COMBAT OUTPOST RAWAH, IRAQ -- Not even pitch-black darkness can stop Marines on a mission. With the help of night vision goggles, the darkness is turned into light.
Company C, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 2, cruised through the desert on a night raid, viewing the world in a green hue through their NVGs.
“We were looking for insurgent activity,” said Cpl. Christopher T. Brown, a scout with the company.
Successful raids like this are an opportunity to show the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police how the Marine Corps does it’s job, and helps by taking weapons, and sometimes potential terrorists off the streets, said Brown.
“This is definitely positive because we are eliminating future threats,” said Sgt. Joe R. Valdez, a scout team leader with the company. “Plus, we are taking the people who had control out of play, so they can’t influence another generation.”
The company of Marines, with their light armored vehicles, provided a cordon around a suspected insurgent position to capture or eliminate this possible threat.
“With the company-sized element, we were able to control and box-in an entire area while the special teams went in,” explained Valdez, a San Antonio native.
Brown, a Lakeland, Fla., native, said in addition to providing security and blocking positions, the LAVs were also there to provide support-by-fire if necessary.
The Marines also used this as an opportunity to train some Iraqi soldiers.
“We showed them how to do something like this because it is important that the Iraqi Army have this capability,” said Staff Sgt. Thomas R. Johnson, company gunnery sergeant for Company C. “We aren’t always going to be here.”
By the break of dawn, the successful mission allowed the Marines to capture 14 suspected insurgents and several small arms and automatic weapons.
“That is what it’s all about, getting these guys off the streets and training the IA to take over their country,” said Brown.