Tactical minds gather at conference

3 Oct 2006 | Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.

Gathered around a tactical map at a conference table, the security leaders for the city of Ramadi, Iraq, came together for the first time to coordinate operations against a common enemy. 

The purpose of the meetings was for operational leaders from 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, the Ramadi Police, and Iraqi Army to coordinate their efforts toward a common goal and to share information, said Maj. Robert M. Hancock, 32-year-old operations officer for the battalion.

“Each of us brings something different to the table,” said Hancock, a native of West Chester, Penn. “We can build off of each others’ strengths.”

The Iraqi Army provides a superior knowledge of the culture, as well as strong support to Marine and police operations.

The Iraqi Police, most of whom are residents of the city, provide an invaluable knowledge of the city and its people, and a constant presence in the streets, according to Hancock.

“They are Iraqis, the sons of Al Anbar,” said Hancock of the police officers. “They know the city and its people much better than we will ever hope to; and that is a huge advantage.”

After initial introductions, the meeting commenced with members of the Iraqi Police and Army briefing the Marines on current operations.

The group discussed known anti-Iraqi elements in the area, distribution of forces and coordination of future operations.

All three forces found they are able to assist one another in a variety of operations.

“The coordination will be very helpful for us in the future to make Ramadi better,” said the commander of the Ramadi Police.

The group also discussed the ease of movement for Ramadi residents, increasing the security measures of Iraqi Police stations and the continued expansion of the Iraqi Security Forces’ responsibility.

All three forces look forward to the advancement of security in the city, supported by the Marine forces, said Hancock.

“I think we are working toward (Iraqi Security Forces) taking control of our city,” said the police force commander.

The officers of 1st Bn., 6th Marines have seen their counterparts to be capable and proactive in their commands

The combined strength of Iraqi and American forces will be critical to the continued development of security and stability in this area, said Hancock.