Troop Scoop 6/1/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 01 Jun 2008 11:51 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
Our military soldiers in the field of medicine participate in a humanitarian op, as well as 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing collecting school supplies for needy Iraqi children. 9th grade students from Germantown HS in Wisconsin also send school supplies.  Basra is showing more signs of normalcy.  Troops assist Iraqis with drinking water and irrigation.  Marines from 3rd MAW help restore school house.  Large amounts of weapons caches removed from streets, and more criminals detained or killed.
Joanna
________________________________________

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

June 1,2008

Medics win hearts, minds through medicine

By Spc. Karla P. Rodriguez Maciel

TIKRIT –  On May 26, more than 20 U.S. Army Soldiers from FOB Sykes, in the field of medicine, teamed up with IA medics. They headed for Avgahni, a small village in the Ninewah province, to support the local
doctors during the Medical Civil Action Program.
“Our job (as doctors and medics) is to practice good medicine, and win the hearts and minds (of the local Iraqi citizens),” said Capt. David “Doc” Adam, a flight surgeon with 4th Sqdrn, 6th Air Cav out of Fort Lewis, Wash.
In addition to their medications, every adult received a toothbrush, and every child was given a bottle of
vitamins, a toothbrush and a toy.
The IA medics took the lead throughout the day in patient care, as their MiTT medic counterpart stood by only to provide advice if needed. The only problem these medics faced was the lack of medical supplies.
The primary objectives for the MedCAP were to treat a scabies outbreak among the village children, provide general health care, offer surgical referrals to patients and make a $10,000 medication drop.
In addition to providing good health care, Adam was also looking for children candidates who were in dire need of a wheelchair. Two wheelchairs were donated that day, coming from a local Iraqi organization.  Other donations came from a variety of places.  The Ninewah Province PRT granted the meds given throughout the day and those for the medication drop. The pediatric vitamins came from all over the United States with the help of the Family Readiness Group back at Fort Lewis, Wash.
“The whole intent for these projects is to help the Iraqis take care of themselves and I have seen great improvements in that aspect,” Adam said.

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More than 300 men, women and children were seen.

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Capt. David “Doc” Adam, poses for a picture with 6-year-old Hannah, who is paralyzed from the waist down, partially blind and deaf. Hannah received a donated wheelchair.

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Normalcy slowly returns to Basra

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Iraqis gather around a produce stand in a street market in the Hayyaniyah district of Basra, May 30. The IA and IP have been patrolling the area regularly helping to keep the streets safe and return the area to normalcy since Op Charge of the Knights restored order to the streets.

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ISOF capture four suspected Special Groups criminals in two separate ops

BALAD- Iraqi SOF captured a suspected Special Groups criminal cell leader and 3 suspected Special Groups criminal kidnappers in 2 separate ops in western Baghdad, May 28.
Six others were detained for questioning.

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National Police seize foreign-made munitions, turn over to MND-B Soldiers

BAGHDAD –  In the New Baghdad security district of eastern Baghdad, May 29, munitions seized by IP included an Iranian-made 88 mm PG-7 RPG, a Russian-made 85 mm PG-7 RPG, 2 Russian-made PG-M 70 mm RPGs, a Russian-made PG-9S 72 mm RPG, 2 Type 69 185 mm Chinese-made RPGs and various IEDs.

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Iraqi Army detain suspects, seize munitions in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – During ops May 30, the combined forces detained five suspects and seized various munitions.
In the Mansour district of Baghdad, IA Soldiers, after receiving a tip from a local citizen, seized a rocket and  detained 2 suspects.
In another op, Soldiers with the 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained a suspect in the West Rashid district of Baghdad. The suspected Special Groups leader is allegedly responsible for weapons trafficking, and indirect fire and EFP attacks on CF.  Soldiers also seized 16 120 mm high-explosive rounds and a 120 mm mortar round in West Rashid.
Soldiers with the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, detained 2 suspects in the Adhamiyah district of Baghdad. The 2 suspected Special Groups members are allegedly responsible for emplacing IEDs.
A local citizen turned in a variety of munitions today to Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, at JSS Tarmiya, north of Baghdad. The munitions included 3 RPGs, a 5-gallon jug of homemade explosives and
4 pieces of ordnance of unknown types.

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Backpacks full of hope: 3rd MAW opens Iraqi, American Friendship Project Logistics Center

By Sgt. Lukas Atwell

AL ASAD – More than 1,000 Iraqi children may soon have school supplies thanks to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) with the launch of the Human Unity Begins project and the grand opening of a logistics center at Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron here May 19.
The Iraqi and American Friendship Project Logistics Center will serve as the supply warehouse for HUB, a humanitarian mission which provides backpacks and school supplies to children in need.
The HUB program, started by the 3rd MAW (Fwd.) chaplains, draws inspiration from Op Backpack, an annual back-to-school program organized by Volunteers of America to provide backpacks and school supplies to children in need, according to Navy Lt. Frank Riley, a chaplain for Marine Aircraft Group 16.
“We use the acronym HUB, which is also the Arabic word for love,” said Petty Officer First Class Lori Ihli, a religious programs specialist with MAG-16.  “Through this program, we will be able to provide basic school supplies to Iraqi children. We will use the friendship center as an assembly line for the project.”
With the help of MAG-16 and various religious congregations in the U.S., the chaplains have collected enough supplies for 1,000 backpacks, which will be packed full of school supplies, such as paper, pencils and safety scissors, by volunteers from various commands at Al Asad Air Base.
“Our goal is to create a program that is sustainable and can be carried on for a long time,” said Riley. “The idea is to help the people of Iraq strengthen their faith in their schools and their police,” Riley said. “The project is about empowering the children and the community as a whole.”    The initiative is also a chance for those Marines who may spend their deployment working on base, to make a difference in the lives of the Iraqi people, Riley said.
“The whole experience of being involved with the opening of the friendship center has been motivating and inspirational for me,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua Wynn, a HUB volunteer and supply clerk from MALS-16. “It feels great to be a part of something that will benefit so many people and it’s nice to really get this project rolling.”

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Lance Cpl. Joshua Wynn packs one of the first backpacks.

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School gets help from Soldiers, U.S. children

By Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky, 2nd BCT, 3rd ID

FOB KALSU – As if the last day of school wasn’t enough to put smiles on Kutimiyah children’s faces, they also received a special surprise courtesy of 3rd ID Soldiers.
On May 24, Soldiers of 1st Bn, 9th FA, delivered school supplies to the children, courtesy of Mrs. Casandra Hanson’s 9th grade literature class at Germantown High School, in Germantown, Wis.
The children had been without a school for several months after it was ravaged by insurgents, said 1st Lt. Greg Highstrom, leader of 2nd Plt, Btry B. The insurgents cracked windows, damaged the building’s structural integrity and destroyed most of the children’s classroom supplies.
The loss of the building meant students were forced to continue their studies in a neighborhood house. Hanson, a friend of Highstrom, was in contact with him and learned of the children’s predicament. “The kids are the future of Iraq,” Highstrom said, adding that in order to give them the best shot at a better future, they needed some help in the present.  Hanson’s class, as well as several American Legion assocs. in the area, mailed supplies for the platoon to deliver.
Although Btry B Soldiers will redeploy from the area before next school year starts, they have taken steps to ensure the upcoming year goes better than the last. To match the new school supplies, the Soldiers began working with Iraqi contractors to repair the damaged school building.  Contractors are also cleaning the building’s interior of debris from IED detonations.
“We’ve got to give them something better,” said Spc. Ian Knight. “We’ve got to give them a chance.”

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Children from Kutimiyah elementary school hold up a sign, May 24, thanking freshmen at Germantown High School for school supplies they received.

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First Lieutenant. Greg Highstrom,  gets his hands dirty May 21 while mixing cement to repair cracks in
the Kutimiyah area elementary school.

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New IP recruits begin training at Al Udaim Regional Training Center

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Iraqi Police recruits in-process at the Al Udaim Regional Training Center, May 25, as they begin Basic Recruit Training.  IrP and CF train the recruits here together.  The 4-week course will culminate with a graduation and the recruits will then become known as a shurta, or policeman, and work at local IP stations in the region. The mission of the center is to train IP recruits in order to increase stability of the Iraqi SF.

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Soldiers help Iraqis with drinking water, irrigation

FOB KALSU – Iraqi farmers near Patrol Base Copper received new means to irrigate their fields and provide clean water for their families through Coalition assistance, May 25.
Soldiers with 2nd Bn, 502nd Inf Regt, distributed water pumps and filters to local sheikhs at the base,
approx. 30 km south of Baghdad. The pumps help residents use canal water to irrigate crops; the filters provide drinkable water.
“We’re very thankful for the support the Americans give us,” said Sheikh Nahid, with the Gourani tribe. “We haven’t been able to farm our fields without water, but now we can make a living for ourselves.”
The Co B Soldiers worked with Civil Affairs Team 530, which ordered the pumps and filters through an Iraqi contractor to help stimulate the local economy.
The unit, out of Fort Campbell, Ky., has been at the patrol base for seven months. Due to improved security in the area, they have been able to use their resources to help provide relief and aid through projects in conjunction with CAT 530 in recent months.

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1st Lt Benjamin Sevald, non-lethal targeting officer with Co. B,  supervises members of the Mamouri Tribe as they load water pumps onto a truck.

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Sergeant First Class Lyle Whitted, 2nd Plt. sgt. with Co. B, supervises members of the Gourani Tribe as they prepare to load water pumps onto a bongo truck.

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MND-B Soldiers kill 2 militants, seize weapons

BAGHDAD – During ops May 29-30, Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 4th ID, discovered 4 60 mm mortar rounds, a 155 mm projectile, 3 122 mm projectiles, 2 130 mm projectiles, a 107 mm rocket, a 120 mm
projectile and a 105 mm projectile, at approx. 3 p.m. north of Baghdad.
Soldiers from 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID seized 3 Katusha rockets; 5 50 mm mortar rounds; 1,000 dishka rounds; 2 RPGs; and 1,000 7.62mm rounds at approx. 5:50 p.m. northwest of Baghdad.
In the Amin area of New Baghdad, an AWT observed criminals digging a hole that had been started the previous night. The hole was at the location where a previous IED had been emplaced. The criminals were also observed digging a trench, which is commonly used to lay a command detonation wire.  At approx. 12:50 a.m. May 30, the AWT fired 3 hellfire missiles and killed 2 criminals.

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3rd MAW helps local village restore schoolhouse

By Sgt. Lukas Atwell

AL ANBAR PROVINCE – Marines from 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) recently assisted in the reconstruction of a local school.
The project benefits the community and their children by providing essential electrical power, school supplies and also a clean drinking-water supply.
“Regimental Combat Team 2 identified the need for improvements in the area nearly a year ago,” said Maj. Kevin Bright, the ops officer of Marine Wing Support Group 37. “The resources were not available at the time, but now that we have them, we are making good on our promise to help this community.”
“I am extremely pleased to see the improvements made at the school,” said Warrant Officer Emile Peterson, a security forces platoon cmdr for MWSS-274. “The renovations gave the villagers hope and my Marines were proud to be a part of the project because they got a chance to see the positive effect that we are having in the region.”
The schoolhouse has potential to be more than just a place for education according to Bright. The school will also bring the community together.  A room in that school may become a town hall and another may become the village clinic.

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Oras Shokre, a local contractor hired to perform the renovation of a local schoolhouse, shows Maj. Michael Mori, staff judge advocate and project purchasing officer, one of the school’s new blackboards, earlier this month. Though the project is not complete, the villagers are already using the school’s resources to teach arithmetic to the children.

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Local children gather outside their classroom earlier this month to greet Marines, as they visit the school to perform an inspection of the progress of the school’s improvements. The children were attending math class in a freshly painted, air-conditioned classroom before the Marines arrived today.

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Balad reconciliation yielding weapons caches, unity

TIKRIT -, More than 300 fighters in the Balad area have reconciled with the GoI by surrendering to the Joint Coordination Center since May 22.
Op Balad Musalahah is a combined effort between the Qadah-level GoI, the leadership of the IP, the
4th IA Div, and the 1st Sqdrn, 32nd Cav Regt, 1st BCT, 101st Abn Div.
“Former fighters in the Balad Qadah have stepped forward to reconcile with their fellow countrymen, and 76 of them have been given court dates to appear before an Iraqi judge,” said Lt. Col. Bob McCarthy, 1st Sqdrn, cmdr.  “This is a key step in reestablishing their ties to the communities, rejoining their families in their homes and becoming active participants in Iraq’s future.”
“The cooperation and trust being generated by the reconciliation between former fighters, Iraqi SF and the
local govt is having a dramatic impact on security in the Balad area,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Hauerwas, 1st BCT EO. “This is seen in the increase of weapons discovered and decrease in enemy attacks.”
“The reconciliation process is a great start for those who have been reluctant to approach Coalition and Iraqi SF and have been increasingly isolated from Iraqi society,” said Maj. Ramiro Salazar, ops officer for the 1st Sqdrn.

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