Archive for May 12th, 2008

Bill Ardolino writes a great illustrated report on US Forces working with the Al Sadria Sons of Iraq to keep this market safe for Iraqis:

Last Friday, soldiers from the 3rd Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division conducted a night patrol through Shorja Market, the most famous market in Iraq, with the Al Sadria Sons of Iraq, or neighborhood watch. Vendors and shoppers pack Shorja’s streets during the day, and a vibrant nightlife continues well past dusk. The market is located in the heart of downtown Baghdad, and was the scene of some of the war’s worst spectacular bombings and sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007. Security has vastly improved in the last seven months. The positive change is credited to the “surge” of American forces, the development of the Iraqi security forces, and especially the efforts of the Sons of Iraq.

Read the whole thing here.

Troop Scoop

Posted: 12 May 2008 10:40 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
A critical road gets built connecting a local village with the provincial capital.  School renovations and fish farms being evaluated for progress.  As security is established, displaced families return to their homes.  Many criminals captured or killed, and weapons caches uncovered.

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

May 12, 2008

ISOF detains three suspected Special Groups criminals in al-Amarah

BALAD, Iraq – Iraqi SOF detained 3 suspected Special Groups criminals involved in using terror tactics against local SF in al-Amarah, May 10.
Al-Amarah, 150 km northwest of Basrah, is recognized as a major criminal Special Groups stronghold. The criminals instill fear among the citizens of al-Amarah through use of terror tactics and as a means to limit local SF efforts.


MND-B kill criminals, seize, destroy weapons

BAGHDAD –  In ops across Baghdad May 10, at approx. 8:45 a.m., MND-B soldiers discovered a weapons cache in Mansour containing multiple mortar rounds and a mortar bipod.
At approx. 2:45 p.m., soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, discovered a weapons cache in west Rashid containing an unknown type of rocket, an RPK machinegun, an RPK barrel and more than 350 RPK rounds.
At approx. 3 p.m., soldiers from the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, killed 3 armed criminals with small-arms fire in Sadr City.
At approx. 3:30 p.m., soldiers destroyed a mortar tube and launch site after an AWT identified it in Sadr City.
At approx. 5 p.m., soldiers with 3rd BCT, 4th ID tank engaged and killed one criminal on a rooftop in Sadr City.


1st BSTB connects local village with provincial capitol

By 1st Lt. Wesley Tompkins
HHC, 1st BCT, 82nd Abn Div

AL HABUSH – The 1st Bde Special Troops Bn, 82nd Abn Div celebrated the opening of a critical road for villagers recently, which was created to help the villagers suffering from poor transportation capabilities.
The road provides an essential passage for the villages because the previously existing dirt trail would become impassable during the rainy season, making access to the medical clinic and schools in the capital very difficult.
The leadership meeting focused on the development of a District Reconstruction Strategy and prioritization of district development efforts.  During the meeting, the Civil Military Ops team stressed the need for the sheikh and other leaders to coordinate with the district in order to prioritize projects and develop strategies to
accomplish them.  Razan Muqdad expressed deep appreciation for the CF’s help in the road project.
A follow-up meeting was established with the civil military ops team and the local leaders to discuss potential future projects with the district leaders. The completion of the road highlighted the strengthening partnership between CF, the tribal leadership and the Ur District Govt.


Civil military ops plt leader 1st Lt. Wesley Tompkins, along with Ur District Manager  Muqdad, displays a certificate symbolizing the completion of the critical road.


Paratroopers talk to a tribal leader about recent and future improvements.


MND-B AWTs engage rocket team and heavily armed criminals

BAGHDAD – May 10, following an indirect-fire attack in central Baghdad, an MND-B AWT made positive ID of a rocket rail at the point of origin in the Sadr City district of Baghdad used to launch the attack. The AWT engaged a criminal element on site at approx. 6:40 a.m. with 2 Hellfire missiles.  One criminal was killed, and the rocket rail and a shack were destroyed.  Secondary explosions at the site also indicate that illegal weapons also were destroyed.
At approx. 10 a.m., an AWT observed 5 criminals east of Al Hajj Jabr in the New Baghdad district of eastern Baghdad. The criminals were heavily armed with a RPG, 2 PKC light machineguns and 2 AK-47 rifles. The AWT fired 2 Hellfire missiles and killed all 5 men.


Iraqi Security Forces, MND-B soldiers capture weapons, terrorists

BAGHDAD – Iraqi SF and soldiers of the 1st BCT, 4th ID, captured terrorists and seized multiple weapons and ordnance, May 9 during clearing ops in the West Rashid district of southern Baghdad.
At 2:15 p.m., IA soldiers seized an AK-47 rifle with 152 rounds, an RPK machine gun with 250 rounds and 60 mortar fuses.
MND-B soldiers from Co B, 4th Bn., 64th AR confiscated a RPG, a PKC machine gun with 600 rounds, a hand grenade, a 60 mm mortar round and 4 homemade explosives in a house located in Risalah.
Also, soldiers from the Co A, 1st Bn, 22nd Inf Regt, wounded a suspected terrorist and detained 2 others after the group attacked soldiers with small-arms fire at approx. 3:50 p.m.  At 4:15 p.m., the same patrol from Co. A, seized an EFP, 2 RPG launchers and 3 RPG rounds in the Jihad neighborhood.


Joint Patrol With Iraqi Army Builds Capacity

By 1st Lt. Dave Psiaki
4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division


Corporal Travis Wisley pulls security while a civil affairs team inspects a school renovations project on April 30.

FOB ISKAN – CF are conducting joint patrols with the IA throughout the fish farm areas of North Babil, approximately 50 kilometers south of Baghdad.
On one joint patrol, Soldiers of Co B, 3rd Bn, 7th Inf Regt, 4th BCT, 3th ID, evaluated the progress of fish farmers cleaning their farms preparing to receive economic aid from organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“We are surprised, but happy, to see the Soldiers in this neighborhood so often,” said Abbas, a local fish farmer.  “It has helped my family sleep without worry.”
Patrolling alongside American Soldiers allows their Iraqi counterparts to see how the U.S. Army operates, helping them become part of the team, said Spc. Salvador Diaz, Co. B.
The U.S. Soldiers also benefit as Iraqis can point out details about people or places they wouldn’t necessarily notice on their own, Diaz said.  “We’ve definitely seen an improvement in how the IA prepares and executes these patrols,” he said.


ISF, SOI Presence Allows Families to Begin Moving Home

By Capt. Raymond Nutter
1st Bn., 187th Inf., 2nd BCT, 3rd ID


First Lieutenant Austin Commons, shakes hands with an SoI leader in Chalabi Village.  Commons and his Soldiers, along with the SoI, helped displaced families move back to their homes after they were terrorized by extremists.

FOB KALSU — Two years ago, al-Qaeda destroyed the Chalabi village in the Sayafiyah region.  A Shia tribe in a predominately Sunni area, the Chalabis fled to Mahmudiyah, Baghdad and other surrounding areas.
About 4 months ago, CF entered the area and set up SoI security and IA checkpoints.  Soon after, Soldiers from Co C, 1st Bn, 187th Inf Regt, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (Air Assault), discovered residents had returned to the area.
“These families had heard from word of mouth that the area was now secure so now they are back,” said Capt. Joe Johnson, HHC, 1-187th Inf. Regt.  Now, CF are bringing aid to about 150 men and boys that came to rebuild and continue securing the area.  Soldiers provided shovels, wood, bricks, mortar, cement and basic living essentials such as food and water recently.
“This is just to get them a jump start and to keep the men building and productive until the GoI comes and takes over,” said Staff Sgt. Christopher Sloan, 1-187th Inf. Regt. psychological ops NCO. “The govt is already working the (electrical) power issue in the area and we just wanted to jump start the building process and make it a smoother transition.”
Sheikh al-Kalabi praised the supply delivery. “The Iraqi gov, the Americans and our families are all working together to make this place great again,” he said.
Soldiers from Co C, promised to return soon and check what progress has been made in the area. “We will re-evaluate the situation and make sure progress doesn’t get halted by al-Qaeda or any other terrorist unit,” said 1st Lt. Justin Commons.


The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance at Keyspan Park in Coney Island will be rededicated on Sunday, May 18th, with the names and portraits of all the heroic first responders of the five boroughs.

What: Rededication of Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance

Where:  Keyspan Park, 1904 Surf Ave., Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY


When:  Sunday, May 18, 2008, 2pm

RSVP:  718-735-7727 or

The Dyker Heights Athletic Association (The Knights) and News12 Brooklyn are sponsoring their second annual Freedom is Not Free children’s marathon in Brooklyn to raise funds for the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund.

Who: The Knights (Dyker Heights Athletic Association) and News12 Brooklyn

What: Freedom is Not Free children’s marathon

When: May 17, 2008, 9am to 12:30pm

Where:  13th Avenue and 82nd Street, Brooklyn, NY


Registration Form

Pledge Form


Each child will obtain sponsorships of at least $35.00 for the run. We ask that the children actually raise the money for the marathon themselves.  They should ask friends and relatives to sponsor them for the event.   They can be sponsored on either a fee per mile basis or just a flat fee donation.  Trophies will be awarded for the top finishers in each age bracket.  The Knights will sponsor a post marathon celebration with entertainment for the children.  There will be a food court for lunch as well.  There will be a sports memorabilia auction with several different pieces available at the end of the marathon.