The Narco News Bulletin

"The Name of Our Country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar

Saving Corporal Ryan (Smith's Prose)

We thought it was newsworthy when the US Marine base at Camp Lejeune published a story on US troops in Colombia that contradicted the party line out of Washington.

And so on August 22nd we published on page one of Narco News a link to that story.

Five days later, on August 27, 2000, the US Marines censored their own story.

We thought they might do that.

And so we saved it, for you, the reader.


Link originally appeared at:

(Check it out! They took it down, thus confirming: this story makes a lie of the official words out of Washington regarding Plan Colombia.)

Unitas lands!

U.S., Colombian Marines unite in South America

By Corporal Ryan Smith

Marine Combat Correspondent

For the first time in eight years, the U.S. Marines have landed on the
of Covenas, Colombia. They did not land in support of a
contingency operation, the Marines of Marine Forces Unitas XLI (41),
II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) came to train in amphibious
operations with the Colombian Marines, as well as to promote military
interoperability, and develop closer ties to their Colombian

From August 3-6, the MARFOR Unitas Marines and Sailors conducted four
amphibious landings, performed two troop exchanges, participated in a
sports day, and an exchange of military cultures.

Colombian Special Forces Marines came aboard the USS La Moure County
(LST-1194) as part of a troop exchange which sent members of Unitas'
2nd, 3rd, and Weapons Platoon to Covenas Naval Base, Colombia in order
to conduct small unit tactics symposia. The Colombian Special Forces
Marines worked and trained exclusively with the Unitas Reconnaissance
Detachment during the four-day training operation focusing on beach
reconnaissance, and reporting procedures.

"Their base was like our School of Infantry, Corporal's Course, and
Officer Candidates School all rolled into one very large training
area," said Sgt. Jay R. Phelps, 3rd Platoon squad leader and Bowling
Green, Ky., native.

"It was a pretty intense area. We learned what kind of training they
go through for school and combat."

After the Colombian Marines came on deck, all thoughts were on the
next few days of training.

The Colombian Marines with the aid of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps
would take off from the ship and assault the beachhead at Covenas
using the Combat Rubber Reconnaissance Craft (CRRCs) and the
Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs).

The reconnaissance Marines marked the beach, then the AAVs pulled in
and released their troops, which, moved swiftly across the
sand-covered terrain. After the beach was secured and the mission
accomplished, the Marines headed back to the ship.

"The amphibious landings went well because everyone performed their
duties well," said LCpl. Gabriel L. Ellsbury, a coxswain with 2nd
Platoon. "The AAV crewmen and drivers, the reconnaissance team, and
the Colombian Marines all helped to accomplish the mission.

The Marines were impressed with the Colombian Marines' professionalism
and positive attitude toward training.

"When they pass each other on base, one can see the tremendous amounts
of discipline in their faces, and they mean total business," said
Phelps. "They have the heart, attitude and the training to be prepared
for real situations that occur because most of them go into combat
straight from school."

"They were very patriotic to their country," said Sgt. Matthew J.
Singer, a squad leader for 2nd Platoon and Orlando native. "When asked
why they joined the military, the Colombian Marines only said for the
love of their country. Even when they knew it was an uphill battle,
they still do it for the love of their country."

The U.S. Marines gave several different classes on weapons and
techniques such as the 240G Machine Gun, 81mm mortar call for fire,
the M16A-2 Service Rifle, hand and arm signals, and helicopter

"The opportunity for the Colombian Marines to cross-train with us can
help them form new tactics and a different way to look at each
situation," said Phelps.

The U.S. Marines ashore were given a tour of the Covenas base and then
participated in a sports day with the Colombian Marines. Unitas Devil
Dogs toured Colombian training areas including their school,
helicopter and boat courses, obstacle course and their patrolling

"Everything they do is timed, and if they don't come in under that
time limit, they have to start again," said Phelps. "They work hard
and are very disciplined in what they do for a living. It made me
realize that when I train my Marines, I need to drill into them what
could happen on a moment's notice."

After the tour, the Marines geared up for some sports day activities
to include volleyball, soccer, basketball, and a run.

The U.S. Marines ashore returned to USS La Moure County (LST-1194),
and the Colombian Marines went back to their base after four days of
combined training involving over 700 troops.

Phelps said, "When two totally different militaries train together,
they gain knowledge from each other, learn another military culture,
and meet dedicated individuals who will look out for their country."

All the news the Marines won't print