Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ironmen ensure safety of Al Asad Air Base through mounted security patrols

AL ASAD, Iraq (June 13, 2008) – With guns mounted and engines idling, the Marines of 2nd platoon, Bravo Company, Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), prepare to roll out on a mounted security patrol.
MWSS-274 conducts mounted security patrols to ensure hostile activity never reaches the protective wire around the air base and surrounding local villages.

The patrols are designed to create a constant Marine presence in the surrounding area, deterring insurgent activity and protecting the personnel stationed aboard Al Asad Air Base, explained Sgt. Aaron W. Baisden, squad leader, 2nd platoon.

During their patrols, the Marines cover different sectors outside al-Asad, attaining maximum coverage of the area of operation. The Marines watch for anything unusual, from hostile threats to Iraqi civilians traveling through the desert.
When Marines come across Iraqi civilians, they use the opportunity to gather information.

“Every time we come across a local national, we ensure they don’t have weapons, and we ask them if they’ve seen any problems,” said Cpl. Aaron Payne, assistant patrol leader, 2nd platoon.

Marines use the time with the Iraqis to deter insurgent activity, provide impromptu humanitarian aid and search for contraband. Once cleared, the Marines provide medicine, food and water, explained Baisden, a Milton, Fla., native.

“We will also give the children candy, soccer balls or toys -- anything to make their day better,” added Baisden.

For Payne, every person his platoon comes across provides an opportunity to improve the relationship between Coalition forces and the Iraqi people.

“I like going out and interacting with the Iraqis,” said Payne, an Asheville, N.C., native. “Most of them are very friendly. I enjoy trying to learn a little about their culture and teach them a little about our culture.”

1 comment:

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 07/01/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.