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Pfc. Axel Lincon, a heavy equipment operator with Charlie Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), levels the ground between a Hesco barrier and a mud wall in Sangin, Afghanistan, Nov. 24. CLB-2 Marines installed protective barriers around a medical clinic in order to protect Afghan civilians seeking aid at the clinic. The engineers also improved security at a vehicle staging area and built fighting positions for the Marines there.

Photo by LCpl. Kenneth Jasik

Marine engineers boost security for Sangin medical clinic

24 Nov 2010 | Lance Cpl. Kenneth Jasik

Marines From Charlie Company, Combat Logistics Battalion 2, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), installed protective barriers near a local medical clinic here, Nov. 24, in order to improve security for local Afghans who seek aid at the clinic.

Marine engineers completed a perimeter for the clinic of Hesco barriers and concertina wire in just a few hours, providing a secure area for villagers to be searched and improving security at a vehicle staging area. Fighting positions were also constructed; all completed while under the constant threat of small arms fire from Taliban gunmen.

Operated by coalition forces, the clinic is open to all Afghan civilians, but Taliban gunfire deters some Sangin residents from making their way up the exposed hill to reach the clinic.

"People would come up, and when they were being searched for contraband by [Afghan National Army soldiers] and Marines, they would receive harassing fire from the Taliban, and villagers were getting scared," said 1st Lt. Brett E. Scull, the platoon commander of 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, CLB-2.

"That area is under a constant small arms fire threat," added Scull. "We received some pop-shots while we were down there."

While a few of the Marines worked on the project, other Marines provided security for them.

"We ensured the Marines were provided with safety while the structures were being built," said Scull.

With the added security improvements, Afghan villagers are much more likely to come into the clinic to seek medical help.

"People can come up every Saturday with any type of ailment, most of the time children, and they can get assessed by Navy corpsmen," said Scull of the Afghans in the area.

The Marines were happy to have contributed to the security and well-being of the local Afghan population.

"The medical clinic is good because it gives us a chance to show the Afghan people we want to help them," said Lance Cpl. Scott Buttery, an engineer with Charlie Company, CLB-2, 1st MLG (FWD). "If we show them that we want them to be healthy and safe, we can win their hearts and minds."

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