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Marines remain vigilant in Hit

HIT, Iraq — Marines here played the role of policemen by following one lead to another to bring down criminals and make the area safer for everyone.

http://www.marines.mil/units/marforpac/imef/1stmardiv/5thregiment/rct5/Pages/MarinesremainvigilantinHit.aspx

6/21/2008 By Cpl. Erik Villagran, Regimental Combat Team 5

Marines with Company I, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 apprehended four known insurgents during an operation here June 21.

“We were doing an intelligence-driven raid,” said Sgt. Rick D. Burke, 22, a squad leader with Company I from Vancouver, Wash. “We have a target list we’re going after. All the individuals we’re looking for are known insurgents, so we’re trying to round them up one at a time.”

Marines began the day in search of one of the individuals on their list. With the help of intelligence, they were able to identify the area where they could find their target.

As Marines made their way through the roads in Iraq, they encountered a disabled vehicle. They identified the driver as one of the men on their list.

“We did a snap (vehicle checkpoint),” Burke said. “Once we confirmed he was our man, we detained him.”

The luck Marines had on finding their first target foreshadowed the day the Marines were going to have.

Once they had him detained, Marines called the Iraqi Police for assistance in interviewing the detainee. The police obliged and arrived shortly after.

“They were very helpful because they know the area better and crowd control is easier if we have (Iraqi policemen) out there,” Burke said. “With there help, we were able to pull more information from the detainee which led us to more guys.”

Marines raced to another location after the detainee gave them information about the whereabouts of other insurgents. Although Marines found nothing at the first home, they were not dissuaded. They again received information from the detainee about another home and they were off to the races again.

At the second home, their quick reaction was rewarded. Marines carefully searched each room for weapons, ammunition, improvised explosive device-making materials and other contraband.

“We found an AK-47, a bunch of loaded magazines, a shotgun and loose rounds for other weapons,” said Lance Cpl. Sean W. Ward, 23, a team leader with Company I from Hoffman Estates, Ill.

The Marines documented everything they found in the home and snapped photos of all the evidence they found. The procedures Marines followed will be pivotal when the detainees are taken to court.

While Marines in the home collected evidence, other Marines identified three more known insurgents who were taken out of the home. They too were detained on a day that began with one target and ended with a total of four insurgents detained.

“I was surprised with the turnaround time,” Burke said. “Usually we go out and grab one guy. This time we got four.”

Marines were happy with how well things turned out. They accomplished their mission quickly and proficiently and helped make Iraq safer.

“The squad feels good because we have a defined mission and were going out, executing and getting positive results,” said Burke.