AL ASAD, Iraq -- Marines from Marine Wing Support Squadron 273 recently spent time making traffic control in a local Iraqi town a little safer.
A group of engineers from the “Sweat Hogs” spent four days rebuilding and reinforcing the traffic control point in Baghdadi, Iraq, making it safer for the Marines of Delta Company, 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion, who man the TCP.
“It was very helpful,” said Staff Sgt. Daryl D. Lee, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the TCP Marines. “It provides better quality of life for the Marines and better security for the area.”
The group of Marines, which consisted of 11 combat engineers, two heavy equipment operators and one heavy equipment mechanic, went to Baghdadi in a convoy escorted by members of the Sweat Hog Incident Response Platoon, Feb. 10. Once they arrived at the TCP, the Marines quickly unloaded their equipment and went to work.
The Marines brought concrete barriers, Hesco barriers, and wooden bunkers with them to harden the defenses around the traffic control point.
The most important mission for the Marines was to extend the concrete dividers on the south side of the TCP out to 300 meters and to reinforce the vehicle check points.
“Essentially what we did was build a fortified bunker at each of the vehicle check points,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Cornett, the construction foreman of MWSS-273. “We also used 30 (concrete barriers) at the south end of the TCP so that Marines and Iraqi soldiers could use proper escalation of force.”
The bunkers built at the vehicle checkpoints are not only for the safety of the Marines, but of the Iraqi drivers as well. Iraqis will be able to use the bunkers if the TCP is attacked by indirect fire, according to Lee.
“They made tactical improvements down in the vehicle checkpoints…so we’re not putting the Iraqis in harm when we are checking their vehicles,” said Lee.
The largest task for the Sweat Hogs was rebuilding the bunker where the Delta Company Marines slept.
“The biggest project was building the 55 by 65 foot Hesco bunker,” said Cornett. “It’s a lot more protected than what they had before, which was essentially plywood and cammie netting.”