Marine Assault Amphibian Vehicles Join Haiti Relief Mission
[FONT=Verdana]MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Long before the sun crested the horizon over the Atlantic Ocean, Marines from the 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, were plowing through the surf toward waiting amphibious assault ships to join the Marine contingent heading to Haiti, Jan. 16.
The platoon of vehicles crossed Onslow Beach in pairs to embark aboard the USS Gunston Hall, a recent addition to the amphibious ready group carrying the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to Haiti. In addition to the Gunston Hall, the USS Bataan, Carter Hall and Fort McHenry spent two days embarking the personnel, vehicles and equipment of the 22nd MEU at the port in Morehead City, N.C.
The amphibious assault ships and the embarked MEU were ordered to deploy to Haiti to support ongoing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance efforts in Haiti, which was ravaged by a massive earthquake, Jan. 12. The AAVs give the MEU commander the option of delivering supplies and personnel ashore from offshore shipping, and enhances the unit's ability to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance to the Haitian people.
The 22nd MEU consists of its Command Element; Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (Reinforced).
The embarkation of the AAVs is among the final steps before the ships and embarked MEU can set sail for Haiti for a humanitarian mission expected to last at least 30 days.
22nd MEU Deploys to Support Haitian Relief Efforts
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Less than six weeks after returning home from a seven month deployment to the European and Central Command areas of operation, the Marines and sailors of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit found themselves once again bidding farewell to family and friends.
On Jan. 13, less than a day after a devestating earthquake ravaged the Caribbean island nation of Haiti, the 22nd MEU was ordered to prepare for deployment to head to Haiti to support President Barack Obama's pledge of assisting the Haitian people. By the 15th, the embarkation of personnel, vehicles and equipment was in full swing.
According to Capt. Clark Carpenter, spokesman for the 22nd MEU, the Marines expect the deployment to last at least 30 days, but emphasized that the Marines will remain in Haiti until such time as their service is no longer needed.
The 22nd MEU consists of Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment; Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (Reinforced); Combat Logistics Battalion 22; and its Command Element. The 2,200 Marines and sailors of the MEU are commanded by Col. Gareth F. Brandl.
"Our Marines and sailors are trained and ready to make a difference," said Gareth. "We will deploy with our Navy team of the Amphibous Ready Group to support the Haitian government's efforts with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."
With humanitarian assistance and disaster relief a core capability of U.S. maritime forces, the MEU is ideally suited to support relief efforts in Haiti. Among other tasks, the MEU can provide engineering support, medical aid, security and water purification, among other tasks.
Marine Expeditionary Units and their Navy brethen have a long and distinguished history of providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the wake of tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, famine, drought and cyclones. In 2008, Camp Lejeune Marines provided humanitarian aid to Haiti after a series of storm left hundreds of Haitians dead and in 1994 and 2004, Lejeune Marines were deployed to Haiti to conduct security and stability operations.
The 22nd MEU expects to completed its embarkation aboard the Bataan, Carter Hall and Fort McHenry within a day and immediately set sail to Haiti to help its citizens.
Originally Posted by HollywoodMarine
Goodnight Chesty, where ever you are.
Moral is low. He thinks it cool now...
Originally Posted by Wilco
thank you for your fast and correct answer...
Originally Posted by Arnie100
I have found that they are M200 blank ammunation. (the tips are violet, i also found that the prior ones are white and did not used any more because of the residue they left at the gas port that increases jamming prob.)
Originally Posted by HollywoodMarine
Grunt life. Semper fi brothers.
US Marines end role in Iraq; Biden in Baghdad
RAMADI, Iraq - The U.S. Marine Corps wrapped nearly seven years in Iraq on Saturday, handing over duties to the Army and signaling the beginning of an accelerated withdrawal of American troops as the U.S. turns its focus away from the waning Iraqi war to a growing one in Afghanistan.
In Baghdad, meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden held talks with Iraqi leaders amid growing tensions over plans to ban election candidates because of suspected links to Saddam Hussein's regime.
The White House worries the bans could raise questions over the fairness of the March 7 parliamentary elections, which are seen as an important step in the American pullout timetable and breaking political stalemates over key issues such as dividing Iraq's oil revenue.
The Marines formally handed over control of Sunni-dominated Anbar, Iraq's largest province, to the Army during a ceremony at a base in Ramadi - where some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place.
If all goes as planned, the last remaining Marines will be followed out by tens of thousands of soldiers in the coming months. President Barack Obama has ordered all but 50,000 troops out of the country by Aug. 31, 2010, with most to depart after the March 7 parliamentary election.
The remaining troops will leave by the end of 2011 under a U.S.-Iraqi security pact.
But concerns about the success of the election - and perhaps the loss of hard won security gains that the Marines helped cement - are on the rise because of a growing political dispute that could see more than 500 candidates blacklisted because of suspected ties to previous regime.
The changeover at Ramadi, west of Baghdad, leaves the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division with responsibility over both Baghdad and Anbar, the vast desert province that stretches from western Baghdad to the borders of Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
The province was once the heart of the deadly Sunni insurgency that erupted after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. In the battles for control of the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, the Marines saw some of the most brutal and deadliest fighting of the war.
Violence began dropping off in the province in late 2006 when Sunni fighters - known as Awakening Councils - turned against al-Qaida and sided with the Marines to fight the insurgency.
As many as 25,000 Marines were in Iraq at the peak, mostly in Anbar province. The few thousand who remain - except for U.S. Embassy guards and advisers in Baghdad - are expected to ship out in a matter of weeks.
The upcoming parliamentary election is also considered an important step toward speeding the U.S. troop pullout and seeking progress on stalled political initiatives. Among them: passing laws clarifying the rules for foreign oil investment and dividing the revenue among Iraq's main groups.
But plans to ban hundreds of candidates have raised deep concerns in Washington that the voting could widen rifts between the majority Shiites who gained power after Saddam's fall and Sunnis who are struggling to regain influence.
Biden, who arrived late Friday, had a full agenda of meetings with Iraqi leaders including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has strongly supported the blacklist and has resisted attempts at possible American mediation.
Some Sunni leaders have accused the Shiite-led government of using the ban as a political tool. But al-Maliki insists that Iraq must purge all ties to Saddam's Sunni-dominated regime. A vetting panel has put 512 names on the blacklist and more are expected.
Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, told The Associated Press that al-Maliki's meeting with Biden reinforced the stance that the election rules are "an Iraqi affair to be decided by the Iraqis themselves."
Al-Dabbagh said Biden was careful not to "give the wrong message that America wants to interfere in the Iraqi affairs."
There was no immediate word from Biden or his aides on the talks.
Biden's schedule also includes a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who has asked for a legal review on the blacklist. The courts are expected to examine whether the vetting panel has legal grounding because it does not have formal parliamentary approval.
The panel includes two controversial Shiite figures: Ali al-Lami, who was once detained by the U.S. military over a 2008 attack in a Shiite district of Baghdad; and Ahmed Chalabi, who is blamed for supplying U.S. officials with faulty intelligence on Saddam's weapons program prior to the 2003 invasion.
Al-Lami is also a candidate in the March elections - raising further complaints from Sunnis about possible political motives behind the list.
Associated Press Writers Matt Apuzzo and Bushra Juhi in Baghdad contributed to this report.
USMC in Haiti
[FONT=Verdana]A Marine from Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, waves at children during a survey of the area in Leogane, Haiti, Jan. 24. The Marines flew into the area earlier in the day establishing a new humanitarian aid receiving area for Haitian earthquake victims at a missionary compound. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Marines from Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, conduct a survey of the area in Leogane, Haiti, Jan. 24. The Marines flew into the area earlier in the day establishing a new humanitarian aid receiving area for Haitian earthquake victims at a missionary compound. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Marines from Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, pass along supplies from a CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (Reinforced), 22nd MEU, at a landing zone in Leogane, Haiti, Jan. 25. The Marines flew into the area the previous day, establishing a new humanitarian aid receiving area for Haitian earthquake victims at a missionary compound. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]Marines from Lima Company, Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, signal each other to move away from a CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (Reinforced), 22nd MEU, as it prepares to take off from a landing zone in Leogane, Haiti, Jan. 25. The Marines flew into the area the previous day, establishing a new humanitarian aid receiving area for Haitian earthquake victims at a missionary compound[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]A Marine with Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine regiment hands humanitarian ration at an aid distribution site near a landing zone in Leogane, Haiti, Jan. 26. Marines flew into the area, Jan. 24, establishing a new humanitarian aid receiving area for Haitian earthquake victims at a missionary compound. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]A Marine with Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine regiment hands humanitarian rations at an aid distribution site near a landing zone in Leogane, Haiti, Jan. 26. Marines flew into the area, Jan. 24, establishing a new humanitarian aid receiving area for Haitian earthquake victims at a missionary compound.[/FONT]
Marine snow cam looks great!
First Team on the hunt
[FONT=Verdana]By Cpl. R. Logan Kyle , Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]A Marine, clad in camouflage utilities and bearing a full combat load, discovers a set of shoeprints leading away from the remnants of a destroyed military vehicle. Slowly contemplating his next move, he tracks the patterns to a nearby village where he watches and observes its inhabitants. After gathering intelligence, he and his comrades launch an assault with clear knowledge of who the enemy is, eliminating any chance of escape. He is a warrior. He is a hunter.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]After dozens of hours in the classroom, Marines with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, completed the third phase of the Combat Hunter Course during practical application exercises in observation at Combat Center Range 200 here Jan. 22.
[FONT=Verdana] Combat Hunter is the creation of a mindset through enhanced observation, combat patrolling and combat tracking in order to produce a more ethically minded, tactically cunning and lethal Marine, according to the course’s Web site.
[FONT=Verdana] The course was established in August 2007, and is continuing to establish itself among several Marine Corps installations.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] Staff Sgt. Joshua Morris, an instructor with Mobile Training Co., School of Infantry-West at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., said the Marines’ observation training was the most important part of the evolution.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] “All the elements of Combat Hunter go together,” said Morris, a native of Monument, Colo. “But being able to understand what you’re looking for and keeping an open mind to see things in ways you normally wouldn’t is the foundation of this course.”[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] Morris and the rest of the instructors travel throughout the world to teach Marines how to be combat hunters.
[FONT=Verdana] The Marines’ objective was to observe role players and identify high value targets, individuals who intend to cause harm to the local populous or coalition forces, in the range’s Military Operations on Urban Terrain town. The Marines also used their observation posts to identify key leaders throughout the community.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] Cpl. Caleb Williams, a team leader with Weapons Co., said the course helped his unit work well as a team.
[FONT=Verdana] “The biggest thing I’ll take away from this training is always being situationally aware, remembering to look for abnormalities out in the base line, being a hunter and being proactive instead of reactive to situations,” said Williams, a native of Huntington, Texas.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] The observation training exercise was cut from two days to only about four hours of practical application time due to a series of storms which struck the area last week, but Morris said it had little effect on mission. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] “Inclement weather is not uncommon for us,” Morris said. “Since we are a mobile unit, we train Marines in several different climates so we’re able to adjust to it quickly.”[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] Capt. Lewis Langella, an instructor with Mobile Training Co., SOI-West, said Weapons Co. performed enthusiastically throughout the training.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] “They’re one of the best units we’ve seen,” said Langella, a native of Branford, Conn. “They’re really into the training, and have a real hunger to learn and deploy abroad to get the job done.”[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] Langella also said the Marines need to continue to work on their observation skills.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] In some training scenarios, role players distracted the observers with an attention-grabbing situation while other role players would set up more ****y traps or pop off sniper rounds.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] Williams referred to the distraction as the ‘Kansas City Shuffle.’[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] “We didn’t always see everything that was going on in the town,” he said. “But that’s why we train - to minimize and eliminate those mistakes.”
Marines, Afghan Forces Assess Social Climate in Key Region of Helmand Province
[FONT=Verdana]HELMAND PROVINCE, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – On the near empty streets of Galjan, a small village in the Shorsurak region of Helmand province, Afghanistan, a flock of children gather in an alleyway nestled between coffee brown walls of dry clay, Jan. 20. Talking amongst themselves in voices high with excitement, they gesture and point to a Marine with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
After several minutes of confusion and amid laughter from the young boys and girls gathered around the Marine, an Afghan national army soldier offers a helping hand. Pulling a bag of candy from his pocket and passing it to the father of one of the children, the soldier gestures to the Marine, who understandingly does the same.
While the kids chew on energy bars and eat hardy on the dusty road, Marines and Afghan army soldiers speak to the village elders during a census patrol in order to get an idea of the geographical layout of the village, as well as the political climate.
"The purpose of the patrol was to get to know the area and the people, that's ultimately our mission," explained Sgt. Maj. Charlie Stanford, the battalion sergeant major with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. "We're here to protect the Afghan people and provide them with security and stability."
The battalion commander for 1/6 and the sergeant major came out on patrol in order to gain perspective, Stanford said, adding "we went out on the patrol because we're Marines like anyone else. It gives us the unique perspective of having eyes on the ground. It's hard to visualize what Marines on the ground go through on a daily basis. The map doesn't do it justice. When we come out, we see what exactly the Marines are going through."
Platoon sergeants with Alpha Company, 1/6 and the Marines assigned to the battalion commander's personal security detachment, met with villagers to see what assistance they needed, if any.
"We continue to [speak with] elders and tell them why we're here; to provide security for their families. Those are the key leader engagements that we need," said Stanford, who was with 1/6 on their last deployment with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, when they routed the Taliban in Garmsir, Afghanistan. "They really didn't need our help that day. The village is prosperous and they lived pretty well, but they did express concern about security."
Village elders shared apprehensions about associating with Marines for a variety of reasons, the most notable being fear of reprisal from Taliban operating in the area.
"The villagers said that the Taliban think that they are telling Marines where they're putting improvised explosive devices, and once we leave, the Taliban comes in and harasses villagers," explained Arfanullah Habilullah, a linguist with 1/6, who spoke with elders during the census patrol. "Taliban roll through when it's dark, leaving night letters and discouraging villagers from working with coalition forces. They come at night when they can hide their identity and tribal affiliation.
"Leaving threats and warnings to Afghans who look to be cooperating with coalition forces is a common practice for Taliban all across Afghanistan," said Habilullah, adding that another concern brought up during talks pertained to civilian casualties due to firefights between insurgents and coalition forces occurring near their homes.
"They're probably wary about us coming through and turning their home into a battlefield," said Sgt. Shields C. Lee, a section leader with personal security detachment, Headquarters and Service Company, 1/6. "They're probably afraid of working with us and having the Taliban come back through once we've gone."
Patrols have been stepped up in the northern part of region, where the Taliban has been operating, to reduce the risk of violence towards villages friendly to Marine and Afghan forces, said Stanford.
"The operations to the north have gone well," said Stanford. "The last couple of patrols that went out received no contact to the north, or the south. The Taliban are mindful that Marines are on patrol. We're not going anywhere. We are the strongest tribe, and we'll continue to patrol the area and provide security."
The final objective of the patrol, and perhaps most critical, was to instill a sense of confidence in locals that the government of Afghanistan is listening to their concerns.
"Us being in the area makes elders comfortable enough to come out and talk with local commanders in order to figure out what needs to be fixed," said Stanford. "It's hard for people to understand Afghanistan as a whole. Many of the provinces have never seen evidence of the government, like running water or electricity. The Afghan national army represents that and brings credibility to the government."
As the patrol leaders continued to speak with village elders, more and more Afghans emerged from their homes and came over to speak with Afghan soldiers standing watch nearby.
As the talks concluded and the patrol prepared to head back out across the fields and barren plateau they crossed earlier in the day, one of the Afghan national army soldiers emptied his pockets and gave the last of his food to the children crowded around him.
do you got tis in highres?? can't find them on dvidshub...thx a lot
Originally Posted by vor033
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