Lt. Col. Christopher Woodridge, commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment officially transferred authority of Camp Al Qaim and their area of operations to Lieutenant Colonel T.S. Mundy, commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, 2d Marine Regiment in a ceremony held 09 March 2005. The battalion deployed to continue stability and security operations in and around Al Qaim for roughly seven months, which was the same amount of time 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment was in the area. The battalion's primary mission was to continue assisting the Iraqi Security Forces in preventing this influx into Iraq by helping them assume responsibility for their region.
The Marines at this forward operating base provide air support to Marines operating in this region. A variety of job specialties have a place in Al Qaim, but one area of expertise lies in the hands of skilled Marines...Marines skilled in the art of controlling aircraft. These eight Marines have guided a growing number of flights to either takeoff or approach at this desert-landing site. A small strip of asphalt has been transformed from road to landing field. Although vehicle travel in the form of tanks, amphibious assault vehicles, supply convoys and other traffic continues to charge through here, this piece of pavement gives priority to helicopters of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. With their headquarters, Marine Air Control Squadron 2 (Forward), located in Al Asad, Iraq, these Marines, Marine Air Control Squadron 1, have deployed to this western air field to provide a key ingredient to air support.
The Marines of Marine Light/Attack Helicopter Squadron 269, Detachment Al Qaim were very busy since arriving at this remote base near the Syrian border. The 'Gunrunners' deployed to Al Asad in February 2005 and immediately sent a small detachment of personnel and aircraft to Al Qaim. They participated in Operation Matador and provided close air support, conducting armed reconnaissance, escorting convoys and flying over the areas where Marines from 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment conduct operations in the desert.