personnel from Marine Wing Support Squadron 272 and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 to Baghdad for repairs on Al Asad's pipelines for water.

"This was the third time my company has done the water pipe repair," said Delta Company Commander Capt. Jeff Cole.

"The company we relieved did it several times. We provide clear and secure (support) before the repair team arrives and then provide security while they conduct the repairs."

The performance of his soldiers on these missions has been outstanding, said Cole. "I had high expectations of my soldiers, and they have exceeded them," Cole said. "They learn quickly and adapt well to change."

According to the release, other personnel who fall under the battalion's blanket of security, include the Marines of the 6th Civil Affairs Group.

Those Marines assess battle damage and arrange reparation payments with Iraqi citizens affected by fighting with insurgents.

They also seek out community leaders to assist the locals in any way they can. The protection provided by the soldiers allows the Marines to operate without threatening the Iraqis they are trying to help.

"Every time we go out, I am focused on completing our mission," said Hagy. "Because I know every mission completed brings me one step closer to being home with my wife and daughter. That's all the motivation I need."