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.



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