Troop Scoop 5/17/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 17 May 2008 01:30 PM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
More Iraqi Police graduate from a training academy, and Village of Hope graduates are ready to rebuild.  2 new Joint Security Stations open, while Op Marne Dauntless hopes to improve quality of life.  Iraqi Army capture mid-level cell leader, while other criminals and terrorists are captured or killed, along with seizing weapon caches.

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

May 17, 2008

Lt. Gen Lloyd J. Austin III Travels to Huwayjah


Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, Comm. Gen. MNC -Iraq, talks with local school children during a walked through the Huwayjah market with city leaders, April 13.


Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, is greeted by Lt. Col. Christopher Vanek, TF Summit cmdr at FOB McHenry landing zone.


Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, talks with the local media.


IA, MND-C Soldiers find weapons cache in Abu Osage

BAGHDAD – Following up on a tip from a local resident, May 14, Iraqi Soldiers and 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (Air Assault), were conducting a joint patrol when they uncovered the buried cache.
The cache contained 9 mortar rounds of various sizes, 3 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds, 6 boxes of small arms rounds, 2 boxes of 25 mm mortar rounds, a box of 60 mm mortar fuses and a 120 mm mortar tube with tripod.


MND-B Soldiers kill 1 criminal, detain 5, seize weapons

BAGHDAD –  Soldiers from the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, MND-B, were struck by an EFP IED that damaged one vehicle during a patrol in eastern Baghdad at approx. 11 a.m. May 15. After the EFP strike, criminals continued the attack on the patrol with small-arms fire. The Soldiers returned fire and killed 1 criminal and wounded another.
At approx. 5:30 a.m. May 14, Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID,  entered an apartment building in southern Baghdad and found 9mm pistols, 9mm magazines, a couple detonating devices, and a spool of command wire as well as cell phones, false IDs, and a couple undeveloped rolls of film. The Soldiers also detained 5 suspected criminals during the event.
“(These Soldiers) conduct clearance ops at all hours of the day to bring criminals to justice,” said Maj. Dave Olson, a spokesman with the 1st BCT.  “CF, along with Iraqi SF, maintain a constant presence to deter criminals and prevent harm from coming to the Rashid district.”


Iraqi Special Operations Forces capture terrorist in Mosul

BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured a terrorist in western Mosul, May 15. The ISOF conducted the op to capture a member of the ISI, a front organization for AQI, responsible for IED emplacement and providing info to the ISI about the IA and IP.  Six other suspects were detained in the op.


IPs graduate from the Ashraf Regional Training Center

TIKRIT – 413 IP graduated at the Diyala Regional Training Center on FOB Grizzly in Ashraf, May 15.
This first graduating class took part in a 4 week course designed to teach and refresh skills in conducting searches, firing weapons and conduct foot patrols.  Furthermore, this center is part of the Ministry of Interior’s effort to further develop a more professional IP force in Diyala.
This RTC is designed to provide training for police in Salah ad Din and other provinces as well. “This is a historic day for the Diyala Province as you graduate from the toughest academy to train in,” said Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, Task Force Iron and 1st Armored Div cmdr.  “I’ve been to other training academies and I know these will be the toughest Iraqi Police.”


Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, left, salutes  during a pass and review alongside Gen. Al-Qurayshi, Gen. Al-Rubai and Col. Jon Lehr, 4th Bde, 2nd ID cmdr.


Iraqi Army captures Special Groups cell leader in Husayniyah

BALAD – The IA captured a mid-level Special Groups cell leader in Husayniyah, responsible for coordinating IED, rocket and small-arms fire attacks against Iraqi SF and CF, approx. 30 km north of Baghdad, May 15.
Three additional suspects were detained.


Joint Security Sites open for business

By Spc. Jaime Avila
1st BCT, 82nd Abn. Div.

COB Adder – The 1st BSTB, 1st BCT, 82nd Abn Div, in conjunction with the Muthanna and Diwaniyah PRTs, worked together to bring the Iraqi Highway Patrol 2 new JSS in Muthanna and Diwaniyah Provinces May 10 and May 12.
“The opening of the joint security site is essentially a culminating event that we’ve been working on for almost 12 months,” said Capt. Vince Boncich, COP 4 cmdr. The JSS in both provinces will be used as a training site and point of communication between CF and Iraqi SF in the area. The JSSs are located next to existing COPs in the area that are manned by 1st BSTB Paratroopers.
“The JSS is an office in the province in which local security counterparts interact with the 82nd Abn,” said Paul O’Friel, Muthanna PRT team leader. “The importance of this site is that it allows us to coordinate movement, and share intel and info about what’s happening in the province.  But it also provides a point of interaction so if something happens or an incident occurs of one sort or the other, we can respond rapidly and effectively to it.”
The opening of the JSS will also help bring the Iraqi citizens help that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. “This is a very historic moment for the citizens of Iraq because what these JSSs do is bring the provincial govt out to the rural areas to address the security concerns of the Iraqis,” said Lt. Col. Frederic Drummond, cmdr of the 1st BSTB.  “It’s a site where we would do training for governance, budgeting, operations and maintenance and training to improve farming capabilities,” said O’Friel.
Currently the 1st BSTB is in the process of opening another JSS near COP 9.


The engineer responsible for building the JSS near COP 6 and his son cut the ribbon.


Iraqi highway patrolmen and 1st BSTB Paratroopers hand out cake.


Lt. Col. Frederic Drummond welcomes guests.


Chicks hatch, kick start poultry industry

By Sgt. 1st Class Kerensa Hardy, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT)

BAGHDAD – The Karadi Hatchery was abuzz with activity as nearly 33,000 day-old chicks were prepared for delivery to chicken farms in Mahmudiyah, about 26 km south of Baghdad, May 13.
At the end of a 21-day incubation period, 32,750 chicks were distributed among 7 local farmers. The chicks represented approx. 94% of the 35,000 eggs, well exceeding the expected 90 percent survival rate.
“After eight to nine months of planning, this is the first step where all the chicken farmers see live chickens getting put into the entire chicken industry,” said Capt. Benjamin Neusse, civil military ops officer for 3rd Bn, 320th FAR, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (Air Assault).
Two more batches totaling 60,000 eggs are scheduled to hatch within the next 3 weeks. Thirteen additional farmers have been identified to receive and grow them into broilers for market.  “It’s a good example of the ground forces and the (ePRT) working together toward the same objective,” said Lt. Col. Linda E. Capobianco, ePRT deputy team leader.  “It’s great when Soldiers get involved with a great project like this one. They’re helping the farmers… they’re helping the economy.”
The poultry association is using this as a means to reopen some of the dormant chicken farms in the Qada’a. “This is a region that once thrived on the poultry industry,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, cmdr of the 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT). “This infusion of chicks provides us with an opportunity to restart a process very familiar to the people of the Mahmudiyah Qada’a.”
Shakir al-Karadi owns the Karadi Hatchery and said if it weren’t for CF’ intervention and assistance the poultry business would still be in trouble.  When CF purchased the live chicks from him, al-Karadi said it helped his business tremendously.


CF seek to improve quality of life across Mada’in Qada with Marne Dauntless

By Renanah Miles

BAGHDAD – MND-Center launched a major op May 15, to improve the quality of life for Iraqi citizens of the Mada’in Qada, in southeast Baghdad Province.
Marne Dauntless will build capacity for stability and security in a new part of MND-C’s battle space.  This op builds on the success of Op Marne Piledriver, which kicked off in April across the Mahmudiyah Qada.
2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div is assuming authority from the 3rd HBCT, 3rd ID, and will be responsible for Marne Dauntless.  The security gains achieved by the 3rd HBCT over the last 15 months have set the stage for this effort, according to the cmdr. Col. Wayne W. Grigsby Jr. “When we first got into the Mada’in Qada, we were experiencing probably 4 or 5 attacks a day,” said Grigsby.  “Now … we’re down to maybe an attack every other day.  All this violence that has gone down has created this window now, that we can think capacity, not just security.”
In addition to economic and governance development, Marne Dauntless aims to eliminate lingering criminal elements in the area. The Iraqi SF will take the lead in targeting criminals and their networks through intel-driven ops, with support from CF to ensure they are unable to conduct attacks or smuggle munitions.
Building police and JSSs will allow the ISF to position their forces deeper among the population, Waldron said.  Additionally, he said the NP, as a governmental entity, will provide a link between the GoI and the areas in which they operate.  “Last year, the Baghdad govt spent $1 million in Mada’in Qada,” Grigsby said. “So far this year they’ve spent $86.1 million of Baghdad money in the Mada’in Qada. That’s huge momentum.”
Extending over the upcoming months, Marne Dauntless will cover a full spectrum of initiatives, from market refurbishments to employment centers, power line repairs, billboard emplacement and an increase in transmission power for the radio station currently operating in Wahida.


Village of Hope graduates ready to rebuild

By Sgt. David Turner, 2nd BCT, 3rd ID

BAGHDAD – The Village of Hope graduated its first class of students May 8 in a ceremony held at Patrol Base Stone in Hawr Rajab, south of Baghdad.
The 42 graduating students spent the past 3 months learning plumbing, electrical and construction skills at the Village of Hope training facility. The program is aimed at teaching local citizens valuable career skills, with the added benefit of rebuilding their community. The students, many of them former SoI, will continue their training outside the classroom by renovating structures in the area.
Hawr Rajab was devastated last year by AQI, said town council chairman, Sheikh Majid, who attended the graduation ceremony.  AQI fighters burned houses, stole goods and used many structures for storing weapons and building bombs, he said.  Now that violence has subsided in the area, its residents can move on.  “The first thing we need to do is rebuild our homes.”
As part of a year-long program, Airmen of the 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Sqdrn working with Soldiers of the 6th Sqdrn, 8th Cav Regt, 4th BCT, 3rd ID, will continue their work with students by providing on-site supervision of the reconstruction efforts.  Air Force Capt. Michael Askegren, Village of Hope site cmdr., encouraged the graduates to continue their training as they work in the community.  “You have a long way to go.”  I want to challenge you to stay with the program. When you’re done rebuilding Hawr Rajab, you’ll feel a great sense of pride in your community.”
Three more classes of 50 students each are scheduled to follow over the next year.


A student at the Village of Hope shakes hands with Air Force instructors after receiving his graduation certificate.  Hawr Rajab town council chairman Sheikh Majid (in background) helps congratulate the students, all residents of his town.


Capt Gregory Curry, cmdr of Troop A, 6-8th Cav. Regt., delivers remarks.


IA, GoI, local govt take lead in providing aid to Sadr City residents

By Spc. April Campbell

CAMP LIBERTY – Residents in Sadr City continue to receive humanitarian aid from their local govt, the GoI, IA soldiers and MND-Baghdad with the help of the recently opened Civil Military Ops Center and Iraqi Assistance Center at JSS Thawra 1.
“The CMOC has done an exceptional job bringing together all of the Iraqi officials, allowing them to take leadership in repairing some of the damages caused by the recent fighting,” said Lt. Col. Frank Curtis, who serves as the comm. officer of the 432nd CAB, 360th CAB.
While the IA, GoI and MND-Baghdad plan to continue with the current aid they are providing, they are also planning for the future.  “We plan to renovate schools and clinics and then refurbish and revitalize the Jamilla Market, a wholesale market that supplies most of Baghdad,” said Messmer.  Ultimately, it is all about Iraqis helping themselves and other Iraqis.  “The people see this,” said Curtis, “and they recognize that they can support their govt’s efforts to give them a better, more stable community.”



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