Members of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines will be the ground combat element of the task force, with air support from squadrons of the 2nd and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wings. They'll be led by the 5th Marine Regiment with Combat Logistics Battalion 5 lending logistical support.
The task force includes about 2,300 Marines.
Sgt. Josh Greathouse, a team leader with Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Central Command, scans the area during a perimeter patrol in Al Taqaddum, Iraq.
Photo Credit: Sgt. Ricardo Hurtado, 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade
The Marines arrived in theater as the fight against ISIS gains new intensity with Iraqi troops pushing to recapture the northern city of Mosul.
"We're providing air power, command and control, other fire, training, sustainment, logistics," he added.
In December, the Iraqis recaptured Ramadi following a bloody, seven-month slog with ISIS. They then consolidated their forces and last month launched a new offensive — dubbed "Operation Conquest" — to envelop and retake Mosul, which is Iraq's second-largest city.
Mosul is at least four times larger than Ramadi, though, and further away from logistical support bases, cautioned Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, OIR's commander, in a media briefing Monday from Baghdad.
"It's an order of magnitude more challenging than Ramadi was," he said. "Mosul is going to be more difficult, hence the additional support."
This Marine rotation marks the fourth iteration of SPMAGTF—Crisis Response—Central Command since the fall of 2014.
Matthew L. Schehl covers training and education, recruiting, West Coast Marines, MARSOC, and operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East for Marine Corps Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.