Combat Report - Iraq


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280PLUS
June 1, 2005, 04:30 PM
From a Non-Pentagon nameless source of unknown ranking :D


Combat Report from Col Bob Chase, G3, 2dMarDiv in Iraq Robert


Chase wrote:


Date: Sat, 14 May 2005 21:39:50 -0700 (PDT) -

Was talking to Gino and he asked for some details on the MATADOR fight.
Figured, by now since many of you might have caught some of the
interviews, you'd like to hear, 'the rest of the story..."

Matador is now officially over, supposedly, they were going to fight our
way back and destroy us. Guess they missed the turn at the dairy queen.
We are back and the final tally was Good Guys
125+ enemy dead, many more wounded, and 39 detainees of some
significant value. The bad guys, who talk a real good game 9 Killed (6
in the one Amtrak) and 30 wounded (most will return to duty). Not a bad
weeks work.

As we have said, our intent was to make ourselves big by leveraging our
firepower and mobility. This area was a real ????? hole for AMZ
criminals. We knew it, 1st Division knew it, but working it on a regular
basis was tough. We kept some recon there and got the timing pretty
well, brought up a bridging unit from the Army in Baghdad, then went
across in the middle of the night (that was probably the only part that
didn't go on sked - the bank gradient was poorly assessed), but we had
near and far-side security already in and a blocking position near the
Syrian Border.

The enemy figured out after about 4 hours that we were there in force.
They came down with about 100 fighters (no, scratch that they were
TARGETS) and made the poor decision to take on a battalion in open
ground. They withdrew. We went after them into a place called Ubaydi.
Many mounted boats and tried to escape N, we pushed Air and the Cobras
sunk a bunch of trash-barges that night. Meanwhile, we continued to push
west across the river.

Our far-side units started to see pockets of insurgents move to key
areas to emplace mines/IEDs. They came out, snipers took them out; their
friends came for the bodies; they, joined them on the deck permanently.

The force started getting the tanks and LAVs across later than we had
hoped; but when they did, our first casualties came at a high-rise where
the enemy had prepared positions; a platoon moved in under fire, 2
Marines, a SSGT and a LCPL were first in the hatch and received a burst
of MG fire. As the unit assumed they were dead (no additional fire/no
one came out), they lit up the house and dropped it with a couple of
500-pounders. As we moved to recover our Marines (NO ONE LEFT BEHIND),
we discovered that the LCPL, though wounded was still alive (he is
serious, but stable). Unfortunately the SSGT had taken a round to the
grape and had been killed by the initial burst.

We moved on; portions of the task force moving along known rat- lines
and others working intel developed in the cities of Ramana and Karabila.
Fighting was sporadic, intense, and one-sided in outcome. We followed
individuals into buildings; we leveled the buildings; all night, every
night. Marine Air had eyes up and shooters on-station talk about a
guardian angel! Each night we re-assessed, looked at the intel and
developed the next target sets. We stayed down there until a few days
ago; then shifted to a series of caves in the north. The caves were on
an escarpment and rumors abound about whether these were, Bin-Laden like
caves.
Answer no, mostly small caches and some protection from about everything
but a hellfire with a laser designator. We exploited some and closed
most of them permanently. The enemy propaganda talked a lot about how
they were going to kill us as we retreated etc., they showed pictures of
devastation in Al Qaim (caused by an intramural fight between the tribes
and foreign fighters, no
less) and blamed the Americans. Al Jazeera called to speak to me and
interviewed me twice on air. Yes, I called the enemy cowards, again,
that hid behind women and children in the cities and caused their death
by their cowardice. Played well, enemy swore they had captured/killed
the enemy commander. Went on again last night to ridicule them for their
lies and continued fear of death, told them the destruction of AQ was
evidence that, the noble tribes of Iraq also reject those that deface
their holy places and dishonor their dead. We'll see if a wanted poster
appears tomorrow. Bad news is, they still didn't get p!ssed off enough
to come out and play.

We went back across the river without incident, decided to poke a stick
in Ubaydi (where the big fight was), just ONE MORE TIME before we left.
NOTHING, they wanted no part of these Marines again. We're all back at
base camps and Forward operating Bases, maintaining, cleaning, talking
?????, and prepping for the next smackdown!

NBC interviewed me again, last night, good stuff, but they harped on the
casualties. I told them it was war; they wanted to know if a whole squad
was killed in the track. As I told them a squad's worth of Marines were
killed/hurt (6 KIA, 14 WIA) but it was NOT the catastrophic loss of a
squad (it was a HQ track). NBC wanted to know how to refer to them, as a
squad, company, etc., I told them, pretty bluntly, refer to them for
what they will always be:
US MARINES! They continued to push (I was starting to become a bit
agitated); they wanted to know how we considered this a success with the
deaths. I nearly lost it and how would we remember them, would there be
a ceremony? You know what happens when I get into this mode thought you
might appreciate the
answer:

We can never replace a fellow Marine or best friend, but I can attest
that he died doing what we all hope to be doing as Marines, they were
advancing, leading, and setting the example, they were being MARINES! It
may not matter in the grand scheme of things to anyone but us, but we
are singularly proud that we have and know Marines that fought and died
like these. We remember and memorialize them and keep them alive every
single time we put on this uniform -- we are just honored to wear the
same eagle, globe, and anchor as these warrior/heroes. We don't make
policy, we don't decide on the fight, but we do fight and win. And when
we win, it is because every one of these Marines fights with us in
spirit, and we will not, we cannot let them down. To we Marines, Semper
Fidelis is more than a motto. It was to them, and to us who were
privileged to fight with them, a way of life.

Not sure that will get on the tube. Unfortunate, because I think we
should all be such Marines when our time comes.

S/F, Bob [Chase]

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Arc-Lite
June 1, 2005, 04:53 PM
280...thanks for sharing this letter, still makes my throat tight, with respect...for a warrior, doing a warriors job....so similar to all battles, just with a name change of the AO.... honor, is universal...among the honorable, give my blessing to your bud.... ........... >De Oppresso Liber<

dasmi
June 1, 2005, 05:00 PM
NBC disgusts me. You can bet they will edit out, or at least hack up his closing comments.

We went back across the river without incident, decided to poke a stick in Ubaydi (where the big fight was), just ONE MORE TIME before we left.
NOTHING, they wanted no part of these Marines again.
I guess they aren't entirely stupid.
they wanted to know how we considered this a success with the deaths
These people are insane. They cannot comprehend someone giving their life for something they believe in, or even something that is their duty, even if they disagree. Yes, Marines dying is very sad, and I wish it never had to happen, but that does not mean the mission was a failure. Stupid NBC...

280PLUS
June 1, 2005, 05:09 PM
Glad to do it.

give my blessing to your bud....

He's not in direct contact with me but I'll pass it back up the line, Thank you!

;)

Arc-Lite
June 1, 2005, 05:09 PM
dasmi... you hit on something deep.....most people have NEVER been so commited to something...that they were willing to risk it ALL....once you have tasted that, life becomes a different place...seen threw new eyes.

dasmi
June 1, 2005, 05:13 PM
That's just it. Most people do not understand what duty and commitment mean. They can't fathom giving up personal comfort and safety for someone, or something else.

Arc-Lite
June 1, 2005, 05:16 PM
...when you deny the reality of life, you appreciate it less.

280PLUS
June 1, 2005, 05:31 PM
I'm going to forward the link for this thread to my friend, maybe it will get back to the Col.

No guarantees I'm afraid.

Just heard from him, he will likewise forward back the way it came.

:)

rock jock
June 1, 2005, 05:47 PM
The insurgents may be committed, but they will never have what our Marines have....honor.

bg
June 1, 2005, 06:47 PM
Should this thread get to those who are sticking their necks out and
taking care of business for our Nation, I just wanted to say thanks
for your service, God Bless, and get home soonest ! Words can't
describe how proud I am of these Marines and our other Military
members.
Bob

BigG
June 2, 2005, 09:02 AM
Semper fi, Devil Dogs! Thanks for passing on the good news, 280Plus!

IZinterrogator
June 2, 2005, 09:34 AM
All I have to say is wow. Nice to know that there will always be Americans willing to live up to my sig line.

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