CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- During the late evening hours under the cover of darkness, Marines and sailors with 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, donned their gear, mounted in Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles and convoyed approximately four hours south of Camp Leatherneck.
Marines and sailors with Weapons Company, 1st Bn., 7th Marines, provided security for Baker Co. during a patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, June 19-20.
Baker Co. was enabled to focus on patrolling and alleviated of the worry of an enemy presence thanks to Weapons Co. providing security.
“Patrolling is a lot of rehearsal and preparation for the execution of a mission in a known area of operation,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Pierce, a platoon sergeant with 2nd Platoon, Weapons Co. “By consistently going to areas where insurgents operate most frequently, we can mitigate threats against Leatherneck.”
“Before every patrol, everyone and everything is thoroughly inspected,” said Pierce, a native of Denver City, Texas. “The planning and preparation for each operation is extensive. Weapons and gear the Marines and sailors will be using and each vehicle goes through multiple inspections. Nothing is left to chance.”
As Marines and sailors with Baker Co. patrolled on foot and talked to locals about recent insurgent activity in the area, Marines and sailors with Weapons Co. posted security in select locations overlooking the patrol. In each MRAP, a Marine gunner was at the ready with a .50 caliber machine gun at all times, providing Baker Co. troops an added level of protection enabling the mission to be completed safely.
“The mission was a success,” said 1st Lt. John Hollingsworth, a platoon commander with Weapons Co. “We secured Baker Company’s patrol with no fire taken and deprived enemy insurgents the ability to maneuver on (Marines and sailors) with our large presence in the area.”
The Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, deployed to Afghanistan in March from Twentynine Palms, California.
Weapons Co. Marines will continue to patrol the surrounding area of the Bastion-Leatherneck complex to ensure the safety of coalition forces operating on the bases.
“Morale in the unit is very high,” said Lance Cpl. Jarred Sass, an anti-tank missileman with Weapons Co., and native of Texarkana, Texas. “I feel good. We’re making a difference here, and the Afghans know it.”