Archive for June 23rd, 2008

Troop Scoop 6/22/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 22 Jun 2008 11:54 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
Soccer may not be our troop’s game, but when you see their faces, they always come out winners!  As security improves and the economy offers hope, more and more Iraqis are turning away from violence, thanks to the success of reconciliation programs.  The Gulf Region South Corps of Engineers is playing a big role in infrastructure rebuilding.  An orphanage and senior center sounds like a winning combination.  Huge weapons and munition caches continue to be seized, as well as criminals and terrorists.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

June 22, 2008
Iraqi Army maintains security on streets of Basra

BASRA – The IA displayed its commitment to the security situation in Basra as elements conducted the 14th  phase of Op Charge of the Knights.
The Op saw a number of Vehicle Check Points established by the IA with inspections carried out on every vehicle that passed through.  In addition, numerous houses were searched leading to multiple detaining of suspected militants.  More than 130 rounds of 150 mm High Explosive shells were also found in the northern section of the city.
The 50th, 51st and 52nd Brigades continue to be mentored by their respective UK MiTT, which are embedded with their Iraqi counterparts offering advice and guidance on request.


Local nationals, SoI members battle MND-N Soldiers in soccer

Screenshot_001 Abu Saif, mayor of Multaka, (right), presents a trophy to a Soldier from the 1st Bde, 10th Mtn Div after a soccer match between the Soldiers and local nationals June 19, in Multaka. This was the third game in a five game series for the 1-87th Inf. Regt., as they seek to promote the human side of the U.S. Soldier, the non combatant, said the 1-87 Cmdr Lt. Col. Christopher Vanek.

Screenshot_002 Maj. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, Task Force Iron comm. gen., thanks an Iraqi player for his contribution to an 8-0 victory over Soldiers from the 1st Bde. The victors were comprised of Iraqi citizens, SoI members
and die-hard soccer players.


Salah ad Din province leaders, Coalition forces discuss reconciliation plan

TIKRIT – Leaders from the provincial govt of the Salah ad Din province along with their Coalition partners from the 1st BCT, 101st Abn Div, met in Tikrit to discuss broadening the reconciliation process in the area.
“Reconciliation is the process where men who have been fighting Iraqi and CF renounce violence and pledge loyalty to the GoI,” said Maj. Bill Rice, civil affairs officer and a spokesperson for the 1st BCT.   “As we expand reconciliation throughout the province, there are a lot of provincial level security, and legal and judicial entities that need to be coordinated.”
The reconciliation process began in May, when more than 500 former fighters turned themselves into Iraqi SFy and CF in the city of Balad.  The fighters chose to be accountable to the GoI for their actions by first initiating contact with ISF or CF.  In order to prevent misunderstandings, cross-judicial confusion and legal delays, it became necessary to coordinate reconciliation efforts at all levels of govt and security, said Rice.
“I think there are a lot of guys out there who placed IEDs or allowed somebody to hide caches on their farms to earn money to support their families as the economy collapsed. They have spent the last 3 or 4 years hiding from Iraqi and CF, thinking that they are wanted men, when in many cases they’re not,” said Rice.  “This is an opportunity for those men to come forward.  If they are or think they are fugitives, they are going to be existing on the fringes of society, and their economic and political potential is going to be
severely limited as Iraq begins to recover.”


Engineers detain criminals

TIKRIT – Soldiers with the 18th Eng. Bde captured 4 criminals during a route clearance mission south of Tikrit, June 20.
Helicopter recon observed several suspects digging on the shoulder of the highway and directed the nearby engineers to inspect the site.  As they drove to the location, the criminals split up and fled on foot, but were intercepted by the Soldiers.  Four men were detained at nearby farm buildings who tested positive for explosive residue. The Soldiers also found a vehicle belonging to the men that contained a large amount of cash and a small circuit tester.


Project HOPE for Basra children

BASRA – Gulf Region South Corps of Engineers is working with Iraqi construction firms to build the Basra Children’s Hospital, while Project Health Opportunities for People Everywhere, or HOPE, is adding its own
support by donating equipment.  Project HOPE has taken on the responsibility of equipping the facility and training the hospital staff.
Sharon Steele works with Project HOPE and visited the Basra Children’s Hospital June 20. She went on a tour of the site with GRS engineers and architects to examine how the facility is progressing.  Nine Iraqi construction firms are working together with coordination by GRS to build the hospital. Once completed, the hospital will have over 90 beds for patients and on site housing for staff.
BCH will operate primarily as a pediatric cancer treatment facility. The help of Project HOPE for equipment and medical training for the staff keeps the hospital on schedule to open for patients in February 2009.


Members of the Gulf Region South Corps of Engineers and Sharon Steele of Project HOPE, pose in the
main entryway to Basra Children’s Hospital.


ISF, MND-B Soldiers detain two suspected criminals, find weapons

BAGHDAD –  IA Soldiers partnered with the 1st BCT, 4th ID, found 2 60 mm mortar rounds, 10 RPGs, 3 RPG launchers, an anti-personnel rocket and 5 fuses in the Saydiyah neighborhood, June 19.
Soldiers from the 22nd Inf. Regt., attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, responded to a tip and detained a suspected criminal in the Saha neighborhood at approximately 1 a.m., June 20.
Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, conducted a search and detained a suspected criminal at approx. 3 a.m. in the Risalah area.


New facility to accommodate orphans, elderly

IRBIL – It seems that in many developing countries, groups like orphans and the elderly receive little attention or are completely forgotten.  However, this is not the case in Iraq.  Here, the Kurdistan Regional Govt and the US Corps of Engineers clearly understand the importance of helping deprived individuals in need.
A decaying orphanage was built in the heart of Irbil in the mid 1960s and was a mere structure for the orphans to call home.  But in 2007, nearly 40 years after the orphanage opened, the KRG and USACE
closed down the facility and paved the way for a new center for orphans and the elderly, dubbed the Irbil Orphanage and Senior Center.
“This is a packaged project consisting of an administration building, a multipurpose center and resident buildings,” said Jalal, the chief engineer behind the project.  What makes this a unique project is the local govt wanted to give the residents a home-like environment while they stay at the center, Jalal said.
Slated for completion at the beginning of September, the center will provide care for 145 orphans and 60 elderly.  “Everything has been thoroughly planned out,” said Midhat, the project manager for the center.
Boys and girls will be able to interact with each other when using the multipurpose hall. The massive multi-story structure will be the meeting point where children can let loose and enjoy themselves from acting in a play at the hall’s stage to getting creative in the art room.
If the patrons of the new center can’t find what they’re looking for inside the hall, then surely they will find it outside on the soccer field or somewhere along the swimming pool. “We talked to the directors to see what they needed,” Midhat said.  “They expressed the need for a swimming pool.”
The residence for the elderly is equipped with an entrance ramp, an elevator and handrails to assist them when using the restrooms.  The senior center is also staffed with nurses to assist the elderly when needed.
“This is a humanitarian project,” Midhat concluded.  “This is a gift for our people.”


ISF seizes three major caches in Amarah operation

BAGHDAD – The ISF have discovered 19 caches so far during the op.
The first cache was discovered in a cemetery outside of the city, which contained more than 240 RPG warheads, approx. 250 mortar rounds and more than 675 anti-tank mines.  Several rocket launchers were also found in the cache as well as EFP components.
A second cache was discovered in a militia HQ building in the downtown area of Amarah. The cache consisted of EFPs, 60 mm rounds, more than 50 82 mm rounds, 122 mm rounds, more than 40 155 mm rounds, several homemade bombs and anti-tanks rounds.
Iraqi SF also discovered another cache consisting of 82 mm mortar tubes, approx. 70 82 mm mortar rounds and approx. 100 60 mm mortar rounds.


Good News from Cookie at the Cook Shack

Well Sir, I had planned on puttin up a post individually thanking everyone who had donated and helped the Military Courtesy Room. I was only going to list first names and your area of the country, however, the list has grown far too large and expansive.

So…I’ll begin by simply saying …..THANK YOU ALL!

So much has happened that this might take awhile. From the immediate moment of my posting of our need for a Military Courtesy Room at the Syracuse International Airport, contributions from you great folks ALL over these United States started pouring in. To say the least, we, Loren Davies, Leroy Bowen and myself were truly overwhelmed by the depth of your generosity.

Folks and corporations from across this great country of ours donated everything from $10.00, to $500.00, and every bit of it is sorely needed. Assistance in other forms also came in, for instance, “Joanne” from Long Island, contacted Dan Maloney from “A Gathering of Eagles” who reposted about our project. From Dan’s post, another wonderful person named Mary Ann Reitano from the Syracuse area contacted us and offered assistance on several fronts. BTW, “Joanne“, I couldn’t get a personal message of thanks to you through your blogsite.

Read the whole thing here because it get even better!