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Thundering 3/4 Builds Rapport on PatrolsStory by Cpl. Marco Mancha for Salem-News.com
Salem Marine with the Second Marine Division
(PATROL BASE SHARK, HELMAND Province) - Here in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the ranger file stretches across the farmlands. Marines stay vigilant, but take time to talk and get to know the local populace in the area.
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, are preparing for the anticipated insurgents’ spring offensive by gathering information and building rapport with the local population.
The regiment is currently assigned to Regimental Combat Team 8, 2nd Marine Division (Forward), which heads the ground combat efforts in southwest Afghanistan. It is vital these Marines learn all they can about the area they cover. One way they do this is by conducting patrols.
Every foot patrol brings new information about the unit’s area of operations. A team of soldiers with the Afghan national army joins the Marines on most patrols and has become an important component in gathering information.
The mission is clear on these patrols: to maintain security throughout the area of operations and gather intelligence from the local residents. Since the Marines arrived just a few weeks ago, they have worked with the ANA soldiers to build good relationships with village elders and find out where local schools, mosques and markets are located.
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