3rd Recon Bn returns from Iraq

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CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa (November 14, 2008) -- After more than 600 patrols in 25 major operations, more than 180 Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, returned home Nov. 6 from a seven-month deployment to Iraq.

Buses filled with Marines and sailors pulled up in front of the Recon battalion headquarters here to the open arms of cheering family and friends who anxiously awaited their arrival.


The battalion lost one Marine during the deployment. Sgt. Michael H. Ferschke Jr. was killed Aug. 10 during house-to-house searches in a town north of Baghdad.


The mission for 3rd Recon Bn. was to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, and raids in Anbar Province in an on-going effort to stop insurgent activity.


"All of the recon Marines performed fantastically considering the conditions," said Maj. Brian Howlett, the executive officer for 3rd Recon Bn.


Throughout the summer, the units of 3rd Recon Bn. conducted long patrols, assisting the Iraqi military and police in temperatures often exceeding 100 degrees in some of the most desolate areas in Anbar Province.


"Every task that was given to us was completed 100 percent," said Howlett.


The Marines discovered more than 50 weapons and explosive caches throughout the province while conducting raids and house-to-house searches.


Through success and adversity, the Marines remained professional throughout the deployment, carrying out operations and remaining vigilant in a nation where violent acts are becoming few and far between but still happen, said Howlett.


Now back home at Camp Schwab, many of the Marines will go on to reconnaissance specific schools for advanced training, including the Marine Corps Combatant Diver Course, advanced marksmanship courses, and other reconnaissance-specific training, Howlett said.

http://www.okinawa.usmc.mil/Public Affairs Info/Archive News Pages/2008/081114-return.html
 
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