Troop Scoop 5/14/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 14 May 2008 09:44 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
Kudos to the Warrior Sappers – best Engineering Co. in the Army!  Enjoy positive stories of Iraqi Highway Patrolmen training to enhance skills; 200 students graduate from a Vo-tech; Basra comes back to life with improved security, and substantial weapons caches seized across Baghdad, and many terrorists killed or captured.
Joanna
_________________________________

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

May 14, 2008

Raiders conduct clearing operations, net weapons cache and detainees

FOB FALCON –  At approx. 5:30 p.m., May 10, in the Bayaa neighborhood, soldiers from Co A, 1st Bn, 22nd Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained a suspected criminal wanted for attacks against CF and the killing of innocent Iraqi citizens.
At approx. 12:11 a.m., May 11, soldiers from Co. A, 1-22 IR, seized 2 RPGs, a hand grenade and a high-explosive anti-tank round while conducting a combat patrol in the al-Amil neighborhood.
Soldiers from Co B, 4th Bn, 64th AR, attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained 3 suspected criminals while conducting point-specific ops in the al-Risalah neighborhood, May 11.
Soldiers from Co. C, 4-64 AR, attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained 3 known criminals while conducting clearing ops in the al-Risalah neighborhood, May 11.
“Info from concerned Iraqi citizens greatly contributed to the finds made by Iraqi SF and the Raider Brigade,” said Maj. Dave Olson, spokesman for 1st BCT, 4th ID. “The Iraqi citizens are a powerful source in stopping the violence.”

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ISF, MND-B finds seize substantial weapons caches across Baghdad

BAGHDAD – May 12, at approx. 10 a.m. IA soldiers informed their MND-Baghdad partners that they had discovered a weapons cache in east Rashid that contained several mortar rounds. The IA soldiers cordoned off the area to protect the local populace and awaited an EOD team to clear the site.  54 82 mm mortar rounds and 27 60 mm mortar rounds were uncovered.
At approx. 10:40 a.m., MND-B Soldiers discovered a weapons cache in the Mansour district of Baghdad that contained 5 grenades, 5 grenade fuses, 3 pounds of TNT, 3 rocket motors, an AK-47, a 9 mm sub machinegun, and various types of bomb-making materials.
At approx. 3:20 p.m. a SoI leader informed MND-B Soldiers of the location of a weapons cache in east Rashid, containing 7 RPG rounds, a propane cylinder filled with an unknown explosive, a PKC light machinegun and assorted ammo.
At approx. 4 p.m., a SoI leader informed MND-B Soldiers about the location of a weapons cache in Adhamiyah, containing 2 57 mm rockets and 2 60 mm mortars. Further investigation of the site revealed a 122 mm illumination round and 20 to 25 pounds of an unknown explosive.

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Multiple caches discovered, seven suspected AQI detained in Mosul

MOSUL – IA and CF Soldiers discovered 4 weapon caches and detained 7 suspected AQI members during ops, May 12.
The caches consisted of more than a dozen pipe bombs, IEDs, mortar rounds, a mortar fuse, multiple circuit boards, over 200 pounds of explosives, detonators, several blasting caps, fuses and a timer.  Seven suspected AQI members were also detained in a house where one of the caches was discovered.

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Iraqi Army helps improve education

BASRA – Iraqi Soldiers helped local schools in Basra by delivering school supplies to children, May 7.
Children returned to school after Op Charge of the Knights cleared criminal elements out of the city making the streets safer for children to travel to and from schools.

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Iraqi girl gives a smile and a thumbs up.

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AQI caches, staging site destroyed

BAGHDAD – CF destroyed a known AQI weapons cache and staging site in Arab Jabour, about 5 km southeast of Baghdad, May 12.
The area was known to have been used by AQI to manufacture and emplace IEDs, stash weapons caches, for training, and to launch sniper attacks at CF convoys.  The area itself was rigged with pressure-plate IEDs and tree-borne IEDs, emplaced in palm trees. Two U.S. Air Force F-16s dropped 8 GBU-38 500 pound bombs on the area, destroying the munitions.

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Punisher 3 conducts skill training with Dhi Qar IHP

By 1st Lt. Kyle Schreifer
1st BSTB, 1st BCT, 82nd Abn Div

BALAD – COP 9’s Punisher 3 Route Security Team’s continued partnership with the local Iraqi Highway Patrol has been an advantage to area security with the mission aimed at enhancing the skills of the local Iraqi Highway Patrol.
Punisher 3 RST, comprised mostly of MP, conducted classroom training and practical exercises beginning May 2. The five-day course involved more than 50 of the Iraqi Highway Patrol’s NCOs.
“I felt better finally being able to put a name to all the Iraqi faces I see at the checkpoints every day.  It makes it easier to trust them to watch my back,” said Pvt. Christopher Freeman, a gunner with Punisher 3 RST.
During the fourth day of training, Punisher 3 RST Soldiers had lunch with the IHP. First Lt. Hanni, a shift cmdr. with the IHP, took the opportunity to thank all of the Soldiers. “All of my men want you to know how much this training means to them,” Hanni said. “For many, it is the first formal training they have received, and it has made them much more confident in their ability to help protect the Iraqi citizens and American convoys that travel the road each day.”
At the conclusion of the training, all the Soldiers shook hands with the IHP members and promised them the training would continue on a weekly basis.  All of the IHP members who attended the training were presented with a certificate of achievement signed by the COP 9 cmdr and first sgt.

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An Iraqi Highway Patrolman conducts a personnel search of Spc. David Angstadt.

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Sgt. Derek DeVeau, NCOIC of the Punisher 3 Route Security Team, covers a training point with the Iraqi Highway Patrol.

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200 students graduate from Iskandariyah vo-tech

FOB KALSU – Approx. 200 students from the Vocational-Technical School in the Iskandariyah Industrial Complex (IIC) graduated May 4 amongst friends and family members.
“I’d like to say congratulations to the vo-tech director and his staff but most of all to the students of this graduating class,” said Lt. Col. Jeff McKone, MND-Center Iskandariyah Industrial Complex liaison, Team Iskan officer in charge. “It’s an honor to be a part of the success in the rebuilding of the Iskandariyah vo-tech.”
Graduates received a certificate of training along with a gift — sewing machine or computer repair kit — to help them get started in the business world.
Back in May 2007, only 32 students were enrolled at the technical school, but now there are more than 700, said Jabar, vo-tech director.  He said by June they’re hoping to have 1,000 students enrolled per quarter, which is open to Iraqis wanting to learn job skills and trades.
The IIC is a business incubator similar to the Job-Corps program in the U.S., dedicated to young start-up businesses.  It has the space required for manufacturing, research and development and administration for young and established enterprises.
At the same time, the vo-tech is intended to produce a steady stream of qualified workers for the industries and business, providing a further base of economic stability in the region.

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Lt. Col. Jeff McKone, presents an Iraqi student with a certificate and gift.

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Basra comes back to life

Story and photos by Marine 1st Lt. Brian Block
1st Iraqi Army Quick Reaction Force MiTT

CAMP FALLUJAH – The security environment here has improved dramatically since the 1st IA QRF fought their way into the city on April 1.
Criminal elements had taken over parts of the city from local Iraqi SF, and imposed their own rule on a city that had once been a cultural and commercial beacon for all of Iraq.
“This city was being held hostage by a small group of criminal militias,” said Col. Robert F. Castellvi, 1st IA (QRF) MiTT senior adviser.  Music and western influence were prohibited, women faced death threats if they ventured outside their homes dressed in anything other than a full burkah, and intersections were used as mortar positions.
In less than a month, life in Basra couldn’t be more different.  “The people are happier now,” said Maj. Robert S. Washington, 2nd Bn, QRF-1 MiTT senior adviser. “They can go out; they can go to the markets.”
There is more to be done in Basra.  With the criminals gone, the GoI and CF are working together with local leaders to address issues with sanitation, infrastructure and economy that will provide long-lasting improvements to the quality of life for local residents.  Recently, local officials opened an open-air market in the neighborhood of al-Jameat in an effort to boost the local economy.
Local Iraqi SF continue to hold the ground taken by the 1st IA (QRF) to guard against a possible resurgence of the criminals.  But, boosted by the confidence of success, they are ready for whatever may happen.

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An Iraqi soldier stops to talk with a local shopkeeper.

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An Iraqi soldier poses for a picture with a local boy.

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Warrior Sappers lead way for engineers

BAGHDAD – The engineers from the 66th Eng. Co, 2nd Stryker BCT “Warrior,” 25th ID, are the 2007 winners of the Lt. Gen. Emerson C. Itschner award, recognizing them as the best engineer company in the Army.
Spc. Jose Diaz, who is a combat engineer, joined the Army two years ago as a combat engineer. He said the job wasn’t really what he wanted to do, but it was
a good option and he doesn’t regret the decision. “I was told I was going to build and blow stuff up, and that sounded interesting so I took it,” he said.
The prestige of the award is something which will travel throughout the engineer regiment.  “Every year, you hear about the unit who won the Itscher Award,
and they are a unique company or a company who has done awesome things,” said Maj. Anthony Barbina, the unit’s cmdr.
To be considered for the competition, each engineer company was required to submit a book highlighting the unit’s accomplishments. For the 66th En. Co., the book was 180 pages.
While deployed to Iraq in support of Op Iraqi Freedom, the 66th Eng. Co.’s mission is route clearance. The Soldiers tirelessly travel the roads used by Iraqi Security and CF and Iraqi civilians – clearing them of IEDs.

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Sgt. John Yost (center), provides feedback to IA engineers during a lane exercise designed to teach the IA soldiers about how to spot IEDs and indicators.

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First Sgt. Jonathon White, talks to an IA engineer about leadership practices as part of on-going training that teaches the Iraqi Soldiers about route-clearance ops northwest of Baghdad.

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Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Goodman, hands a shirt to a child in Sab al Bour, northwest of Baghdad, May 9.  The platoon completed its route-clearing mission with a stop to hand out toys to the children there.

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Staff Sgt. Steven Garrido, a native of Yigo, Guam, arm wrestles a child in Sab al Bour.

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