Archive for May 5th, 2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 05 May 2008 03:58 PM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
Water shortages, unheard of in our country, but common to many Iraqis, are about to change.  Basra’s Children’s Hospital near completion, and Muthanna Province marked the completion of local civic projects.   Many high level insurgents, criminals and terrorists captured or killed, and many weapons caches found.

Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

May 5, 2008

ISF, MND-B Soldiers seize cache in Risalah following tip

BAGHDAD – In the Risalah community in southern Baghdad during a joint patrol at approx. 6 a.m., May 3,  acting on a tip from an SoI, IP and Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, seized EFPs, police protective vests, ballistic plates, ballistic helmets, IDs, IA uniforms, and machine gun ammo.


MND-B experts prepare for upcoming water shortages

CAMP LIBERTY – Water is the one element needed to sustain life, and a lack of water in a highly populated area could make for disastrous consequences.
In certain parts of Baghdad, however, water shortages are a normal part of the hot summer months – and MND-Baghdad water experts, with Iraqi cooperation, are trying to solve this problem one step at a time.
The Baghdad Water Authorities, the Baghdad Provincial Council and MND-B Soldiers are committed to changing the way water shortages are dealt with in the summer months in Baghdad’s districts of Sadr City, 9 Nissan, and East and West Rasheed in Baghdad.
“The reason for the droughts in these areas is the insufficient (water) networks in the area to support the population there,” said Vick Karine, a native of Oxford, England, who serves as a water engineer with G-9 (Civil Affairs), MND-B.
This year, small water treatment plants, called ROWPUs, which is a reverse-osmosis water purification unit, are being placed at key JSSs. From there, the water is easily distributed to the communities, he said.
“There are three partners in this,” said Karine. “(MND-B) will provide the ROWPUs and water tanks, the Baghdad Provincial Council is paying the money, and the Baghdad Water Authority organizes the tankers, get them to the appropriate areas and handles the logistics.  The long term plan is for the BWA to expand the water networks in the area. “We hope that by 2009 (the water shortages) will stop.”


Basra Children’s Hospital shows progress

BASRA – Residents of Basra have been steadily returning to their daily lives and rebuilding their infrastructure in the city as well as other support services.
The Basra Children’s Hospital is one of those services being rebuilt with the assistance of the Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region South Coast Basrah Office.
Iraqi workers on the project are currently installing lighting and running plumbing lines inside the building. The hospital’s primary mission is a cancer treatment facility, which will be run by western standards.


Randall Lewis (right) an architect with the Gulf Region South Coast Corps of Engineers inspects work being done. The GRSC engineers work with nine Iraqi firms on various parts of the hospital with a projected opening of February 2009. The project is one of over 40 the GRSC works with in the Basra area.


Lt. Cdr. Neil Underwood speaks with one of the project managers.


MND-B soldiers kill 5 terrorists, detain 24, find EFPs, 3 caches across Rashid

FOB FALCON –  At approx. 8 p.m., May 1, IP  and soldiers from 22nd Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 4th ID, were attacked by 10 criminals using small-arms and RPG fire in the Aamel community during an op to apprehend a key criminal. The patrol requested attack aviation support.  An AWT fired a Hellfire missile and killed 5 criminals.  The “Regulars” soldiers detained 20 suspected terrorists and various equipment.
At approx. 8 p.m., May 2, “Regulars” soldiers from Co E, 1-22nd Inf. Regt., seized roadside-bomb making materials in the Shurta neighborhood.
At approx. 11 p.m. May 2, soldiers from 4th Bn. 64th AR., attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID found an emplaced EFP while conducting a combat patrol. The soldiers notified an EOD unit about the cache in the Risalah community.
At the same time, soldiers from HHC, 4th Bn, 64th AR received a tip from local SoI members of a possible IED on the side of the road in the Furat area. The patrol requested EOD support, which determined the site was a cache consisting of roadside bomb-making materials.
On their way to the Furat site, the 47th EOD Company from Fort Hood, Texas, located and removed another EFP from the side of the road in the Risalah neighborhood at approximately 12:30 a.m., May 3.


Hillah ISWAT team captures 2 criminal element members; detains 4 others

BALAD – A Hillah Iraqi SWAT team arrested 2 suspected members of a criminal group and 4 of their associates during an overnight op near the city of al-Jabella, approx. 55 miles southeast of Baghdad, May 2.
Both men stand charged with conducting a series of attacks against a CF base with indirect fire weapons.  Recently gathered info also indicated one of the suspects used his house to store illegal weapons, including mortars.
U.S. SOF accompanied the Iraqi SWAT police in an advisory role only.


U.S. Special Forces kill four insurgents, detain seven in Jazeera Desert

BALAD – U.S. SF soldiers detained 7 suspected insurgents and killed 4 during a reconnaissance patrol in the Jazeera Desert, approx. 237 miles north of Baghdad, May 1.
During the patrol, U.S. SF soldiers came under small-arms fire and returned fire killing 2 armed individuals near the village of Lazaga.  As U.S. SF soldiers cleared a building in the village, they found 2 men holding hand grenades. Both men were shot and killed after displaying hostile intent.  A further search of the village led to the detention of 7 suspected insurgents.
This patrol is one of several recent ops in the Jazeera Desert to disrupt insurgent activity in the area.


PRT introduces new military unit to Muthanna

MUTHANNA PROVINCE – The State Department’s PRT and elements of 1st BCT, 82nd Abn Div are engaging in an unprecedented level of cooperation to affect a true reconstruction partnership with Iraqis in the southern province of Muthanna.
Members of the PRT traveled for the first time April 21  — via military convoy  courtesy of the 82nd’s 1st Bde Special Troops Bn — deep into the province to perform 2 ribbon cutting ceremonies marking the completion of local civic engagement projects.
The 1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div. will assume “strategic overwatch” or backing up of local Iraqi SF for Muthanna province, May 23. The PRT hopes to create an atmosphere of trust and respect with the local Iraqis, as 82nd Abn. Div. is introduced gradually to the province.
“When local Iraqis see that the entirety of the American presence in Muthanna – civilian and military alike – is working to improve their lives through new roads and schools, medical care for the most rural communities, and innovative support in the agricultural sector, then the province will be a safer place,” said PRT Team Leader Paul O’Friel.  “If we continue to work with civil and tribal leaders of the province to identify local needs and then actually work to meet those needs, criminal and other insurgent elements will hold far less sway. Doing good is our best weapon.”
The first destination of the day for the PRT and U.S. military members was to the newly-constructed al-Jareeb Bridge. This bridge replaces a crumbling 1947 structure that was wholly inadequate for modern vehicles. The new, heavy-duty span improves farm-to-market access for a huge rural area on the outskirts of the town of Warka.
The local mayor, several sheikhs, and a cross-section of residents joined the Americans to formally open the bridge.  Moments later, as if on cue, a truck heavily-laden with cement blocks crossed over the bridge. There was a palpable sense of community pride as the residents watched the truck rumble by – symbolizing the rebuilding of the province.
Next stop: the al-Wathbah elementary school. This project provided 2 new classrooms to this poor, rural school. The new construction stands in stark contrast to the rest of the school, which is in dire need of repair. The 1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div., as part of its new civic action program in the province, also plans to rebuild the school’s sanitary facilities.
Lt. Col. Fred Drummond, the commanding officer of 1st BSTB, relished the opportunity to engage with the schoolchildren. He entered one of the small classrooms filled with 20 girls and, with the permission of their teacher, spent a few moments talking about his own children back in the U.S.  He then introduced Sgt. Suelyn Hemmingway, a female soldier in his battalion, and explained, to a chorus of giggles, that some of the women under his command are “a lot smarter than some of the guys.”  While Drummond was in the classroom, his soldiers distributed soccer balls and played with several of the schoolboys in the courtyard.


PRT Leader Paul O’Friel joins a local Iraqi official and Lt. Col. Fred Drummond, in cutting the ribbon.


Iraqi Special Operations Forces capture Special Groups leader

BALAD – Iraqi SOF, advised by U.S. SF, captured a suspected mid-level Special Groups leader and detained a member of his group in Baghdad, May 2.
ISOF conducted the op to capture the leader of 50 criminal militia members who is suspected of conducting indirect fire attacks against IA and CF in Baghdad.
“Ops like this demonstrate the growing capabilities of ISOF to plan and conduct missions and represent the on-going commitment by the GoI to disrupt criminal activity and restore stability to the country,” said Col. Bill Buckner, MNC-I.


EFP cache found in Warij

FOB KALSU, Iraq – CF found a weapons cache of EFPs in the southern Baghdad community of Warij, May 2.
Soldiers from 6th Sqdrn, 8th Cav Regt, 4th BCT, 3rd ID were on patrol in Warij when they discovered 4 EFPs hidden in a closet shelf in a factory office.  A brand new 107 mm rocket was also discovered. The EFPs were covered with foam and had wires leading from the back.  The cache also included 40 pounds of unknown bulk explosives, a rocket sled and blasting caps.
A guard at the factory was detained after it was determined he lied about having prior knowledge about the rocket and EFPs.


Criminal element command-control center destroyed

BAGHDAD – In combined ops this morning, Iraqi SF and CF destroyed a criminal element command and control center with precision-guided munitions in northeastern Baghdad at approximately 10 a.m., May 3.
Intel reports indicate the command and control center was used by criminal elements to plan and coordinate attacks against Iraqi SF and CF and innocent Iraqi citizens.


Iraqi Army soldiers detain two terrorist cell leaders

BAGHDAD – Iraqi Soldiers advised by U.S. SF, detained 2 suspected terrorist cell leaders in the village of Thebania, approx. 200 miles north of Baghdad, May 2.
IA soldiers conducted an op at approx. 11:30 p.m., May 1, to detain the 2 targeted individuals and disrupt terrorist activities and illegal smuggling in Mosul.  Both men are believed to be mid-level leaders of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, which is a front organization for AQI.
One suspect is reported to have been leading attacks against Iraqi and CF. His cell is linked to an attack on CF in September 2007. The other suspect is believed to be a weapons smuggler and is reported to help facilitate IED attacks. Two additional suspects were detained and are being held for further questioning.


MND-B soldiers kill 6 criminals in operations in Baghdad

BAGHDAD –  May 2-3, Soldiers from 107th Engineers Bn, 1st Sqdrn, 2nd Stryker Cav Regt, were attacked with an IED at approx. 9 p.m. in northeastern Baghdad.  As they secured their vehicles, the soldiers were attacked by criminals using small-arms fire. The MND-B soldiers returned fire and killed 2 criminals. No soldiers were injured in the IED attack or subsequent engagement.
At approx. 12:15 a.m., May 3, an AWT witnessed 2 criminals digging a hole on the side of the road and emplacing an IED in northwestern Baghdad. The AWT engaged the criminals with a Hellfire missile and killed both men.
An AWT witnessed 2 criminals laying detonation wire to an IED at approx. 1:10 a.m. in eastern Baghdad, and engaged the 2 criminals with a Hellfire missile and killed them both.


April saw 49 U.S. casualties in Iraq, the highest total in seven months. Does this mean, as some insist, that the enormous progress we have made since the start of the military surge is being lost?

As one who has spent nearly two years with American soldiers and Marines and British Army troops in Iraq – having returned from my last trip a month ago – here’s my short answer: no.

Read Michael Yon’s whole article here.

Michael Yon is an independent journalist and former green beret who has spent more time embedded with the troops in Iraq than any other journalist.  His timely book “Moment of Truth in Iraq” is reviewed in our “Recommended Reading/Viewing section.

Troop Scoop

Posted: 04 May 2008 10:52 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
Needed medical supplies delivered to Basra hospital, and police cadets cheer at the opening of a new training academy.  Many criminals captured or killed, and many more weapons caches turned in thanks in part to the courage and determination of the Iraqi people.

Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

May 4, 2008

Iraqi Army recovers cache in Abu Hamid

CAMP STRIKER – Iraqi Soldiers found a cache of multiple mortar rounds near Abu Hamid, about 30 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, May 1.
Acting on a tip, the soldiers found a cache in 2 different holes that consisted of over 40 mortar rounds, a 120 mm artillery round, 12 boosters, a canister of TNT and various illumination round components.


MND-B soldiers kill criminals, protect the Iraqi people

BAGHDAD – MND-Baghdad soldiers and their Iraqi SF partners engaged criminal elements, May 2 in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, as they continue to provide security for the law-abiding people of Iraq.
At approx. 7:20 a.m., MND-B soldiers observed a criminal on a rooftop with an AK-47 and killed him.
At approx. 12:30 p.m., an AWT engaged a house adjacent to the Ubaydi neighborhood, with a Hellfire missile after an EFP triggerman was identified, and killed him.  Afterward, the 2 EFPs, that he was the triggerman for were recovered.
At approx. 12:45 p.m., MND-B Soldiers, in the same area, engaged a group of heavily-armed criminals after they fled into a house. An M1A1 Abrams tank engaged the criminals with one round from its main gun. They reengaged the criminals after IA soldiers reported being attacked by small-arms fire from the same house again. Three criminals were killed.  An AWT then engaged the house with 30 mm guns and a Hellfire missile, and the attacks ceased.
At approx. 3 p.m. an MND-B Soldier killed a criminal who was carrying an illegal weapon commonly used by snipers.
At approx. 5:20 p.m., a fixed-wing aircraft used precision-guided munitions and killed 2 criminals and destroyed a mortar tube.


Medical supply delivered to Basra hospital

BASRA – Iraqi Soldiers made a delivery to the people of Basra, May 1 that is intended to help the health care system in the city.  A truckload of medical supplies was delivered with assistance from Soldiers with the 82nd Abn Div.
The GoI is making every effort to provide services to the citizens of Basra and ensure their daily lives move on. The success of Op Charge of the Knights has rooted out criminal elements from the city, and now the govt is stepping up basic services to the population.


ISF capture criminal bomb-makers

BAGHDAD – Iraqi SF responded to an explosion at approx. 1:15 p.m. in West Rashid, May 2.
Iraqi NP and IA soldiers found one criminal dead, another wounded and their vehicle destroyed. The ISF quickly took control and secured the area, which led to the arrest of 3 more criminals.
An EOD team determined the blast was the result of a premature detonation of approx. 40 pounds of explosives, with ball bearings, in a suicide vest or IED.
A MND-Baghdad patrol came across a dead body in the road next to a blast crater west of Abu Ghraib at approx. 10:40 p.m., May 1.  Initial reports indicate the suspected criminal was emplacing an IED when it inadvertently detonated.
“The Iraqi SF are considerably more capable than when the 4th ID was last here in 2006,” said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, MND-B and the 4th ID spokesman.  “They are conducting independent ops and responding to enemy activity with decisive action.”


Iraqi Police academy opens in Diyala Province


Diyala Provincial Director of Police Staff Maj. Gen. al Qarayshi was joined by Brig. Gen. James Boozer and Brig. Gen. David Phillips to celebrate the opening of the IP Regional Training Center in Ashraf, Diyala Province, May 1.


Iraqi Police cadets in training celebrate the establishment of the new Training Center.

TIKRIT – CF built the interim facility in order to make possible the immediate training of thousands of IP and to help place additional police forces throughout communities in Diyala.
“We would like to thank CF for helping stand up this academy,” said Staff Maj. Gen. al Qarayshi.
The facility is a sign of cross provincial cooperation as weapons and equipment for training were obtained from Salah ad Din Provincial Police leadership to assist in the professional training the students will receive.  The Iraqi Ministry of Interior also provided material and equipment to make the training as effective as possible.
“What we witnessed here today was direct cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and the Provincial Director of Police,” said Brig. Gen. James Boozer, “Under al Qarayshi I know they will succeed.”
The first class is scheduled to graduate May 15 with an estimated 500 new IP reporting for duty.


MND-B, ISF find several weapons caches thanks to precision raids, Iraqi citizens

BAGHDAD – May 1, at approx. 8:40 a.m. in southern Baghdad, Soldiers from 1st Bn, 22nd Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 4th ID, seized 2 Dragonov sniper rifles, an EFP IED, and an MP-5 machine gun from the back of a vehicle.
At approx. 12:30 p.m., Soldiers with 1st Bn, 27th Inf Regt, 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, discovered a weapons cache west of Baghdad, hidden in a field that contained a bag of unknown explosives, 2 122 mm mortar rounds, 120 rocket boosters, 544 anti-tank rounds, 7 Russian made rockets of various sizes, 100 .50-caliber rounds, a box of miscellaneous IED-making materials, 2 command detonation wires, 100 blasting caps, detonation cord and 4 unknown rocket caps.
At approx. 8:45 a.m., April 30, MND-B Soldiers acted on tips from local citizens within the Rashid district of southern Baghdad and seized various weapons and munitions.


Iraqi, Coalition Soldiers Distribute Food, Toys to Families in Need

By Sgt. Daniel T. West, 3rd Infantry Division Public Affairs Office


Staff Sgt. Joseph Marcy, of the 511th MP Co., shares a moment with Iraqi children after a food distribution mission, April 30.

FOB DELTA — Iraqi SF and American Soldiers recently gave humanitarian assistance to more than 200 families in the Zuwarijat district of al-Kut, 163 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, as part of Op Thunder II.
The humanitarian mission furthered the operation’s goal of establishing a permanent ISF presence in the area.
“During Op Thunder II, ISF occupied 3 buildings to serve as temporary JSS until a permanent facility is built,” said Col. Peter Baker, cmdr of the 214th Fires Brigade.
Zuwarijat, like the Sadr area of Baghdad, was used by Saddam Hussein as a place for people he considered undesirable, said Capt. Adnan, of the IP.  The standard of living is very low.  The ISF moved into the area to show residents of Zuwarijat the strength of the SF and give them the opportunity to support ISF in finding criminals, Adnan said.
“The IA led the mission, with the support of IP and assistance in planning from American forces.”  Baker said the missions were a good example of ISF growth.  “They are more skilled and better with planning.  It’s a tremendous growth in capacity in a short time.”