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Brigadier General Timothy C. Hanifen, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) commanding general, pins a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal on Lance Cpl. Kenneth L. Houge, a Cobra team squad leader with Battery B, 2nd Low Altitude Aircraft Defense Battalion, March 12. Houge aided in the recent capture of an insurgent.

Photo by 2ndLt Christie Metz

2nd LAAD Marines recognized for capturing known terrorist

11 Apr 2007 | Sgt. Anthony Guas

Two Marines from Battery B, 2nd Low Altitude Aircraft Defense Battalion, were recently recognized for their efforts on a patrol that occurred Feb. 23.

Lance Cpls. Darryl E. Webb and Kenneth L. Houge Jr., were presented with Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals by Brig. Gen. Timothy C. Hanifen, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) commanding general, March 12, for playing a vital role in spotting and capturing an insurgent.

“I think it is absolutely awesome and critical that we work very hard to acknowledge Marines for the great things that they do,” said Sgt. Maj. Todd Parisi, the 2nd LAAD sergeant major. “It was great for the battalion, their battery, and all the Marines and Sailors to have the honor of having the 2nd MAW (Fwd) commanding general come down and spend some time with these Marines, award them and let them all know that the job they do is outstanding, and as important as any other in the theater of operations.”

Webb, a Cobra team rifleman, and Houge, a Cobra team squad leader, are part of the Entry Control Point Quick Reaction Force, which conducts multiple patrols and provides base security.

“We go out and check the area,” said Webb, the Detroit, Mich., native. “We are taught to look for anything suspicious.”

The ECP QRF Marines search the Iraqis to ensure that they are not carrying any dangerous devices or materials.

On Feb. 23, Webb identified a suspicious subject and Houge led his Marines in capturing the suspect, who later turned out to be a known insurgent.

The insurgent was placed in a long term detainment facility, eliminating his ability to operate freely throughout the Al Anbar Province, according to the award citations.

“I’m happy, honestly splendid that this guy is not in town anymore, because they know for a fact that he is not just an insurgent in the making,” said Houge. “He is a known terrorist. It saves lives.”

Webb and Houge believe that their actions have saved the lives of countless Marines.

“I feel that we did something that let them know that if they are going to be around our (area of operations), we will not stand for any of that,” said Webb.

Although the Marines enjoyed their recognition, they believe that they were just doing their part.

“The award is just one of the perks, I wasn’t really looking for an award while I was out there, I was just trying to make sure that they weren’t hurting anyone,” said Webb. “I thank the Marine Corps for giving me the award. I was just doing my job. If it was up to me, I believe that if they gave two of us awards, they should have given us all an award.” 

Houge and Webb believe that their efforts are not just an isolated event, but a representation of the hard work of the Marines of 2nd LAAD.

“I feel that we are doing a good job,” said Houge. “I think that 2nd LAAD is exceptional at everything it does. You could ask anybody here all the way from the general down, they’ll tell you the same thing.”

Houge acted decisively as a team leader, maneuvering his two vehicles into a position to capture the insurgent, while Webb’s vigilance in performing his duties was directly responsible for the initial sighting and subsequent apprehension of the insurgent, according to Lt. Col. Bruce Barnhill, the 2nd LAAD commanding officer.

“Lance corporals Houge and Webb received well deserved recognition for their performance, but their recognition is representative of all the dedicated Marines within the command,” said Barnhill. “Their actions are reflective of all the young leaders, both officer and enlisted, that are members of 2nd LAAD.”

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