Archive for June 30th, 2008

LATHAM – Two New York Army National Guard Soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, the Department of Defense announced Sunday.

Sergeant First Class Joseph McKay, 51, of Cambria Heights, Queens; and Specialist Mark Palmateer, 38, of Poughkeepsie; were killed shortly after 1 p.m. Afghan time.

Their humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device, small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades, while operating near Forward Operating Base Shank in Logar Province in eastern Afghanistan.

Both men were members of B Troop 2nd Squadron 101st Cavalry (Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition) which is based in Jamestown, Chautauqua County. Their unit was assigned to Afghan Regional Security Integration Command- East, (ARSIC-EAST) which is responsible for training the Afghan National Army in eastern Afghanistan.

A third Soldier, belonging to the Minnesota Army National Guard, Sergeant First Class Matthew Hilton, aged 37, of Livonia, Minnesota, was also killed in the attack.

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Troop Scoop 6/30/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 30 Jun 2008 08:20 AM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
It’s nice to read about our coalition mates, the Brits, helping in Basra.  Note the young Iraqi soldier playing soccer barefoot.  Gen. Petraeus visits our troops and bestows special coins on a few of our outstanding troops.  “Team Metallico” helps to restore Rusafa.  Huge weapons and munition caches seized, and many criminals captured.
Joanna
________________________________
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

June 30, 2008
British, Iraqi Army Soldiers build camaraderie through soccer

BASRA – Members of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and members of the 4 Bn, Royal Regiment of Scotland teamed up to take on Iraqi soldiers in a friendly soccer game in Basra, June 26.
The soldiers spend most of their days sweating it out in vehicles or on checkpoints in various parts of Basra, but the game gave them a chance to sweat it out in a less stressful environment and have some fun together. The event drew a large crowd of spectators made up of officers and enlisted soldiers from both forces.
The Iraqis won the match 3 to 0 on the field and were awarded a trophy for their efforts.  Afterwards, the players from both teams were treated to a barbecue where British and Iraqi officers served the players.
The event gave British and Iraqi Soldiers a chance to get away from daily patrols and checkpoint ops as well as build a closer relationship through sports.

Screenshot_052
A British Soldier makes a quick break down the wing as an IA soldier attempts to prevent any pass into the middle.  The 2 forces work together every day maintaining security in the streets of Basra.

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MNF-I CG visits, recognizes outstanding warfighters in MND-N

TIKRIT – Gen. David Petraeus, the comm. gen. of MNF-Iraq, visited Mosul, June 28.  During his visit, Petraeus personally recognized the tremendous work done by 18 servicemembers stationed at FOB Marez and Diamondback.  He presented each with one of his commander’s coins.
“Today, the honor is to give you my coin, with my thanks, which reads; ‘not just for excellence, but for excellence in combat,’ because that is what you have all demonstrated,” the general said.
“It was a neat experience,” said Spc. David Nielsen, with 552nd MP Co., 728th MP Bn. “It shows that he cares what we’re doing as Soldiers.”
“This is a first-time experience for me, but it is good to see all the younger guys get recognized for their great work out here,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kirk Chambers, with 7th Bde, 2nd Div IA MiTT.

Screenshot_053
Gen. David Petraeus prepares to award his coin to Spc. David Nielsen. Nielsen was recognized for his motivation to volunteer and his dedication in improving the IP stations.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Karla P. Rodriguez Maciel)
Screenshot_054 Gen. Patraeus, speaks to a formation of 18 service  members about to receive his coin.

Screenshot_055 Gen. Patraeus presents Sgt. 1st Class Kirk Chambers his coin for excellence in combat.

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NPs, SoI, MND-B Soldiers seize weapons, munitions in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – June 28, Soldiers with the 1st Sqdrn, 2nd Stryker Cav Regt, seized 13 hand grenades, M-4
mags, 5.56 mm tracer rounds and armor-piercing ammo in Adhamiyah at approx. 1 p.m. after a tip by a SoI
member.
Five hours later, Soldiers from the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, along with Iraqi NP, seized a variety of materials used by crimminals in multiple locations in the New Baghdad district of Baghdad.
At approx. 9:30 p.m., SoI members in West Rashid turned over a munitions cache to Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID. The cache was wrapped in plastic and contained 107 mm rockets, 7 RPG propellant sticks, and 82mm mortars.

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ISF arrest seven suspected IED bombers

BALAD – Iraqi SF arrested 4 suspected Special Groups criminals and 3 other suspected criminals around central Iraq, June 24-26.  The criminals are believed to be Iranian surrogates responsible for IED, EFP and indirect fire attacks.
One of the criminals is said to be an expert IED builder responsible for killing Sunnis. The other suspect is an Iranian-trained sniper and weapons facilitator for the Special Groups.
Three suspected AQI criminals were detained on warrants issued by the Ministry of Interior.  According to
the warrants, the suspects are allegedly responsible for killing Sunnis, IED attacks against Iraqi Security and CF, and local intimidation. The individuals are believed to be some of the last remaining AQI elements in this part of Baghdad.
The Hillah SWAT team arrested a suspected Special Groups criminal in an area approx. 95 km southeast of Baghdad, June 26. The suspect is allegedly responsible for overseeing IED emplacement and attacks against CF in southern Babil.  It has been reported that the criminal is also responsible for all Special Groups criminals’ weapons coming into Babil province.

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Iraqi forces detain AQI member, prevent attacks

BALAD – Baqubah Emergency Response Force detained a suspected AQI member in Udaim, approximately 112 km north of Baghdad, during an op in which 2 structures rigged with explosives were destroyed, June 28.
ERF conducted the op to disrupt AQI’s movement and decrease their intimidation attacks on the local Iraqis in the Udaim River Valley area.  They detained the suspected terrorist, because he is believed to be part of a mortar and rocket cell that targets Iraqi Security and CF, and local citizens.
During the op, ground intel indicated that 2 buildings were rigged with IEDs and posed a threat to ground forces. ERF cleared the buildings of all occupants before air support fire was requested and destroyed the 2 structures.
Iraqi SF are providing security to the area in efforts to deny AQI from maintaining a sanctuary in the Udaim River valley region.

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National Police seize nearly 200 weapons

BAGHDAD – Iraqi NP seized nearly 200 weapons during search ops in the New Baghdad security district of eastern Baghdad, June 29, including 172 AK-47 rifles, 4 AK-22 rifles, 3 SKS rifles, 3 bolt-action rifles, 2 air-gun rifles, an MP-5 sub-machinegun, an RPK machinegun and 8 pistols.
“The NP are more vigilant than ever in enforcing a weapons free zone to protect the citizens of Baghdad,” said Maj. Joey Sullinger, a spokesperson for 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div (Lt), MND – Baghdad.  “Successful missions such as this bolster the people’s confidence in the SF that provide them safety and security, and it sends a message to militants that their days of uninhibited intimidation are over.”

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‘Team Metallica’ Helps Rebuild Rusafa

By Capt. Jabbar Colbert

Screenshot_057 Spc. Lucas Peterson talks to a group of Iraqi boys during a routine patrol in the Rusafa security district of eastern Baghdad.

FOB LOYALTY — Although they are not who most people would call average war fighters, their mission is just as vital for survival. They conduct patrols, but their primary mission is not combat related. “Team Metallica” is charged with assisting local governance to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens throughout the Rusafa security district of eastern Baghdad. The team consists of 3rd Sqdrn, 89th Cav Regt, 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div Soldiers specifically selected to handle reconstruction efforts.  A civil affairs team, a tactical ops team and a security element encompasses Team Metallica that allows them to operate independently.
“We mentor, coach and teach the civic leaders on ways to make their neighborhoods a better and safer place to live,” said Maj. John Schulz, civil affairs team leader. “Once we set the conditions, we let the Iraqis work amongst themselves to solve their own issues.”
Under the direction of Capt. Timothy Green, serving as sqdrn effects officer,, Team Metallica plays a vital role in rebuilding Rusafa.  According to Green, the team has aided rebuilding efforts in Rusafa, including projects to pave streets, issue business micro-grants and fund SoI) programs. Team Metallica recently helped to coordinate the first Al Fadhl Neighborhood Advisory Council meeting.  A direct result of this meeting was a street-curb improvement project conducted a week later, according to Green.
One future project on which Team Metallica is working includes a micro-power generating project for some of Rusafa’s poorest areas.  “We were able to start a micro-power generating project in one of the most ignored neighborhoods in Rusafa,” said Schulz. “Thousands of residents from Muhallas 125, 127 and 129 will not have to live in the dark (any longer).” The first of three ribbon cutting ceremonies will occur the second week of July, said Schulz.
Although Team Metallica handles traditional tasks such as giving soccer balls to children, they specialize in long-term projects that assist the Iraqi govt in addressing issues for themselves.  “This will allow the US (Soldiers) to return home sooner, knowing that the job of country rebuilding is being done by Iraqis,” said Shulz.

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It was an honor to be able to take part in my first PGR memorial mission honoring Sgt Anthony L. Mangano of Long Island who was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq on June 21, 2008. I am sure that Sergeant Mangano would be pleased at the brave, resolute yet emotional sendoff he received from his family and friends. Representatives of the New York State Police, Suffolk and Nassau County Police, Members of the NY State National Guard, and ourselves, the Patriot Guard were all there.

The long motorcade and ceremony at the National Cemetery came off without a hitch due in no small part to the efforts of the Suffolk County Police and the Army representatives coordinating the services.

Four Fire districts arranged their tower ladders in an impressive display outside the entrance to the National Cemetery with huge flags suspended in air between the ladders. Uniformed firemen and police stood at attention holding salutes while Sgt. Mangano, his family and friends and the entire motorcade passed by. It was a tremendously moving show of respect for our fallen hero that will forever remain in my memory.

My few pictures of the event are here.

I took no pictures during the flag line as it was important to me to dedicate that time in silent prayer for Sgt, Mangano, all of our fallen heroes and all who are standing for us to protect our freedom around the world.

It was also an honor to meet so many of the Patriot Guard who have been standing in respect to honor these men and women.

Rest in Peace Sgt. Mangano, your mission is complete.

Media report from Newsday.
Media report from News12 Long Island.

Dan Maloney
NY State Coordinator
Gathering of Eagles

This is the first annual fund raiser put on by US Veterans MC and will raise funds for Jacob’s Light Foundation, a charitable organization which ships care packages to our troops in harm’s way.  If you can make it to Brentwood on a friday night drop in and demonstrate your support for the troops with a great bunch of patriots!

Who:   US Veterans MC
What:   Fundraiser BBQ
Where:  American Legion Post , Brentwood, NY
MapLink:  http://tinyurl.com/4wqa3h
When:  Friday, August 29, 2008, 7pm
Donation:  $15/person

Music by Priority Disorder, DJ-Spock.
50/50 Raffle, Door Prizes, Chinese Auction

Jacob’s Light Foundation sends large care packages to our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
http://www.jacobsprogram.org/