BANI DA HAR, Iraq (April 26, 2006)


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Iraqi soldiers capture four insurgents, steady in progress toward relieving Coalition Forces by year’s end

Story by Sgt. Roe F. Seigle, combat correspondent, Regimental Combat Team 7

By Sgt. Roe F. Seigle, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment

Bani da har, Iraq (April 26, 2006) --

It was pitch dark when four insurgents were captured in this town of 3,000 nestled along the Euphrates River in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province.

With the prisoners secured and on their way to a detention facility; Iraqi soldiers celebrated the achievement with stoic professionalism.

They’re proud of the fact more insurgents are off the streets of this small town, and that they captured the bandits without the assistance of the U.S. Marines – which has been an uncommon occurrence in the few years since the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

“We are sending a message to the insurgents,” said “Ahmed,” one of the Iraqi soldiers involved in the capture of the four insurgents. “There is a new sheriff in town.”

Hawaii-based Marines honor four fallen in Iraq
Story by Sgt. Roe F. Seigle, combat correspondent, Regimental Combat Team 7

Haditha, Iraq (May 5, 2006) --

A Marine sat on a collapsible metal chair with several other warriors seated around him and stared at four sets of dog tags, combat boots, rifles and Kevlar helmets.

Tears welled up in his eyes as he slowly let his head drop into his hands. The tears fell, splashing the concrete floor.

This Marine is one of hundreds from the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment who are still mourning the loss of Staff Sgt. Jason C. Ramseyer, who was killed two weeks ago in an explosion from an improvised explosive device.

IEDs– roadside bombs used by insurgents in Iraq to target Coalition and Iraqi Forces – are the number one killer of U.S. troops in Iraq, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count – an organization which tallies U.S. and coalition casualties based off Department of Defense press releases.

In a solemn ceremony at the Marines forward operating base here April 30, the Marines honored four more of their own killed recently during combat operations in Al Anbar Province. Among the deceased are: Sgt. Edward G. Davis, 31, of Waukegan, Ill.; Sgt Lea R. Mills, 21, of Brooksville, Fla.; and Cpl. Brandon M. Hardy, 25, of Cochranville, Pa.; who were killed April 28, 2006, when their vehicle struck and IED.

Cpl. Eric R. Lueken, 23, of Jasper, Ind., was also killed by an IED April 22, 2006.

Progress steady, Marines meet with Iraqi leaders, discuss security in Haditha Triad region

Story by Sgt. Roe F. Seigle, combat correspondent, Regimental Combat Team 7

Haditha, Iraq (April 28, 2006)–

Since their arrival in the Al Anbar Province nearly two months ago, Marines here say Iraqi Security Forces are progressing toward relieving Coalition Forces and stabilizing the region.

in this rural region along the Euphrates River valley, the transition from U.S.-led to Iraqi-led military operations is well on its way, according to one U.S. Marine who has spent nearly two months mentoring Iraqi soldiers in this region.

But the atmosphere in this portion of western Al Anbar Province has changed since Saddam Hussein was removed from office in 2003.

instead of daily fire fights against an armed, known enemy, similar to what Coalition Forces experienced during the push to Baghdad three years ago, U.S. Marines here are focusing on showing Iraqi soldiers and police how to spearhead security operations on their own.

“The progress I have seen the Iraqi Army make in the last few months makes me confident we can withdraw Coalition Forces from the area in the next six to eight months,” said Lt. Col. Owen Lovejoy, the senior advisor for the Military Transition Team, which supports and advises the Iraqi Army unit stationed here.

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Staff Sgt. J.M. Goodwin
Public Affairs Chief
Regimental Combat Team 7
1st Marine Division
Al Asad, Iraq
3613-843


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