SAQLAWIYAH, Iraq -- Marines from 2nd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment swooped down on unknowing insurgents recently. Marines netted 13 suspected insurgents and rescued two Iraqis held hostage by insurgents.
Marines completed a search of a garage complex with the assistance of B Company, 1st Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment and assets assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5, which included amphibious assault vehicles, tanks and air support.
"There had been reports of insurgent activity in the area, so we went in and searched it," said Cpl. Rodrigo R. Santos, a 26-year-old rifleman from Yonkers, N.Y. "They were suspected of selling weapons, ammunition and IED (improvised explosive devices) making materials."
Marines set up vehicle checkpoints on all roads leading into the garage complex to ensure no insurgents could disrupt the searches. Other Marines moved in to apprehend possible insurgents in the area.
"We took over the area real fast," Santos said. "The units communicated and coordinated very well."
All the garages and semi-trucks in the area were searched. Marines smashed locks off garage doors to search the backs of trucks and made sure they weren't trying to transport anything illegal.
Marines gathered detainees while they searched and transported them to a temporary holding facility.
Detainees were put in holding areas that were made at the site. Marines from the battalion's Headquarters and Service Company kept watch over the detained Iraqis.
"We had a lot of people to maintain," said Cpl. Kurt M. Vogler, a 26-year-old administration clerk from Elicott City, Md. "Our job was to keep them calm and make sure there weren't any problems."
Marines were responsible for taking care of the detainees, feeding them and making sure any medical problems they had were assessed.
"We gave them blankets, we fed them and we gave them tea," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ion Jarmond, a 33-year-old hospital corpsman from Hampton, Va. "I also treated around 30 men for different symptoms from headaches to an old lady with diabetes."
They gave the detained Iraqis two meals during the day and also provided them with snacks while they were processed.
All the Iraqis on site were questioned about the insurgent activity in the area, and explosive ordnance disposal technicians blew up contraband found in the search.
"The mission went excellent," Santos said. "We processed everyone we wanted to and sent a message to the insurgents. It tells them that what they are doing in the area isn't going to be tolerated."