PHOTO ESSAY: Security team guards crash site investigation team

21 Aug 2004 | Sgt. Nathan K. LaForte

A team of Marines lifted into the early morning sky Aug. 21 to determine the cause of a crash that killed two Marines 10 days earlier.The crash site investigation team arrived at the crash site of the downed CH-53E Super Stallion from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 (reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, shortly after the sun rose over the vast desert. The team of investigators also had a security element in tow.Of the many lessons learned while in Iraq, security in any situation takes precedence. Safety first has been a mainstay policy of the Marine Corps and security is a vital part of that.Security comes into play in all aspects of living, from convoys or patrols, to investigating crash sites in unsecured landing zones and even serving aboard one of the many Marine bases set up throughout Iraq.Every Marine is a rifleman, so every Marine could be faced with a scenario where they would have to become part of a security team. The Marines that supported the crash site investigation team were a conglomeration of Marines from the administrative, supply and logistics, and armory sections of Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, with CH-46E Sea Knight transportation support from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 764, MAG-16.Although the investigation team's security job completed their protection mission, the cause of the crash is still under investigation.