The major from Swindon(UK) leading US marines in Iraq


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The major from Swindon leading US marines in Iraq
By Oliver Poole at Camp Ripper
(Filed: 13/07/2005)

An officer from the Royal Marines has been put in charge of American troops to make use of the counter-insurgency expertise Britain gained in Northern Ireland.

Major Richard Maltby, 34, is seconded to the Second Marine Regiment, deployed in the troubled province of Anbar in western Iraq. He is the first foreign officer to be responsible for US combat troops in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

This month an operation was launched in the city of Hit, which had been effectively controlled by insurgents since November. As more than 1,000 US marines conducted house-to-house searches, Major Maltby, from Swindon, led 408 men in a sweep of the Euphrates valley to the east.

They uncovered arms caches containing 24,000 rounds of ammunition and hundreds of mortars, rocket launchers and machine guns.

"They sometimes have difficulty understanding what I am saying on the radio because of my accent," said Major Maltby. "But I believe I have gained their respect in a difficult situation."

He was sent to California in August 2003 to teach cold-weather warfare, but when the regiment was sent to Iraq in February a different set of skills were needed.

"He was the most experienced man out here as a result of the Troubles," said Col Stephen Davis, his commanding officer. "You need great sensitivity to deal with the multiplicity of complex situations we face."

How often does this sort of thing happen?
At least once per war, I suspect. During the Revulution, there was a Frenchman in charge of training several units. During the Civil War, I seem to remember the Irish being involved somewhere. World Wars I and II had the French over some units again, etc.
Well we Americans appreciate you Brits. If I was to have one foreign officer over me I'd want it to be a Brit rather than any other country.

Seems England is the only other country in the world that still has a clear perspective on the threats to our way of life. And besides, we know that for all their "tea time" and "fish and chips" oddities, the English know how to throwdown in a war.
We are in it together

I definately have a huge respect and sense of comraderie with the Brit's as I served in Iraq next to the Royal Marines, great bunch of men. I wouldnt have a problem with a Brit in charge of me whats so ever. As Ben Franklin said jokingly after the Declaration of Independance was signed, "We must all hang together or surely we will all hang seperately."
There is often a an exchange of personal between our two forces, some Americans will come over and work with us and we will go to the States and work with them. There was Sergeant in the Royal Marines who was working with Americans in one of their units, he made such an impression that they wanted to give him a commission in the American Army if he would stay on.
I dont know about that

I find it hard to believe that they actualy offered him a commision unless it was for some kind of diplomatic deal, but it's extremely rare to see battlefield commision's for our own US troops since WWII.