AL ASAD, Iraq -- Although the service members forward deployed are in a combat zone and walking on dangerous ground compared to their bases and stations in the United States, there is a group of Marines assigned the task of providing internal security to keep them safe during the nights and days when they aren't on missions.
The Provost Marshal's Office aboard Al Asad, Iraq, enforces the base's rules and regulations in order to provide a secure environment for the deployed service members here.
"Our main focus is to make sure everyone is safe," said Sgt. Adan Lozano, watch commander, 3rd Squad, PMO, Alpha Battery, 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, Marine Wing Support Group 37 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward). "A lot of the units go outside the wire and base. We are here to take care of them inside the base like they do for us on the outside."
"We make sure third-country nationals are in line and not trying to break the rules," said Cpl. Amy Yee, patrolman, PMO. "That's not to say we don't take care of military personnel, as well. We take care of all the normal things that we would do back in the states, such as missing weapons, missing gear, assault, theft or anything like that."
The Military Police conduct random vehicle inspections and identification checks as people move throughout the base, and they also inspect the vehicles that come aboard Al Asad in convoys.
Although some may think that the policemen and women with PMO are only trying to fill a quota, according to Lozano, it's not like that at all.
"We are not big ticket hounds out here," said Lozano, a 26-year-old native of Parlier, Calif. "We are just trying to help them out. When people come back from missions, they are only worried about food and rest. We are here just to make sure no one is injured or killed because of a senseless accident."
One of the methods PMO uses to promote safety aboard the base is by example, as all eyes are upon them, looking for mistakes.
"Safety is a big part," said Lozano, a graduate of Parlier High School. "We are enforcing the rules and regulations and taking care of everyone so that we all can get home safe. If we are not showing the proper safety everyday going outside, how do we expect everyone else to when we are trying to enforce it?
"We are officials and everybody is watching us," he continued. "If we do nine out of 10 things right, they will throw that one thing in our face. We have to make sure we are always crossing the T's and dotting the I's."
As the days in Iraq continue to roll by and the bustle of operations persists, Military Police continue to uphold a high level of security on the base.
"We are peacekeepers really," said Yee, a West Palm Beach, Fla., native "Anything that goes wrong, we're the first people to be called in."
Disclaimer -- All photos associated with this article can be found at the following links:
1 - http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2006111022414
2 - http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2006111022528
3 - http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2006111022222
4 - http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2006111022643
5 - http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2006111022938