Troop Scoop 7/4/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 04 Jul 2008 09:23 AM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
On this July 4th, we honor our troops serving in harms’ way, and carrying forth the torch of freedom, handed to them be past heroic veterans, while keeping us safe at home.  Ours and Iraqi troops make an effort to keep the children safe.  Our troops are busy helping to revitalize Sadr City neighborhoods.  Many criminals detained, as well as a sweep of AQI terrorists across Iraq.  Weapons and munition caches seized by troops at all hours.

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

July 3, 2008

‘Regulars’ Assess Reconstruction Programs in Sadr City

By Sgt. Philip Klein
3rd BCT, 4th ID

Lt. Col. Brian Eifler takes a moment during his patrol to spend some time with local children, July 2.
Photo by Sgt. Philip Klein.

BAGHDAD — Soldiers with 1st Bn, 6th Inf Regt, 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div, patrolled the Sadr City neighborhoods of Thawra 1 and Thawra 2 to assess reconstruction, security gains and ongoing projects that are revitalizing one of Baghdad’s important districts, July 2.
Task Force 1-6, currently attached to 3rd BCT, 4th ID, along with Iraqi SF, is tasked with rejuvenating Sadr City, which suffered greatly due to the extremist activities in past months.  Lt. Col. Brian Eifler, comm. officer of Task Force 1-6, which is based out of Baumholder, Germany, said he realizes the importance of the mission in a district that is critical to the general security of Baghdad and Iraq.  “People are happy when they have jobs and feel safe, and that is what we are trying to accomplish with our partners in the GoI and the IA,” said Eifler.  “With the GoI, we are pumping money into the Sadr City community to create jobs, repair damaged infrastructure, and provide security to help get the lives of these people back to normal,” he continued.
Eifler expanded on the efforts by singling out projects designed to get basic services in place such as reconstruction, electricity and sanitation.  “People are now feeling secure and have a renewed confidence in the GoI to help out with general repair and cleanup as well as provide security, and we are trying to facilitate the GoI in these endeavors,” said Eifler.
Spc. Pedro Gonzalez, a Soldier with the personal security detachment of Task Force 1-6, said he has noticed a big difference in the response from the local citizens.  “We are welcomed in the streets whenever we do a patrol or stop by to visit a local business,” said Gonzalez.  “The people, and especially the kids, are always glad to see us when we come by. They know that we are trying to help improve their living conditions, and their response is because they are tired of the violence and want to live a normal life.”


MND-B Soldiers detain seven suspected criminals

BAGHDAD – July 2 in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad, at approx. 11:30 p.m. Soldiers from the 4th ID working with Iraqi SF, conducted a search op and detained 7 suspected criminals in the Risalah neighborhood.
“This is my third tour in Iraq and one of the biggest things I noticed on this tour was the improvement in the Iraqi SF,” said Col. Ted Martin, cmdr. and spokesperson with the 1st BCT, 4th ID.  “The ISF partnered with us are professionally trained and well-led forces, who  are doing a great job in the Rashid district.”


Quick Reaction Force 2 discovers caches near Karmah

KARMAH – While on patrol near the city of Karmah, 1st IA (QRF)) discovered a substantial weapons cache, July 1 which included 160 60 mm mortars, 60 82 mm mortars, 8 120 mm rounds, 5 40 mm projectiles, a 60 mm mortar base, 15 kilograms of TNT, 2 RPGs, 6 SpG-9 rockets, 70 rockets of different types, 150 120 mm mortar fillings, 100 60 mm mortar fillings, 100 60 mm mortar stabilizing fins, 40 120 mm mortar stabilizing fins, 4 SpG-9 rocket fillings and a hand-grenade.


MND-B Soldiers seize munitions throughout Baghdad

BAGHDAD –  July 1, Soldiers serving with the 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, found 80 cans of anti-air rounds, 5 rockets, 17 rocket tubes and several tubes of various sizes at approx. 9 a.m. north of Baghdad.
Soldiers from the 2nd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT), seized a RPG with launcher, mortar rounds, a PKC and a 180mm mortar round in the Mansour district., at approx. 12:20 p.m.
Approx. one hour later, Soldiers with 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div., seized 7 mortar rounds in the Rusafa area.
At approximately 4:40 p.m., Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 4th ID, found a full AK-47 mag., a pistol belt, a vest with magazine pouches, a washing machine timer, a bayonet and a primer connected to a power source in the Adhamiyah area.
Soldiers from 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, found 2 flash bang grenades disassembled with fuses, an RPG sight, multiple AK-47s, 48 magazines, 8 plate carriers with plates and an unopened box of 7.62mm ammo in the Rusafa area at approx. 5:30 p.m.
Approx. one hour later, Soldiers with the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., found 2 Austrian artillery rounds, 2 5-kilogram bags of TNT, a license plate and 2 steel barriers in new Baghdad.


MND-B Soldiers, IA Make Effort to Protect Iraqi Children

By Pfc. Lyndsey R. Dransfield
2nd Styker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division

An IA Soldier speaks with a father and son from the city of Nadeem, northwest of Baghdad, June 26, about the dangers of al-Qaida recruiting children to join their forces.
Photo by Pfc. Lyndsey Dransfield.

CAMP TAJI — Children, at times, are easy targets for criminals and terrorists.  Not only are they the victims of attacks, they are now the victims of recruitment into dangerous organizations.  Since the liberation of Iraq in 2003, there have been several incidents of al-Qaida using children to conduct their terrorist activities.
Soldiers from 4th Plt, Co C, 1st Bn 14th Inf Regt, 2nd Stryker BCT “Warrior,” 25th ID, joined with the IA to reach out to children and their families by conducting a patrol throughout the Mushada area, northwest of Baghdad, passing out flyers and speaking with the locals of the city.
“At first the people that we made contact with were apprehensive to talk to us,” said Sgt. 1st Class Steve Purvis, plt sgt with Co C.  “But when they realized we were there to inform them and about recent ploys to exploit their children, and that we care about them and their children, they were more receptive and openly began to talk with us.”
Not only were they successful in informing the families, but Sgt. John Mulcahy, team sgt attached to 1st Bn said they also had success in having their message distributed by the local religious leader, or imam.
“By people seeing the IA serving and protecting them, it shows that their country is growing stronger,” said Purvis.
“Everybody knows that Soldiers love children,” Purvis stated. “By using children al-Qaida is trying to exploit their innocence against us.  The children of Iraq are the future of the country.”


Funding Shapes Operating Environment

By 1st Lt. Travis Hayes
4th BCT, 3rd ID

Screenshot_084 Work continues, June 24, on a bridge in Khidr.
Photo by Maj. Sean Hood.

FOB ISKAN — CF continue to help communities in Iraq shape the environment through project revitalization, grants, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
Currently, 3rd Bn, 7th Inf Regt’s area of op has 25 ongoing projects aimed at improving local economies and creating employment opportunities.  Of those, 23 are enduring infrastructure projects.  The majority of the funding is through the GoI Cmdrs Emergency Response Program.
“(Iraqi citizens) consistently come up to us, thanking us for the new buildings and school renovations that we’ve been working on,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Combs, 3-7th Inf. Regt. engineer NCO-in-charge. “It’s great to see the smiles on the Iraqi people’s faces after the completion of projects.  Sheikhs tell us we’ve made the towns and cities here better than they ever were.  It’s been very fulfilling to be a part of this,” said Combs.
The Abu Lukah Civil Service Corps, one of the many newly established programs, is expected to begin operation within the next week.  The CSC is an outlet for SoI members to transition from manning checkpoints to developing skills that will enable them to work as skilled laborers.  After a year of training and testing, each trainee will receive a start-up tool kit for his assigned skill. This program will develop Iraqi citizens into skilled laborers, which will allow them to compete in their local towns and cities for contracts and become self-sufficient.
A second initiative, which awards micro grants to qualified start-up and pre-existing business owners, is positively impacting local economies.  Thirty-two micro grants have been awarded through CERP funds. “Once you achieve security, it’s all about creating conditions for employment and economic growth, and this is what we’re helping to do by jump-starting businesses and building town halls and civic centers,” said 1st Lt. Allen Von Plinsky, 3-7th inf. Regt. engineer.



Al-Qaeda attacks averted across Iraq

BAGHDAD – A precision op in Baghdad July 2 netted a man assessed to be the leader of multiple AQI cells in the Southern Belt around the city. The suspect is believed to be responsible for bombings, kidnappings and attacks against CF. Also July 2, CF in Baghdad detained a man suspected of involvement in the AQI propaganda network.
In Mosul July 3, CF captured an alleged terrorist leader and one suspected associate.  The alleged leader is assessed to oversee kidnappings, assassinations and extortion ops.
CF targeted an AQI foreign terrorist facilitator July 3 near Ribat, a town along the Euphrates River near the Iraq-Syria border.  As the force secured the building, a terrorist ran to the back and barricaded himself in a room with a weapon, and was killed.  The terrorist was later identified as the targeted individual, who helped foreign terrorists cross into Iraq to conduct attacks.  Three additional suspects were detained.
In Sharqat, about 90 km south of Mosul, CF targeted the leader of a local AQI cell Thursday.  When the force called for occupants of a building to surrender, 2 people complied but one man refused to follow CF’ instructions, was engaged and killed.  On the roof, CF discovered a suicide vest, and outside the building, they found an underground tunnel. They safely destroyed the explosives, tunnel, and detained 3 suspected terrorists in the op.



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