View Full Version : Attacks always 'trigger' scramble for information

04-30-08, 07:16 AM

Last modified: Monday, April 28, 2008 11:58 AM CDT

Attacks always 'trigger' scramble for information

By Staff Sgt. Isaac Weix, Special to The News

This is the 30th in a series of “letters home” from a local Marine deployed for a second tour in Iraq

This is now old news that was either reported or ignored by CNN.

Two Marines from my battalion were killed the middle of April. The HMMWV (armored vehicle) they were in was hit by an IED (improvised explosive device), and two of the three Marines in the vehicle were killed and one was wounded.

Being from another company, I did not personally know the Marines, but I did know who they were because they were on some of the ranges I ran in training. My junior Marines knew them better. My heart goes out to their families.

When there is an attack there is a mad scramble for information. The first thing is, “Was anyone killed?”

After that, we want to know what type of device it was, what kind of explosives were used, how the device was detonated, and what damage did it do to the armor?

Then come the difficult questions like “were the Marines following procedure?”

The answer to that question is the most important. If procedures were followed and it happened, then our procedures need to be changed. If procedures were not followed, was that the cause of the incident?

It is a continuous process updating and validating procedures. It is a full-time job ensuring those procedures are adhered to.

All too often a break can be found in the chain of events leading up to an incident. As a leader, knowing this information is vital. I don’t want to make the same mistakes and get someone killed.

An unfortunate result of this incident is it will seem as there is a spike of violence in the area, where, in fact, that may not be the case.

Many of the IEDs that were used in this area were “victim detonated.” That means they were constructed like mines that have pressure sensors and are set off by someone stepping on or driving over them.

They are indiscriminate in who they kill and they can lay in the ground forgotten for years. When the locals started working with us, they pointed many of these out — but I am sure that there are still some left out there waiting.

Weix, an Elmwood native, serves with the 24th Marine Regiment out of Madison as a platoon sergeant for Weapons Platoon, “G” Company, 2nd Battalion.