Archive for May 28th, 2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 28 May 2008 11:33 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
A very moving Memorial Day service at Camp Liberty honoring our fallen heroes.  Mid-level Special Groups leader of a 300 member cell captured!  Iraqi SF Soldiers learn combat camera skills, and Baghdadi Bridge opens!  Numerous weapons caches removed from the streets, and more criminals captured or killed.

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

May 28, 2008

Iraqi Special Operations Forces detain Special Groups leader

BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured a mid-level Special Groups leader in the al-Shuala area of Baghdad, May 25.
The ISOF conducted a successful op to capture the suspected leader of a 300-member criminal group who is accused of kidnapping and murdering Iraqi citizens and is affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The suspect is an employee for the Ministry of Interior.  This suspect’s group is also allegedly responsible for weapons smuggling and IED and EFP attacks against Iraqi and CF in Baghdad.
Two other suspected Special Groups criminals were detained during the op.


ISF learn combat camera skills, document missions

BALAD –  Over the past six months, some Iraqi SWAT teams, and Iraqi SOF have been learning how to combat terrorism and insurgency through the use of imagery.
U.S. Army Maj. Joseph Peterson, Civil-Military Ops Officer of the Combined Joint Special Ops Task Force-Arabian Peninsula in Balad, is a proponent of a new program to teach camera skills to ISF.
U.S. Army  Sgt McCoy developed a combat camera course for ISF and served as its first instructor.  He adapted the 10-month curriculum he learned from the Defense Information School at Ft. Meade, Md., and condensed it to a two-week program that can be used to teach Iraqi troops in the field.
“They went from looking at a camera and wondering, ‘What do you want me to do with this?’ to holding the camera with confidence and saying, ‘Let me show you what I can do with this!'” McCoy said. “To me, the overall knowledge they gained was impressive for 10 days.”
Through the course, Hillah ISWAT learned police photography functions, such as crime-scene photography, and how to do media outreach by taking video during missions and providing that video to the local media.
Three other ISWAT units have completed the combat camera course and are now also interfacing with the community through their new media outreach capabilities.
McCoy added military elements of photography such as operational security, handling classified info, and combat documentary photography to the basic elements of the course.
McCoy also provided instruction in teaching techniques and materials.  As a result, one student instructed the first Iraqi-taught combat camera course, graduating seven members May 6.  “They were eager to learn everything they possibly could.  They were really focused, paid attention … They were motivated from seeing some of the work that the ISOF combat camera guys did before them,” said McCoy.
The first mission with ISOF combat camera-trained personnel was the liberation of the southern city of Basrah in March.  As the troops pushed through the city, a newly-trained ISOF combat cameraman documented every move the SF made.


CJSOTF airdrops humanitarian support to al-Amarah


Combined Joint Special Ops Task Force airdropped needed humanitarian supplies to al-Amarah, May 21.  C-130 loadmasters released over six pallets of humanitarian support over the past three days. The cargo includes water, clothing and toys.


Operation Siegfried Line nets detainees

FOB FALCON – MND-Baghdad Soldiers detained numerous suspected criminals in the Bayaa community as a result of Op Siegfried Line May 24 in southern Baghdad.
At approx. 11:45 a.m., Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained 40 suspected militants for questioning.
Soldiers from 1st BCTdetained a known criminal at 12:15 a.m. during an early morning op in the Jihad community of southern Baghdad.


Baghdadi bridge opens for traffic


Maj. Gen. John F. Kelly (second from the left), the comm. gen. of MNF-West, escorts the first Iraqi citizens across the newly-constructed Mabey-Johnson float bridge in Baghdadi, May 24. The bridge stretches across the Euphrates River and reduces travel time to communities on the opposite side of the river by eight hours.


Six-year-old Gaith Saood receives a coin from Maj. Gen. Kelly.  Saood was one of the first Iraqi civilians to cross.


MND-B Soldiers remember fallen heroes, comrades

CAMP LIBERTY – A hero is defined as being a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities – also, as a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
“Today is that one day out of the year we take time to remember our fallen and the sacrifices they made for the freedoms we share on a daily basis,” said Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia, who serves as the senior enlisted leader with MND-B and the 4th ID. “In this case, we take time today to memorialize 75 of our fallen comrades – it’s a very special day.”
“I think Soldiers who wear this uniform possess great moral courage and character,” Gioia said. “It’s not about going to barbeques and fireworks. It’s about wearing this uniform and going into harm’s way – and protecting our nation so that others can enjoy the freedoms we all share.”
Gioia has personally attended every memorial ceremony for each MND-B Soldier who has fallen and said that each one feels like another piece of the fabric of his soul is taken away, and ceremonies like this remind him that it wasn’t all for not.
“I think it is important here, in Iraq, to honor Memorial Day because we are here to protect and provide security for the Iraqi people,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Jim Carter, who serves as the division chaplain for MND-B and the 4th ID. “It’s important to remember that we are honoring not just our Soldiers, but we are also honoring our Iraqi brothers as we are here to support them and their land against the radical extremist-criminals who seek to take away our freedoms.”
“For over 104 years, Americans have gathered on Memorial Day. We do this to honor our fallen heroes, but we really gather to honor America’s broken hearts – those who were killed in the cause for freedom and the Families who were left behind,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, who serves as the comm. gen. for MND-B and the 4th ID. “We honor their lives; we honor their sacrifices and the dream they died for – their children.”
To conclude the commemoration, Gioia read the names of the 75 fallen heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice. A 21-gun salute reverberated throughout the gathering before an honor guard cased the national colors.  A bugler from the 4th ID band played “Taps” to pay homage to the memories of the brave men and women of MND-B who gave their lives for freedom.
“Clearly, no one understands the meaning of Memorial Day more than (Soldiers),” Hammond said. “We see it; we feel it, and our generation has lived it.”


The flags fly at half mast during a Memorial Day remembrance ceremony.


Staff Sgt. David Cotti plays “Taps” at conclusion.


Seven MND-Baghdad Soldiers render a salute with arms.


Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia recites the names of the fallen.


Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, addressed his fellow Soldiers.


IA Soldiers seize numerous weapons in Sadr City

BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers seized a number of weapons caches while conducting clearing ops in Sadr City during Op Peace, May 25.
IA Soldiers  searched several buildings and warehouses and discovered 6 EFPs, 20 one-liter cans of TNT, 11 car engines filled with homemade explosives, 3 Russian anti-tank mines, an anti-tank round, 9 RPGs, 8 RPG launchers, 14 RPG charges, and one RPG radar system.  They also found a 60 mm mortar round, an 88 mm mortar round, 11 120 mm mortar rounds, a 100 mm artillery round, 5 130 mm artillery rounds, 3 155 mm artillery rounds, a Katusha rocket, 4 30 mm anti-aircraft rounds, a blasting cap, 2 Glock 9 mm pistols and a flare pistol, 30 AK-47s, 4r rifles, a Russian Smirnov rifle, 51 loaded AK-47 magazines, and 1,152 7.62 rounds, as well as 2 detonators with batteries, 4 camcorder tapes, a binocular sight, a spool of wire, and a cell phone with a charger and battery.


Iraqis, MND-B Soldiers discover weapons caches

BAGHDAD – A SoI member and a local citizen teamed up with MND-Baghdad Soldiers to discover 3 weapons caches May 25, in Baghdad.
Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 4th ID, seized a single barrel ,12-gauge shotgun, an AK-47, 21 .22 center-fire rounds, 19 .38 mm rounds, 25 9 mm rounds, 4 AK-47 magazines, several 12-gauge buckshot shells and 400 7.62 mm rounds at approx. 7:50 a.m. in Sadr City.
At approx. 6:40 p.m., Soldiers from 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, acting on a tip from a local citizen, seized a laser-guided 85 mm missile and a 155 mm mortar round northwest of Baghdad.
At approx. 8:10 p.m. northwest of Baghdad, an SoI member turned in 8 60 mm mortars to Soldiers from 2nd SBCT 25th ID at JSS Al Awad north of Baghdad.


Join the Patriot Guard Riders to honor and recognize the soldiers of the 3-142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion who are deploying to Iraq as the assault helicopter battalion element within the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom..

Who: 3-142nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, Headquarters Location: Ronkonkoma, NY
Commanding Officer: LTC Albert Ricci
Command Sergeant Major: CSM Christopher Imbarrato

What: Deployment Farewell Ceremonies
Where: Saint Josephs College, Patchogue, NY (See below for final staging area for ride to location). If you can not make it to the group ride in, please try to arrive before the ceremony starts (10 AM) to avoid any interruptions.
When: Saturday, May 31, 2008, 9:00am

The Final staging area will be in the Gateway Plaza in Patchogue.It is the King Kullen and Bob’s store Plaza (Gateway Plaza, 499 Sunrise Hwy, Patchogue, NY 11772 / North side of Sunrise Hwy just west of Waverly Ave.) and has a KSU time of 0900 AM.