CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq-Standing side-by-side outside the gate of an American compound, Sgt. Curtis Jones and his Iraqi counterpart, Pvt. Fayez Ramthan Ali, keep a watchful eye over a nearby checkpoint; pulling security and searching personnel entering the combat outpost.
Jones, a cavalry scout with 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, is currently on his third overseas deployment, and is working with the rest of his troops here to advise, train and assist the Iraqi Security Forces.
"This is a combined effort to pull security at the compound, but the Iraqi Security Forces are taking the lead here," said Jones, a native of Gainesville, Fla. "We pull security here and provide them with support if needed."
Along with maintaining outpost security and providing support for the ISF, the American troops also train the Iraqis on basic soldier skills.
"When we're not pulling security for the compound our troops are training with the ISF," said Pvt. Karl Eastin, a cavalry scout.
Maintaining security within the compound, Eastin assists in providing 360-degree security for the compound that houses both the American and Iraqi troops.
"We're out here every day watching over our 'battle buddies' and the ISF," said Eastin, a first-time deplorer from Upland, California. "It feels good to be helping them here in their home."