Saturday, October 11, 2008

Deadwalkers in Ramadi

Semper Fi lads! Keep the bad guys on the run. Enjoy the new security, but don't get soft like the sailors and fly boys.

Deadwalkers in Ramadi - The Long War Journal: "As recently as two years ago, the idea of deploying a Marine battalion to Ramadi in an advisory rather than a straight infantry capacity would have seemed unfathomable to many observers. To think that such a unit could control the volatile area then home to five full combat battalions would have seemed downright absurd. Then, Ramadi was home turf for al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorist group fueling sectarian violence in central Iraq; huge improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, made large portions of the city impassable to the beleaguered units deployed there, which suffered fatalities at least weekly.

Today, though, the scars left by heavy machine gun and M1 Abrams main gun rounds are the only reminder of what Ramadi once was – it is a city reborn. During its deployment, according to records kept by the battalion, the Marines of 1/9 have been engaged in fewer than ten “troops in contact” incidents (cases in which troops and insurgents exchanged gunfire), and there have been barely a dozen IED attacks on the unit’s vehicles. Two Marines have been killed, both early in the tour – a far cry from the days in which Army brigades in Ramadi suffered seventy or eighty fatalities on a deployment."

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