AL ASAD, Iraq -- About 6,000 Marines and sailors from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing deployed early this year to conduct security and stability operations in western Iraq.
From administration to supply, to intelligence and aircraft support, these service members find themselves in just about every role for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Some not so glamorous roles are the routine security details these war fighters support from time to time. However, a select group of Marines, who once marched the parade fields back home with musical instruments, deployed with security the focus of their effort.
The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band and other bands around the Corps double as their commander’s security team in times of conflict or war. These Marines keep a vigil eye on their surroundings and protect the tactical command center of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. Whether on roving patrol, manning a M240G medium machine gun, inspecting vehicles, or guarding visitors, the Marines who once carried a musical instrument now carry rifles and automatic weapons.
This security element is committed to the security of their headquarters and understands that the support they provide means that the helicopters and jet aircraft here can continuously support the war fighters on the battlefield.