AL ASAD, Iraq -- The Tactical Air Command Center security guards here recently received support from two “Untouchable” Marines.
Staff Sgt. Remko Wouters and Lance Cpl. Kyle Paulson, engineer equipment operators with the Untouchables of Marine Wing Support Squadron 272, helped TACC security install and fortify new guard shacks, Sept. 19 through 24.
The Marines placed structures, moved obstacles and filled Hesco barriers, large canvas bags inside wire frames, with sandbags and dirt. The mission required heavy labor under the harsh Iraqi sun and a constant cloud of sand and dust, while maintaining security at the guard posts, said Gunnery Sgt. Mitchell Martin, the TACC security chief and Bethesda, Md., native.
“These structures are vital for our mission as TACC security,” Martin said. “The Marines performing the work did so in such a manner so we could continue our mission.”
For the Wing support Marines, the mission was just another day out of the office. An MWSS provides a wide variety of support ranging from aircraft refueling and motor transport to engineering and food service. The Untouchables have found a steady stream of missions since the Marine Corps Air Station New River-based squadron assumed responsibility for the area in August.
“We just answer the call, whatever mission comes up,” said Wouters, a Phoenix native and augment from MWSS-273, based aboard MCAS Beaufort. “This was a good experience for me because it was my first time playing with the Hescos.”
Many junior MWSS Marines do not have hands-on experience with this type of work, but most are quick to learn during a deployment, said Paulson, an Alcester, S.D., native.
“There is a lot more work and a lot more hours during a deployment,” Paulson said. “Marines in the squadron with experience will teach us a lot of what they know, and the rest of it comes from getting out and doing it.”
Experience is not the only payout from putting in the hours of work, said Wouters.
“Security is obviously very important, but you do take some pride away from it knowing you are helping the beautification of the base,” Wouters said. “Also, it’s another mission accomplished. I like jobs where you can come in, take care of it and not have any unfinished business.”
The two Marines were all over this task from the first steps and deserve all the credit for a job well done, said Martin.
“Once it was deemed necessary new shacks be installed, Staff Sgt. Wouters contacted me and he was the one who arranged everything,” Martin said. “All I had to do was open gates. Staff Sgt. Wouters and Lance Cpl. Paulson are Marines who are behind the scenes making a big difference in the order, protection and appearance of this base. It is important they be recognized for their outstanding work.”
For these Untouchables, being a jack of all trades just comes with the territory.
“I just do what I do,” Paulson said. “This is one job down. Once we get them all, we can go home. I’m looking forward to that.”