Operation Marne Goes Into High Gear
The first in a series of coalition battles in what will be known as Operation Grand Slam has began near Salman Pak. It is a specific operation that is designed to disable forever certain elements of Al Qaeda. The dwindling number of insurgents in the Salman Pak area have been the focus of Operation Marne, and Operation Grand Slam is an extension of that effort.
A peninsula near the Tigris River is part of phase one, clearing it is a key element of the entire plan. The area is south of Salman Pak, and has been a warren nest of weapons caches, firing points and insurgent safe houses. From that position the soldiers will branch out and increase their overall presence in the Salman Pak region.
Combat Outpost Carver is being constructed to the southwest of Salman Pak. Soldiers from 1st Battalion 15th Infantry, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry have been slowly moving to occupy Outpost Carver already. This outpost is also located on the Tigris River, formerly a stronghold of the Iraqi Republican Army. From this new position soldiers can control river traffic and observe any insurgent activity.
The new outpost is named after a soldier, Private Cody Carver who was killed in an attack on October 30th at Salman Pak. Carver was at 19 years old the youngest of the soldiers from this battalion yet to be killed in action.
Commanders from Coalition forces have been meeting diligently with local sheiks and tribal leaders working to establish security perimeters, and boarders that can be defended. The region has been a tough area to defend, but with the new outposts and security bases the task promises to be easier.