Engineers build outpost after clearing insurgents from a Musa Qal’eh town

1st Marine Division
Story by Cpl. John McCall

Date: 11.14.2010
Posted: 11.17.2010 05:48
News ID: 60307
Engineers build outpost after clearing insurgents from a Musa Qal'eh town

MUSA QAL'EH, Afghanistan - After an operation led by Afghan forces to eliminate the enemy threat in a local town, engineers with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Forward), were sent to build a new guard post to maintain security in the area, Nov. 13-14.<br /> <br /> Afghan National Army soldiers, Afghan National Police officers and Marine police mentoring teams, set up ambush positions during the night to conduct a surprise attack on enemy insurgents operating within the town.<br /> <br /> The following day engineers went to work, constructing a new patrol base for Afghan forces to conduct missions from.<br /> <br /> Working through the night and into the early morning, engineers were able to get the new post constructed so that Coalition forces would not lose the newly acquired foothold.<br /> <br /> “Building this new post was very important because Afghan forces need a place operate out of,” said Cpl. Matthew Ortiz, 21, a team leader from San Antonio. “All of our work goes toward helping them defeat the Taliban which is why we are here.”<br /> <br /> With the new patrol base established, Marines of 1st CEB were tasked with conducting a deliberate clear of the town to ensure there were no improvised explosive devices.<br /> <br /> “It’s important that locals can feel safe where they live and don’t have to worry about IED's,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher McDowell, 19, a combat engineer from Canon City, Colo. “Now that there is someone watching the town the IED threat should go down.”<br /> Providing direct support to 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, during the clear, engineers swept the town and searched suspicious compounds for weapons and IED making materials.<br /> <br /> “Now that the town is safe, the ANA can do their job and eventually take back their country,” Ortiz added.<br /> <br /> With a new post built and the town secure, Afghan security forces can maintain a presence in the area and drive out any enemy combatants still willing to fight.