NEAR KARMAH, Iraq -- Senior staff from the First Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division visited Combat Outpost Golden this morning for a leaders’ reconnaissance with Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines.
The brief visit was conducted prior to a scheduled arrival of Iraqi Army forces in BLT 3/1s area of operations in Al Anbar province. Personnel from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit Command Element were also in attendance.
During the meeting, leaders were provided an operations update before departing on a ground site survey of several BLT 3/1 combat outpost.
Members of the Regimental Combat Team 6 Military Transition Team escorted the Iraqi Forces to the base, including Marine Lt. Col. Dan Thoele, operations advisor for the 2nd Brigade.
Taking in the sparse desert surroundings, Thoele commented on the important role Iraqi forces would serve in the area.
“Iraqi Army and Police, working together, have made (Al Anbar province) a much safer place,” he said, “but the Army needs to focus their efforts outside the cities and into the country.”
Iraqi Lt. Col. Ali Jassmi, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Brigade, said his forces are ready to maintain security in the area.
Force transition dates in the BLT 3/1 area of operations have not been determined.
For more information about the Fighting 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, visit the unit’s Web site at www.usmc.mil/13thmeu.