Skip to comments.Marines beautifying base before exit
Posted on 11/21/2009 12:45:06 PM PST by SandRat
AL ASAD AIR BASE — As the clouds and drizzle of the rainy winter season roll into Iraq, many Marines with Multi National Force - West are rolling out.
The gradual drawdown of Marines here has sparked “Operation Blue Spoon,” with Marines cleaning up areas of the base that may have been neglected over the past six years.
Though the official mission of the operation is to “reclaim, document and dispose of excess materials on Al Asad Air Base,” to accomplish the end state of “a sanitized base for future use,” Maj. Matthew Mestemaker, the commanding officer of II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward), Headquarters and Service Company, explained the significance of the mission for Marines.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” said Mestemaker. “The Marines have been here on Al Asad for the past six years, and we’re getting ready to leave. When we do, we want to leave it better than when we came aboard.”
Marines from 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, and II MHG (Fwd)’s Personnel Security Detachment, Truck Detachment, and Heavy Equipment platoon have volunteered personnel and equipment, like 7-ton trucks and forklifts, to assist in the operation.
“We pick a starting point and pick up big materials, like scrap metal, and take it to [Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office],” explained Lance Cpl. Cory Strong, a mortar man with Weapons Company, 3rd Bn., 24th Marines. “After all the big stuff is gone, we police call for things like water bottles and cardboard. We’re picking up any of the messes we’ve made over the past few years.”
According to Staff Sgt. Scott Barnes, who is in charge of the working parties as the II MHG (Fwd) H&S Company gunnery sergeant, the operation began during the last week of October, and is scheduled to conclude around the end of November.
Though some remnants of war will always remain a part of the scenery aboard Al Asad, Marines are working hard to ensure future units, either U.S. or Iraqi, inherit a clean base.
(By Cpl. Meg Murray, Multi National Force – West)
You can’t say enough good about our troops
Just following a Boy Scout outdoors principle of “Leave No Trace.”
After the Olympics were over, the American MSM studio spaces vacated were a disaster, garbage, papers, cables, holes in the walls, and half-eaten pizzas...absolutely incredible.
On the other hand, the Japanese spaces were cleaned, repainted, and floors waxed, not a trace....identical to the way they found them.
There's a lot to be said about that Boy Scout philosophy, and do unto others.
Kind of reminds me of living in Japan in 1970-1972...most, if not all the graffiti you’d see spray-painted in/around the train stations was written in English. It didn’t take a rocket-scientist to figure out who was doing all the crap...bratty American military family teens/kids living over there making a mess of things. Even though the country and especially in/around Tokyo has such a dense population, surprisingly, the people were very diligent about keeping the streets and communities as tidy as possible.