Archive for June 7th, 2008

Troop Scoop 6/7/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 07 Jun 2008 12:01 PM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
We have a picture to go with the great story on the women’s conference in Irbil.  There is also a most interesting story on the economic boom in southern Baghdad.  A rebuilding of a nation is going on from the ground floor up, and our troops are so proud to be part of it, as we are privileged to read of it.  Kudos to the “Raider Brigade” for their superb success in the Diyala region.  Large weapons caches seized, and criminals detained.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

June 7, 2008

MND-B Soldiers find caches, detain five suspects

FOB FALCON –  In the Rashid district of southern Baghdad, June 3, Soldiers from Troop A, 7th Sqdrn, 10th Cav Regt, 1st BCT, 4th ID detained 5 suspects for their link to a cache recovered in the Karb De Gla neighborhood.
Soldiers from HHC, 4th Bn., 64th Armor Regt., attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, found a 115 mm high explosive artillery round in the Furat area, June 4.
“The Raider Bde and its attached units continue to conduct combat patrols and work closely with the Iraqi SF to provide a safe and secure environment for the Iraqi people,” said Maj. Dave Olson, 1st BCT Spokesman, 4th ID. “Our Soldiers are working every day to locate criminals and haul in caches.”


Discussing issues, northern Iraq Women’s Conference


Many influential Iraqi women of the northern Provinces, CF and members of the GoI gathered June 4 at the Professor Sa’ad Conference Center in the city of Irbil to discuss some of the major issues women are facing in the country today.  The conference covered job opportunities, health, education and security issues for women.


South Baghdad economy booming again

BAGHDAD – When Capt. Shawn Carbone first took a good look at the south Baghdad area economy, he found it similar to his studies of America during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  “Most of the historically strong businesses were gone,” said Carbone, economics team leader for the Baghdad-7
ePRT.  “The owners had left and packed up.  The businesses were shut down and there was mass unemployment across the board.”
Carbone saw an opportunity to help turn things around. His training in economics at Niagara University,  prepared him for the task of helping the citizens of south Baghdad Province.  “It’s rewarding because it’s an experiment in economics,” Carbone said. “This is from the ground up. It’s much like our depression-era economics.”
After security was established, the biggest obstacle to economic recovery, said Carbone, was the centralized nature of the economy in the past.  Local industries such as a chicken hatchery, a poultry processing plant and a meat processing facility, for example, received inputs from and sold their goods to the Iraqi govt at set prices.
“Cooperation is the biggest thing,” Carbone said. “From where I sit, these businesses are complimentary. But they never had a capitalist society, which is all about bringing down costs.”  Now the govt is in a state of transition and moving toward free trade.  “Everyone is going through the change,” Carbone said. “Some of the govt systems are not yet in place, but that’s where we’re heading.”
Civil affairs Soldiers used their battalion’s bulk funds to stimulate individual small businesses through a series of $2,500 microgrants. Though most of the projects focused on agriculture, which dominates the local economy and employs the largest percentage of people, other avenues were explored as well.
Microgrants were given to businesses ranging from chicken farms to internet cafes.  Most recently, a women’s beauty parlor opened up in Arab Jabour, something that would have been impossible in that area until recently.
Betts said Soldiers have found other creative ways to involve women in business.  One example he gave was women’s sewing cooperatives, which grew out of women’s committees looking for ways to employ
themselves and raise revenue for their causes.  “One [co-op] that I know is basically made up of war widows,” Betts said. “These ladies want to do something for orphans and school children. They are actually making clothes and selling them. I thought that was pretty original.”
The only condition that comes attached to the microgrants is that business owners attend business training and meetings of their local business associations, Betts said.  The formation of local business
associations has been vital in helping citizens to help themselves.  The focus now is in getting business owners weaned off of CF funding and to get them working with their own govt.
Basil Razzak, a bilingual, bicultural adviser with the Baghdad-7 ePRT, said that it took some adjusting for local farmers and businessmen to get used to the new economic model.  “Up until now, it was all supervised by the govt.  Everybody belonged to the govt,” Razzak said.  “I remember at one business assoc. meeting, the chairman said, [to Carbone] ‘You are our boss.’  Carbone said, ‘I’m not your boss. I’m here to help you and support you, but it’s your organization, and you can conduct your meeting as you
Razzak, a Canadian citizen who grew up in Baghdad and holds a degree in administration and economics from the University of Baghdad, said the capitalist spirit is slowly but surely taking hold here. “They are open to new ideas, Razzak said. “They realize the era of state-owned business is gone. They are willing to work and cooperate.”
Carbone said the stimulus CF provided to the local economy has already produced unexpected results.   “When they start to see these places opening with the help of CF, some of the people have come back and opened up on their own,” Carbone said. “That’s something we didn’t expect.”
Betts sees signs that businesses have returned to stay in the area.  He said the greatest benefit of the renewed prosperity was a population that was employed and able to meet their needs. “That’s the key to security.  People that are able to take care of themselves and their families are not out there planting bombs and killing people for money,” Betts said. “I want to see a strong economy, because that’s the cornerstone of stability.”


Hussen Jowd, a butcher in Arab Jabour, serves a sandwich at his newly renovated butcher shop and food stand.  Jowd received microgrants that enabled him to increase his stock and expand his business.


Iraqi Army Soldiers take weapons off streets in Sadr City

BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers uncovered weapons and munitions caches in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, June 4, as they continued conducting ops to increase the area’s safety.


Dragoon Regiment takes command in TOA ceremony

TIKRIT – The 2nd Stryker Cav Regt, known as the “Dragoon Regt,” took the reins of responsibility for the Diyala region of Iraq from the 4th Stryker BCT, “Raider Brigade,” during a Transition of Authority ceremony, June 1.
The Raider Bde cleared more than 40,000 kilometers of road, destroyed more than 2,100 IEDs and helped induct more than 12,000 Iraqis into SoI organization during its tour of duty.
“The 4th Stryker BCT gave the Iraqi people of the Diyala province hope,” said Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, cmdr. of MND-North. “Today, the Diyala region is flourishing, because of the efforts of the Raiders Bde.”
“It’s a great day to be in the cavalry and a great day to be a Dragoon,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Denny, deputy cmdr., 2nd Stryker Cav Regt. “We’re on the brink of great things in Diyala and must work hard to capitalize on them. (We must) keep up the pressure on AQI and other extremist orgs., and embrace your Iraqi counterparts, as we are surely united on a common struggle against tyranny and evil.”  The 2nd Cav Regt is the longest serving Cav Regt in the U.S.
“I recognize and appreciate what a great job the Raider Bde has done in the Diyala province and can assure you the Dragoons will continue the struggle for a free and democratic Iraq in a place whose importance cannot be underestimated,” said Denny. “The Dragoons accept this mission and will fight with our Iraqi partners.  We will move forward and take the Diyala province to the next level in a free and democratic Iraq.”


Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling salutes the American Flag during the playing of the American National Anthem.


Col. Jon S. Lehr, cmdr. of the 4th Stryker BCT, 2nd ID and Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Troxell of the 4th
Stryker BCT, 2nd ID fold up the “Raider” Brigade flag.


MND-B Soldiers find multiple weapons caches

BAGHDAD – June 4, Solders from 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, discovered 20 grenade fuses, a box of grenade parts, and 300 ammo rounds at approx. 12:20 p.m. northwest of Baghdad.
Soldiers found a 120mm mortar round, a rocket, an 81mm mortar round, 86 empty 107mm rocket casings, a base plate, timer fuses and detonation cord at approx. an hour later northwest of Bagdad.
At approx. 8:20 p.m. in the Shurta area of Rashid, Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, found 7 120mm mortar rounds and 34 boxes of 12.7mm ammo.


Troop Scoop 6/6/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 06 Jun 2008 09:23 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
Progress being made in women’s concerns at conference in Irbil.  General Patraeus visits Sadr City to view progress, and support the start of a Neighborhood Guard.   Great strides are being made to make sure people have potable water.  Increased security in Kirkuk allows for Inaugural Criminal Justice Conference, and in Mosul Iraqi SF builds trust with the people.  Weapons and criminals continue to be neutralized.

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

June 6 2008
MND-B Soldiers find weapons caches in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – June 4, Soldiers serving with the 1st BCT, 4th ID, seized 180 pounds of a conventional plastic explosive, in the West Rashid district of Baghdad at approx. 6 a.m.
Approx. 45 minutes later, Soldiers with the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, discovered a weapons cache in the Istaqlal area north of Baghdad. The items included a flak jacket, six AK-47s, 6 AK-47 magazines and numerous 7.62 mm rounds.


IA Soldiers find IEDs, IED-making materials, weapons caches in Sadr City

BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers seized and disposed of IEDs, IED-making materials and weapons caches in
the Sadr City district of Baghdad, June 4.
All 4 IEDs consisted of 3 “daisy-chained” 120 mm rounds buried underground.


Women’s conference held in Irbil

IRBIL – Members of the GoI, provincial govts and Coalition and Iraqi SF met June 4, to discuss the enfranchisement of women in Iraq.
The conference supports ops to strengthen the nation of Iraq, specifically addressing Iraqi women’s participation in the security, economic and political processes of Iraq. Topics covered during the conference include job opportunities, education, health and legal issues.


Gen. Petraeus visits MND-B troops


Gen. David Petraeus, the comm. gen. of MNF-Iraq, meets with one of the first members of the Sadr City Neighborhood Guard, June 4. The Neighborhood Guard is patterned after the successful SoI program created in other districts of Baghdad. It is designed to provide the members of the Guard the training necessary to help protect the neighborhoods where they live.


Gen. Petraeus and Dr. Barham Salih, the deputy prime minister of Iraq, walk through the bustling Jamilla Market to observe the resurgence of an important hub of commerce for a large portion of Baghdad.


Gen. Petraeus thanks a MND-Baghdad Soldier for his hard work and sacrifices in the recent weeks.


Gen. Petraeus meets with a local Sheik to discuss security, the Neighborhood Guard and revitalization of the surrounding community.


Patriot Bde assists with water distribution project

Staff Sgt. Matt Meadows

FOB LOYALTY – Baghdad Water Authority officials and Iraqi SF are about to begin bringing 9 Nissan residents truckloads of purified, potable water with a little assistance from Patriot Bde Soldiers from 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div (Lt).
A combined project, dubbed Patriot H2O, to establish 3 water-distribution sites and coordinate transportation to disburse water, began in late April and is scheduled to be complete around the middle of June.
The project entails distributing water to residents via BWA trucks, installing water tanks to support Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit operations to purify water, fixing water leaks to prevent cholera, and installing a waterline from Abu Nuwas pump station to a water treatment plant in Rasheed.
The Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit is a system that purifies water drawn from a raw-water source to provide one of three necessities of life, said Maj. Jeffrey Smith, who serves as brigade civil-military ops officer for 4th BCT.  “In addition to ROWPU operations, educating the populace is important for preserving this valuable resource as well as fixing water leaks and preventing and discouraging locals from illegally tapping the water lines as this generally causes more harm to the water system,” said Smith.  “Other projects, such as installing a waterline from Abu Nuwas raw-water pump station to the Rasheed Water Treatment Plant, will assist in bringing higher quality water to the end user through providing better quality water upstream from industrial complexes.
There is a water shortage in 9 Nissan, and an infrastructure to alleviate such water issues is not yet in place, said Capt. Benjamin Curtis, asst. civil-military ops officer for 4th BCT.
While Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged such water problems will be resolved by 2009, Curtis said he is looking for short-term solutions in the meantime.  “The problem is we have 2008 to worry about, so we came up with this plan to have water purification systems installed and to start a distribution network as a temporary stopgap,” said Curtis.
“They (local contractors) have been bringing small armies to the jobsite to get everything done,” said Curtis. “The contractors selected for the construction at each site are really good, and we’re extremely happy with everything they’ve done so far. They’ve got all the equipment needed – and then some.  What we’ve done with this project is we’re trying to build a sustainable network,” said Curtis. “People can stay hydrated and we can prevent cholera outbreaks because we’re drying up a lot of leaks.  It’s more of a humanitarian issue that we’ve tackled as an infrastructure issue, and we’ll see where it goes from there.  It’s an Iraqi issue; they identified the problem, along with us, and they helped identify a solution.  So we are all working in partnership with them to solve the problem. We are providing the means; they are providing the network to get the water out.”


A contracted Iraqi worker repairs a leaky waterline as a BWA engineer supervises at JSS Al Khansa in
eastern Baghdad, June 2.


Iraqi Security Forces build trust with local population

MOSUL – More than 1,000 Iraqi SF backed by CF, executed Op Spearhammer, a cordon and search op in
the central Mosul neighborhood of Al Farouk, which resulted in the appreciation of local residents.
Although neither detainees nor caches were discovered, the residents welcomed the IA into the area as a warning to insurgents that they are no longer welcomed.
“This is the largest combined dismounted op conducted to date and perhaps the largest to enter this neighborhood since 2003-2004,” said Maj. Thomas Feltey, EO 3rd Sqdrn, 3rd ACR.
The ISF and CF executing Eagle Roar, a cordon and search op in East Mosul received similar gratitude. One business owner said his home had recently been searched by IA forces and he was happy ISF were in the neighborhood.


Increased security gains in Kirkuk allow focus to expand to Rule of Law procedures

KIRKUK – Kirkuk Provincial Rule of Law judges and lawyers met with their key provincial and city police leadership during the inaugural Criminal Justice Conference at FOB Warrior in Kirkuk, May 29.
“The security gains of the region are evident — over a 70% decrease in violent attacks.  As a result, we can now begin our transition from a form of martial law to rule of law,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Brown, 1st Bde, 10th Mtn Div dep. cmdr.
“The 2 crucial stages of a case are the initial contact and determination that a crime has been committed by the police,” Chief Investigative Judge Othman said. “The second is the collection of evidence and the questioning of suspects. The manner in which the police and investigators handle those stages, could determine the outcome of that case.”
Kirkuk Provincial Police Chief Maj. Gen. Bakr, a former lawyer, agreed with the judges that better understanding between what is expected of police officers and additional training in interrogation procedures are necessary to safeguard the rights of Kirkuk’s citizens and ensure criminals are jailed.


The inaugural Criminal Justice Conference at FOB Warrior in Kirkuk.


Lt. Col. Kevin Brown and Jamal Bakr speak with Kirkuk Chief Judge Ahmad.


IA trains first class of Sadr City Neighborhood Guard recruits

by Sgt. Zach Mott

FOB WAR EAGLE – Programs such as the Awakening Movement in Anbar province and the SoI across parts of Baghdad and Iraq have played a critical role in those areas moving toward security and economic stability.
Soldiers with the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, recently conducted a recruiting effort in Sadr City for a similar program, known as the Neighborhood Guard.
More than 50 recruits from the Jamilla neighborhood of Sadr City spent 3 days at FOB War Eagle from June 2-4. They were trained on everything from common courtesies to weapons familiarization and military bearing.
“This is what’s going to get the IA out of the cities and eventually turn them over to police,” said Maj. Philip Halliburton, the MiTT chief for the 42nd Bde, 11th IA Div.
IA soldiers are leading the training for their eventual replacements. The instructors, who were mentored by MND-B Soldiers, don’t allow for even the smallest discrepancy to distract from their detailed instruction.
For many of these men, who range in age from late teens to late 40s, this is their first experience with military-style organization and discipline. The 3-day training requires the recruits to march to meals, stand in formation and speak only when spoken to.  Any deviations from this protocol are dealt with quickly.
“This is great training that will help us secure our neighborhood,” said Abdul Kassim, a 20-year-old former blacksmith and recruit from Jamilla.
When these new recruits take their posts, Halliburton said it will be a another sign the Iraqi people are providing security for themselves.  “Now it’s somebody they know providing security not just some nameless face,” he said.  “Anything that’s going wrong, they’ll be more inclined to share, because they live and work in that neighborhood.”


IA, MND-B Soldiers find multiple weapons caches

BAGHDAD – June 3, in the Karkh security district, IA Soldiers seized 2 rocket components, 2 RPGs, 2 MP-5 magazines and an armored vest.
Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 4th ID, discovered 6 60mm high-explosive mortar rounds, 2 82mm mortar rounds, 3 RPGs, 7 mortar tail booms and a grenade, in the Sadr City district of Baghdad.
IA Soldiers found an IED, 2 rocket warheads, 12 RPGs, an RPG launcher; approx. 4,000, 7.62mm rounds; 14 boxes of various ammo, a PKC and a AK-47, a rocket motor, 3 radios, 5 RPG motors, 4 blasting caps, 5 flak vests and 3 pounds of explosives, in the Baladiat area of New Baghdad.
A tip from an Iraqi citizen led Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 4th ID, to a weapons cache in Adhamiyah, consisting of 5 anti-personnel mines and a 57mm rocket.
In the Hadar area of Rashid, Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, seized 3 60mm mortar rounds, 2 60mm mortar tubes, homemade explosives, 5 grenades, 2 AK-47s, a blasting cap, 2 120mm mortars, an improvised rocket and 2 improvised rocket tubes.
IA Soldiers and Soldiers from 2nd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT), seized 21 82mm mortar rounds while conducting a joint patrol in the Shulla area of Kadhamiyah.
In the Khadra area of Kadhamiyah, IA Soldiers and Soldiers from 2-101 Abn. Div., found a 155mm mortar round, 3 100mm mortar rounds, 5 60mm mortar rounds, homemade explosives, a grenade, a mortar accelerant, detonation cord and a cell phone charger.


Raider Bde. Soldiers detain wanted criminals, seize munitions

BAGHDAD –  June 3, in the Doura neighborhood of the Rashid district in southern Baghdad, Soldiers from HHC, 2nd Bn, 4th Inf Regt, attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, captured 2 suspects at approx. 1:30 a.m. The detainees were wanted for allegedly committing crimes and acts of violence.
In the Abu T’shir community of southern Baghdad, Soldiers from the 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th ID,  captured a suspected criminal at approx. 3 p.m.
An hour later, Soldiers from Troop A, 7th Sqdrn, 10th Cav Regt, discovered 2 30mm mortar tubes, 3 60mm mortar rounds, 5 hand grenades, 2 AK-47 rifles, homemade explosives, various ammo and a blasting cap during a security patrol in the Karb de Gla region of southeastern Baghdad.  The Soldiers detained 5.


ISOF capture suspected AQI cell leader

BALAD –  In eastern Mosul, June 2, the ISOF conducted an op to capture a suspected terrorist who is believed to serve as an IED cell leader for AQI. The man is suspected of numerous VBIED attacks.