View Full Version : Snakes bite should not be underestimated

12-06-05, 05:55 PM
Snakes bite should not be underestimated
II Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD)
Story by Cpl. Heidi E. Loredo

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (Dec. 6, 2005) -- Marines from 8th Communications Battalion, Force Protection Platoon, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Group, II MEF (FWD), prove on a daily basis they are not just communications’ savvy.

The 26 men who lead the way behind the armored metal of the venom vehicles provide much more than communication ability; they can easily transform into a lethal team during convoys.

On a day where many Marines and Sailors enjoyed a warm Thanksgiving dinner inside messhalls aboard Camp Fallujah, Marines from Force Protection Platoon traveled through the streets of Fallujah to an outpost in the city to take a little piece of heaven to their brothers-in-arms, mail and Thanksgiving dinner.

Their day began after a convoy brief, where they received intelligence updates and rehearsed immediate action procedures should they encounter enemy attack. They then loaded up their gear and weapons onto their vehicles, prepared to handle any missions during the convoy.

After dodging civilians and traffic jams during their maneuver throughout the streets, the Marines arrived to a grateful group.

“I have been with the battalion since July of last year,” said 1st Sgt. Mcezelvias Corbin Jr., battalion first sergeant. “I found out real quick 8th Communications Battalion wears many hats. The Marines are far more proficient in their [military occupational specialty.] This is noticeable by the many outside agencies that seek out their expertise to work for them in the civilian sector.”

Force Protection’s expertise allows them to disperse within the compound for various jobs, however their main focus leads them outside the wire.

“Our basic job is to provide security within the interior guard around the compound and also provide convoy security for the battalion,” said Sgt. Christopher Bruck, platoon sergeant, Force Protection Platoon. “The platoon is comprised of Marines who hold a variety of MOS’s such as wireman and radio operators.”

The team is trained in every aspect of infantry unit tactics including convoy operations, urban warfare and reaction drills.

“The Marines are a self-contained unit with all the assets needed to execute urban warfare tactics, reactionary to [improvised explosive device] attacks, improvised mine reactionary tactics, call for fire and the list goes on,” said Corbin.

The main focus of Force Protection’s effort is convoy operations and camp force protection. The team, which arrived to Camp Fallujah on their first deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in August, takes on other missions outside of the battalion for II MHG, II MEF (FWD).

“When we go on convoys we pretty much run the show,” said Bruck. “We could be an [infantry] unit in our own little world here. We’re like the outcasts in the battalion. Everybody wants to be us, but everybody hates us.”

If the team is not on a convoy they are continuously training or standing post around the compound.

“The Marines are a total package, and this is a testament of the hundreds of convoy operations they have conducted while in country with no fatality or injuries to Marines or damage to equipment,” said Corbin. “1st Lt. Conrad Wiedemann, Staff Sgt. Daniel Sankey and Staff Sgt. Christopher Ransom run a tight team and are commended on their focus of effort and attention to detail on every operation.”

Force Protection’s leaders ensure every Marine on the team thoroughly understands the mission at hand.

“Our mission is to deliver and pick up supplies, passengers and any other miscellaneous gear,” said Bruck. “It's a basic convoy, and we provide the security to make sure the mission gets done safely."