Photo Information

AL ASAD, Iraq ? Pfc. Gerald L. Gruber and Cpl. Jennifer N. Lonas, intelligence analysts assigned to Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, plot possible convoy routes for Marines in the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) on May 29. Intelligence analysts in the wing?s intel department work around the clock to contribute to the safety of aircrews and personnel in convoys.

Photo by SGT. JUAN VARA

Intelligence analysts' work leads to insurgents’ capture near Al Asad

2 Jun 2005 | Sgt. Juan Vara

Recently, intelligence analysts with the headquarters squadron of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), provided information on suspected insurgent activity in the vicinity of this air base that led to the detainment of 15 insurgents during a raid conducted by Marines from the 2nd Marine Division’s 1st Force Reconnaissance unit.

Five of the individuals captured are considered high value insurgents and some are believed to be members of a local insurgent group.

The group, suspected of conducting insurgent activity in Hit, Dulab, Baghdadi, Hadithah and other villages between Hit and Hadithah, is believed to be responsible for making and emplacing improvised explosive devices and conducting indirect fire attacks in the area.  They are also suspected of buying and selling weapons and munitions in the area.

Maj. Vernon Williams, deputy for the intelligence department of the aircraft wing, said that although the information provided to make this raid a success was compiled by intel Marines in Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2, every intel analyst in the wing was involved in one way or another.

Since assuming responsibility for collecting and analyzing information on insurgent activity in the area near the air base, every intel analyst here has been providing the wing’s intelligence department with timely and accurate information gathered from aircrews and Marines riding in convoys.

The wing’s intelligence department, commonly referred to as G-2, is comprised of about 50 Marines spread among several sections.  Collection, systems, counter-intelligence, targeting and operations are the different sections the department breaks into, with operations dividing into ground operations and air operations.

Master Sgt. Matthew Kroes, MWHS-2 intelligence chief and Cadillac, Mich., native, said corporals and sergeants are heading each section, serving as the department’s backbone and making things happen. Generally, section heads are Marines of higher ranks.

“The (noncommissioned officers) here are working out of their comfort zone and are doing an excellent job,” said 1st Lt. James S. Jarabek, the department’s deputy operations officer originally from New Auburn, Wis.

The G-2 Marines work around the clock to use information on insurgent activity collected by other intel analysts in the wing to provide threat intelligence to the aircrews and personnel on convoys.

“We may not always see the results of our work,” said Jarabek, “but the fact that Marines’ lives may be saved pushes us to produce quality products.”

One of the department’s most important roles is to provide the commanding general with the information he needs to use the wing’s personnel and aircraft in the most effective way.  One prime example is the recent raid, when all the sections in the department worked together to produce an information package that led to the mission’s success.

“Our intelligence analysts produced a package the Marines of 1st Force Reconnaissance could actually act on to get these guys,” said Jarabek.

Williams, from Parkersburg, Iowa, said the success of the raid was due in part to the collaboration of intel analysts in the II Marine Expeditionary Force Tactical Fusion Center; the 2nd Marine Division; Regimental Combat Team 2; the 1st Force Reconnaissance unit; and the helicopter squadrons that participated in it.

The detainment of the insurgents makes Al Asad and the Hit and Hadithah corridor safer for residents and enhances the local leaders’ confidence in the coalition forces’ ability to root out those who hinder democracy and freedom for the Iraqi people and present a threat to coalition forces.

Aircraft and personnel from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 465 and Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron 269 supported the raid, providing assault and close air support to the Marines who conducted the operation.


- For more information about the Marines and events reported on in this story, please contact Sgt. Juan Vara by e-mail at varaj@acemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil -
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