Troop Scoop 7/1/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 01 Jul 2008 09:21 AM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
The media is invited to a July 4th mass re-enlistment ceremony.  Will we get to see it? An outstanding story of our troops resupplying remote FOBs.   Iraqi soldiers doing a good job keeping the streets of Amarah safe, while our troops give children a playground.  Kudos to “Beyond Orders” for their donation of a wheel chair.  Suspected AQIs detained throughout northern Iraq, and huge weapons and munition caches seized.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq

Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
Tons of Supplies, Thousands of Desert Miles

By Spc. Jason Jordan
1st BCT, 10th Mtn Div

A Convoy Security Element with Co A, traverses the mountainous terrain of northeastern Iraq’s Kirkuk province.
Photo by Spc. Jason Jordan.

KIRKUK — The night is quiet and the desert floor is still, but serenity can quickly turn into turmoil for the Convoy Security Element with the 1st Bde, 10th Mtn Div’s, 10th Bde Support Bn in northeastern Iraq.  Soldiers of Task Force Warrior’s 10th BSB, have been responsible for re-supplying remote FOBs, and Patrol Bases in an area approx. the size of Rhode Island in Kirkuk, since September.
These 10th BSB convoys consist of several military vehicles, along with 18-wheeled transportation trucks, and can often span as long as 3 miles. Each vehicle is equipped with state-of-the-art computer navigation systems.
“We are executing a classic ‘hub and spoke’ supply distribution system throughout AO Warrior,” Lt. Col. Joseph Novack, cmdr., 10th BSB said.  He describes the BSB supply points at FOB Warrior as the hub, “and the spokes that protrude from the hub represent the routes leading to the outlying bases,” he said.
The Soldiers face a daunting task, for their mission is fast-paced and never-ending; requiring detailed planning, coordination and execution. They are often long and perilous, with possible danger lurking everywhere.  “Our eyes are already searching the horizon before we even roll out of the gate,” said Pvt. Mick Knehans, Co. A., CSE driver, who fills in as lead driver.  “As the lead driver, I feel responsible for everyone following behind me.”  The full weight of that responsibility is understood by Knehans.  “I make it my duty to remain extra vigilant so that I might spot that ambush or that IED that might be lying ahead.”
“These Soldiers are quiet professionals as they go about conducting their mission everyday,” Novack said. “Most people do not realize the amount of effort that is required to sustain a BCT.”
The bn’s nickname is Sherpa, which derives from the ethnic group of people found in the mountainous region of Nepal, high in the Himalayas. They are often employed as guides for mountaineering expeditions there, particularly to Mt. Everest.  In keeping with their namesake, these unsung heroes of the Sherpa battalion sum up their mission with their motto, ‘Proud to Support’.
“The hours are long and the constant effort required for this type of mission can be demanding, but at the end of the day – the feeling of gratification that results when you brightened another person’s day is fully rewarding,” said 2nd Lt. Ries Bryon, 10th BSB Co. A, platoon leader.
The Sherpas have conducted more than 300 combat logistics patrols, accumulating more than 300,000 miles – transporting more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel, and over 2 million gallons of water – along with many other tons of supplies throughout the bde’s area of op, “without any single mission failing because of logistics during the entire deployment,” Novack said.


Iraqi Special Ops Forces, ISF search for weapons cache in Amarah

Screenshot_058 Iraqi SOF peacefully take to the streets of Amarah questioning local citizens as they search for criminals and weapons caches, June 28.  The GoI initiated a massive campaign to disrupt the criminal elements that are undermining the security of the city.
(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph W. Pfaff)


ISF detain nine suspected AQI members throughout northern Iraq

BALAD – IA Soldiers detained 5 suspected AQI believed to be leaders of a large-scale smuggling op, June 28. The suspects were detained at a suspected smuggling safe house in a village on the Syrian border northwest of Mosul.
In another op in Balad,  IA Soldiers detained a suspected AQI cell leader from the Rowad village area of Baghdad, June 27. The suspect, who was seeking refuge from Iraqi and CF’ clearing efforts in Baghdad, is believed to be involved in small-arms fire attacks against Iraqi and CF.  Another suspected criminal was also detained during the op.
In Samarra, approx. 125 km north of Baghdad, U.S. SOF recovered approx. 100 pounds of potassium nitrate bags from what is believed to be a former AQI safe house, June 26.
In Tikrit, the Tikrit SWAT unit conducted an op to disrupt criminals and foreign fighters, and AQI logistical capabilities, June 25.  SWAT discovered, and later destroyed, a fuel point believed to provide logistical capabilities to criminals in the western part of the Jazeera Desert-Thar Thar region.  During the same op, SWAT also found a possible AQI bed-down site.
In Bayji, 40 km northwest of Tikrit, the Bayji ESU detained two suspected criminals, one believed to be a
facilitator for AQI and the ISI, a front organization for AQI, June 23.  They also confiscated a small weapons cache consisting of anti-tank mines, RPGs, grenades, AK-47s, and over 5,000 assorted rounds of ammo.


MND-B Soldiers seize caches throughout Baghdad

BAGHDAD – MND – Baghdad Soldiers seized munitions as they conducted ops to increase security in Baghdad, June 29.
Soldiers with the 2nd Stryker Cav Regt, attached to 3rd BCT, 4th ID, seized 3 smoke grenades and 3 hand grenades in the Adhamiyah area of Baghdad at approx. 3:45 p.m.
Approx. 3 hours later, Soldiers with the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, seized an IED constructed from a 122 mm artillery shell north of Baghdad. The IED find was reported to the Soldiers by Iraqi NP.
Soldiers with the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, seized 2 EFPs in the Rusafa area of Baghdad at approx. 9:30 p.m.
Two hours later, Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID, found a 60 mm mortar launcher, an RPG launcher and an unknown machine gun in the West Rashid area of Baghdad.


Media Advisory: Operation Freedom Strong-Mass Reenlistment Ceremony

WHO:          All media
WHAT:       You are cordially invited to attend a mass reenlistment ceremony of more than 1,100 service members currently serving in Iraq.  This event will be the largest reenlistment ceremony ever held and will
have representatives from each branch of the services.  Currently, there are 155 female and 1,002 male service members scheduled to reenlist.  In addition, every U.S. State will be represented by a U.S. Army Reserve or National Guardsman.
WHEN:     9 a.m., July 4
WHERE:  Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory, Iraq
WHY:       Service members are continuing to reenlist at record rates despite multiple deployments.  This reenlistment ceremony will represent 5,506 years of cumulative service to the Nation.


IA Soldiers uncover large cache in Amarah

CAMP VICTORY – A tip by an Iraqi citizen led IA soldiers to a house containing a large cache of munitions and weapons in the al-Husayn district of Amarah, June 29.
The IA soldiers seized 217 RPGs, 354 blocks of C-4, more than 40 EFPs, 152 copper discs used for making EFPs and 6 surface-to-air missiles.  The weapons were found hidden throughout the house and on the roof.

Screenshot_059 A tip led IA soldiers to a large cache of munitions and weapons.


New Children’s Playground Opens in Saydiyah

By Capt. Mark Miller
4th Bn, 64th AR

Screenshot_061 Ali Nebid, rides a merry-go-round with children, after the opening of a playground on June 23 in the Saydiyah neighborhood of Baghdad’s Rashid District.
Photo by Capt. Mark Miller.

BAGHDAD — As daylights last remaining hours set over the horizon, and the summertime heat of Baghdad’s Rashid District lost the spike of its intensity; a crowd could be seen forming even from a distance.  It was a special day for the gathering of citizens and children from Saydiyah, a community located in the southern part of the Iraqi capital, as they gathered for the long-awaited official opening of a new playground in their neighborhood.
“I think the children will really enjoy this, and I am honored to be here at the official opening,” said Maj. Peter Sicoli, the exec. officer for the 4th Bn, 64th AR, attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID.
While the children played on the newest addition to their community, Nebid made it a point to thank CF.  “The people appreciate you being here, and I appreciate all the help from the Americans,” Nebid stated. “Not only with the logistics of helping to build this park, but for their assistance with the Iraqi SF to make this area safe enough for a park.”
Capt. Drew Betson, the cmdr. of Co A, is responsible for the Saydiyah area and has worked with the local support council as well as ISF to turn the playground idea into a reality. “These kids are great,” said Betson, as a crowd of children surrounded him speaking familiar English phrases.  “They deserve a place like this to enjoy just being kids.”
The families enjoyed the cooling effects of the covered benches while watching their children play.  This is not the first improvement that has occurred in recent months in Saydiyah. The “Tuskers” Bn, working in conjunction with Nebid and their ISF counterparts, have recently provided generated power for Saydiyah’s Tejara Street and opened a swimming pool.  More projects are tentatively scheduled to open in the future.


A Special Gift

Screenshot_064 Iraqi Soldiers assist a disabled man who cannot walk, by giving him a brand new wheelchair, in the Taji Qada, northwest o Baghdad, June 24, 2008.  The wheelchair was donated by Beyond Orders, a Florida-based organization that supports U.S. military members deployed.
Photo by Spc. Brian Pierce, 2nd Stryker Bde, 25th ID



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