Archive for May 25th, 2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 25 May 2008 03:55 PM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
We have a special Memorial Day story from a soldier in Iraq.  Also, Uthman Feed Mill renovations are complete, which will improve production, and a most interesting story of Coalition Forces providing medical assistance and supplies.  Mid-level Terrorist cell leader captured, as well as a wanted financier.  Large weapons caches seized.

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

May 25, 2008

Iraqi Special Operations Forces capture mid-level terrorist cell leader in Mosul

BALAD – May 23, ISOF conducted an op to capture the AQI terrorists responsible for numerous VBIED attacks and for forcing others to emplace IEDs against their will.  Three other suspected terrorists, one believed to be immediately subordinate to the cell leader, were also captured.  During the op, ISOF also confiscated IED materials.


Uthman Feed Mill renovations complete

By Sgt. 1st Class Kerensa Hardy

BAGHDAD – After months of planning and hard work, the Uthman Feed Mill celebrated its completion of refurbishments in Mahmudiyah, about 26 km south of Baghdad, May 21.
The finished feed mill now boasts a sound-proof generator and increased ability to provide pelletized feed for the re-energized poultry and fish industries.
“My feed mill shows the continued commitment of American forces to the area,” said Uthman Daheesh, the owner. “Without their assistance this would not be possible.” The feed mill also now has the dyes it previously lacked to pelletize feed. “(Other nations) have dyes that are able to produce fish and chicken food, but these are (some of) the first to enter Iraq,” Daheesh said. “This is a very important day for Iraq.”
Feed in pelletized form allows growers to control the amount of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in their feed.  “Controlling the diet can ensure the birds reach optimal growth before slaughter,” said 2nd Lt. Bronson Hayes, Uthman Feed Mill project mgr. with 3rd Bn, 320th FA, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT).
The area poultry association worked with Dept. of State agricultural experts in the embedded PRT attached to the 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT), to identify needs for the Uthman Feed Mill and ensure necessary
improvements were made.


Iraqi Army, CF seize weapons caches in separate operations

BAGHDAD – May 23, IA soldiers  seized a weapons cache in a mosque in the Kadamiyah district of Bagdad, consisting of RPG launchers, RPGs, an AK47, a machine gun, a PKC ammo canister, a flak vest, a mortar tube and a sniper scope.
Earlier that morning, Soldiers with the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, seized a weapons cache north of Baghdad containing approx. 30 60 mm Iranian mortars with a manufacturing date of 2007, and approx. a dozen 60 mm mortars of unknown origin, plus 82 mm illumination rounds, a 60 mm mortar tube, and various bomb-making materials and assorted ammo.


Coalition forces provide aid in Zuwarijat

By Sgt. Daniel T. West, 214th FB

FOBASE DELTA – CF provided medical care and supplies to more than 200 people during a medical assistance visit in the Zuwarijat district of al-Kut, May 19.
Medical care was provided by local Iraqi doctors, Georgian doctors, a Salvadoran doctor and dentist, along with paramedics from the Cuscatlan Bn and medics from Co C, 26th BSB, from Fort Stewart, Ga.
Iraqi SF and Soldiers of the 511th MP Co, from Fort Drum, N.Y., provided security.
“It is difficult to put together that big of an op,” said Sgt. Gopal Singh, one of the pre-screening medics, and the NCO in charge of the Co C element. “There was a wide variety of conditions sent through, and the Coalition doctors really came together to treat them.” Singh’s impression of the people was one of hope.  “It didn’t matter what they’d been told before,” he said. “They thought we could help them. They were very friendly, and even when we couldn’t help, they weren’t hostile.  One old gentleman even reached in to where I was handing out medicine and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.”
The Zuwarijat district has not always been so welcoming, though.  “Historically, it was a Jaysh al-Mahdi stronghold,” said Maj. Stacy Gerber, 214th Fires Bde civil and military ops officer.  “Iraqi SF recently opened 3 security stations there, reaching out to residents who had been threatened by criminal elements and neglected by the GoI.”
Adnan said at first citizens were afraid, but soon they saw how the ISF was securing their area and began bringing them water, tea and food.
Singh agreed to the event success.  “Firsthand, this was the most amazing thing I’ve seen,” Singh
said. “Today, we couldn’t tell that this had been a hostile area. If this is what it takes to get the Iraqi infrastructure going, I’ll do as many I need to do.”


Maj. Stacy Gerber, cradles a child awaiting treatment.


So which one is Memorial Day?

By Sgt. Jerome Bishop

CAMP LIBERTY – Not long ago while I was sitting at my desk at work, a Soldier presented an interesting question, not because of what it was, but what made it interesting is why it was asked.
“So what’s Memorial Day, again?” the Soldier asked. This kind of disturbed me. As it turns out, the confusion came from the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.  While both are federal holidays to remember our nation’s servicemembers past and present, only one commemorates the living.  The one that doesn’t is May 26, the last Monday in May. That one would be Memorial Day. I just never thought I’d have to explain that to someone.
Commemoration ceremonies and remembrances take place all over the United States on Memorial Day. We all know it’s a holiday. It’s a day off work, and it’s got something to do with wars.  Most people my age won’t be seen at events like those.  I know I’ve never been to my town’s festivities – not often at least.
Four years ago, I would have been the last one to say I wanted to take time during the day commonly referred to as the beginning of summer to fill my head with sad memories of how too many of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, never made it home. That was then. Three years ago, I was about 60 km north of here on LSA Anaconda near Balad for Memorial Day, and this year, I’m in Baghdad.
To me and a lot of other service members braving the sand, heat and bullets in Iraq, Memorial Day carries a new meaning – to remember not those service members we only knew by the name on their tombstone at
Arlington, but the ones whom we’ve shared meals and laughs with while trying to make the best of discomfort.
I’m fortunate enough to say I haven’t lost a friend over here, but as my job takes me from unit to unit, the list of acquaintances grows – and more than a few might not make it home.
Three years ago, I knew Memorial Day would have a whole new meaning for me – and it truly does – because it could just as easily have been my name stretched across a banner for home town heroes lost in battle.
One day, I’m sure I’ll hear that question again: “Which one is Memorial Day?” or something of the sort. Unlike most people, I’ll have a unique story to tell – just as we all do.


IA Soldiers remove dangerous weapons from streets of Sadr City

BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers found multiple weapons caches and IEDs in Sadr City as Op Peace continued
May 22.
At approx. 5 p.m., IA Soldiers received info on a weapons cache from a local citizen and seized 4 IEDs, 5 propane tanks, a box of TNT, ball bearings rigged with wires, an RPK rifle, 20 liters of explosive material and RPG propellant.
Minutes later, IA Soldiers discovered a weapons cache consisting of 7 EFPs, 5 60 mm mortar rounds, more than a dozen RPGs, hand grenades, a mortar sight, a BKC machine gun and 1,200 BKC rounds, a Kalashnikov rifle and 5 Kalashnikov magazines, igniters, indicators, command wire, charges, detonators, 8 radios and 4 battery chargers.
At approx. 12:05 a.m. May 23, IA Soldiers found an 82 mm mortar round, 3 SKS rifles, an AK-47 assault rifle, 4 RPG rockets,and 2 IEDs while conducting dismounted patrols throughout the city.


Iraqi Special Operations Forces capture wanted financier

BALAD –  In Az-Zubayr, 17 km southwest of Basrah, May 21, the ISOF acted on an arrest warrant for the financier, who is suspected of conducting weapon smuggling ops along the Iraq-Iran border.


The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall will be at the Sears Shopping Center on Rte 106/107 from June 6th to June 8th. The 240 foot long, 8 foot high replica will be open to the public 24 hours a day for the three days. There is no admission charge.

Program of events will be listed as they become available.

What: Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall

Where: Sears Shopping Center, Rte 106/107, Hicksville, NY


When: Friday May 16th through Sunday May 18th, 24 hours.

If you want to take part in the escort of the wall from Staten Island to Hicksville on June 3rd please contact:

Tim Glover 516-241-4983

or Dan Rysanek 516-578-1079

If you can lend a hand in the assembly and landscaping of the wall from June 3rd to June 5th, or as a volunteer to provide information and direction to visitors from June 6th to June 8th, please contact the Town of Oyster Bay’s Division of Veteran’s Services at 516-797-7900.

This is a guest report from Alicia who assisted with the placing of flags marking the graves of veterans at Calverton National Cemetery here on Long Island.

Today Bernie, Eva, Bryan, Fran and I went to Calverton to place flags at the graves.  It was such an awesome experience.  It was so amazing to see everyone placing the flags and to see so many children there.  Today, it was not only a place were people grieve, but it was almost a happy place.  Seeing all the children smiling and happy reminded me of what these people fought for, our future.  I am confident they were all at peace today, grateful that so many remembered what they had done and seeing all those children, I am sure they were looking down with smiles on their faces as well. I was overwhelmed seeing so many graves…and these people are just a small portion of all of those who have served.  I attached some pictures only because everyone knows about Arlington National Cemetery and we often forget the one right near us.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

This is the type of volunteer effort to honor our heroes that often goes unreported in the main stream media.

Thank you, Alicia, and everyone that participated in making this Memorial Day as outstanding as it deserves to be.

Alicia’s pictures are here.

LATHAM – The commander of the New York National Guard will spend Memorial Day in Afghanistan with New York Army National Guard Soldiers, who are deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Major General Joseph Taluto, the Adjutant General of New York, said that spending Memorial Day in a combat zone makes the holiday an especially moving experience.

“I’m reminded of the sacrifice our Soldiers make on a daily basis when I’m with them,” Taluto said. “Since 9/11, 23 members of the New York Army National Guard have made the ultimate sacrifice. I’m reminded of that every day when I walk past their pictures in the lobby of our New York National Guard headquarters.”

For the rest go here.