Lava Dogs bring Aloha to Afghanistan

23 Apr 2011 | Cpl. Colby W. Brown

The Marines of 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment arrived here in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, April 18–23.

The Lava Dogs will be assuming responsibility of the Garmsir District from 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, which is scheduled to return to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., in May.

The Lava Dogs’ main mission during their deployment will be counterinsurgency operations: mentoring Afghan National Security Forces, providing security to the local people and promoting legitimate governance. The battalion will work alongside ANSF to strengthen the bond between the government and local citizens.

“This is our life as Marines: expeditionary forces going wherever our nation sends us,” said 1st Sgt. Orin Lucas, Hotel Company first sergeant, 1/3, and native of Newark, N.J. “No one likes being away from their family and loved ones. But at the end of the day, this is what we signed up to do: go places, see things, help people and defend our way of life.”

“(Second Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment) has done a great job and set us up for success,” Staff Sgt. Phillip Halpain, intelligence chief, Hotel Company, 1/3 and native of Roswell, N.M., said. “I expect 1/3 to improve upon their successes and do great things as well.”

Throughout the battalion, small unit leaders are focused on accomplishing the mission while keeping their Marines safe.

“My main focus, as the platoon sergeant of the guard force, is to make sure I keep all my Marines safe and get them back home while ensuring they do their job … and engage the local populace to find out how we can help them,” Messer said.

The Lava Dogs are back on deck, prepared to accomplish their mission in Afghanistan, after 10 months at home.

“I’m just ready to do my job,” said Lance Cpl. Christopher Hudson, operations watch clerk, Hotel Company, 1/3, and native of Murray, Ky. “As an 0311 [infantry man] its good for me to get time in country and possibly see combat, but also to teach the ANA how to accomplish this mission of helping out the locals -- getting them out from under the (insurgents).”