Troop Scoop 7/5/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 05 Jul 2008 11:31 AM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
Another story of the mass troop re-enlistment with an inspiring picture.  Iraqi soldiers demonstrate capabilities performing successful missions on their own.  With the help of US and British troops, a new school opens with endearing pictures, and Marines come to the rescue of a 5 year old boy.  Many criminals detained or killed, and weapons and munition caches seized.
Joanna
___________________________________________
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

July 5, 2008
Troops Re-enlist on Independence Day

Screenshot_004 1,215 Service members from all over Iraq gather in the Al Faw Palace rotunda on Camp Victory, to re-enlist and celebrate America’s Independence Day, July 4, 2008.

BAGHDAD —  All 1,215 service members celebrated by raising their right hand and pledging to continue defending the ‘land of the free’ in what is the largest re-enlistment ceremony since the all-volunteer force began in 1973, according to the MNF – Iraq Command Sgt Maj, Marvin L. Hill.
“Volunteering to continue to serve our nation, while deployed – is both noble and inspiring,” said Gen. David Petraeus, comm. gen., MNF – Iraq. “It is, as award citations often state, in keeping with the finest traditions of our military services.”
Petraeus presided over the ceremony and led the airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers in their oath to defend their country against all enemies both foreign and domestic on this day of celebration of America winning its independence.
“We recognize the sacrifices they make and the sacrifices their families and communities make as they serve in Iraq,” Hill said. “These service members know the cost of war and they are still re-enlisting
“It makes me feel proud to serve this great nation,” said Spc. Zackary Cunningham, mechanic, 602nd Maintenance Bn, Tactical Base Balad, who plans on making the Army a career.
The re-enlistees have every right to feel proud, according to Petraeus. “You and your comrades here have been described as America’s new greatest generation, and, in my view, you have more than earned that description,” Petraeus said. “It is the greatest of honors to soldier here with you.”

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ISOF, ISF demonstrate capabilities through independent operations

BALAD – For more than a month, elements within the Iraqi SOF and elite units of Iraqi SF have conducted independent missions throughout the Baghdad area capturing known Special Groups criminals and seizing illegal weapons.  Prior to current ops, these forces normally worked alongside their U.S. SF counterparts.
Now, ISOF and ISF solely plan and execute their own missions capturing Special Groups criminals and recovering weapons caches in Sadr City, Al Kut and Falil areas of Baghdad.

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ISFs, ISOFs detain 7 suspected Special Groups criminals in 2 separate ops in Amarah

BAGHDAD – In one op, the Baghdad NER Unit simultaneously entered 3 houses, capturing 5 suspected Special Groups criminals. The Ministry of Interior had issued warrants for the arrest of the suspects accused of financing other Special Groups members and carrying out attacks in Amarah 3 months ago.
During a separate op, ISOF captured 2 individuals suspected of being Iranian surrogates who had warrants for their arrest. One of the individuals is believed to have killed an ISOF soldier by running him over with a car and then shooting him.

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Ramadi, Fallujah SWAT capture three suspected AQI cell members near Fallujah

BALAD – July 2, the 2 SWAT units conducted a joint op to capture key AQI facilitators suspected of providing VBIEDs to criminal groups. Two of the suspects are accused of facilitating the VBIEDs, and the other suspect is accused of making the VBIEDs.
The Iraqi SWAT teams planned the op using the GoI’s judicial system to obtain arrest warrants for these individuals based on evidence they gathered.

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MND-B Soldiers detain 5 suspected criminals

BAGHDAD – Soldiers from the 64th Armor Regt, attached to 1st BCT, 4th ID, conducted a search op and
detained 4 suspected criminals wanted for weapons smuggling, extortion and roadside bomb activity at approx. 11 p.m., July 3, in the Saydiyah community.
At approx. 3:30 a.m., July 4, Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID, conducted an op and detained 1 suspected
criminal also in the Saydiyah neighborhood.
Maj. Dave Olson, spokesman, 1st BCT, said  “Due to the relentless pursuit of the enemy as well as finding numerous weapons caches, the Brigade has reduced the average daily attack levels from 5 per day in April to 2 attacks in June in the Rashid district.  Because of this success in security, the Iraqi citizens are beginning to understand what independence from tyranny is all about. ”

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New school opens in Umm Qasr

BASRA – British and U.S Forces helped cut the ribbon on the brand new Abi Ferras School in the port city of Umm Qasr, June 30.
Mr. Karim, the school’s principle, organized the ceremony.  Weekly planning meetings between MNF and the Town Council aim to address any concerns regarding other essential services in the district.
Any port city requires a dedicated workforce and stable community in order to truly thrive and Umm Qasr is no different. The surrounding area has seen significant change over the past few months.  Initiatives running include improvements to hospital facilities, water treatment plants, schools and recreation areas.
The port city of Umm Qasr continues to grow and prosper as the Iraqi Army has taken control of the area.

Screenshot_001 Mr. Karim is assisted by members of British and U.S. Forces who were on hand to donate supplies to the brand new school.

Screenshot_002
A British soldier plays with Iraqi Children.

Screenshot_003 These Iraqi children living in Umm Qasr have a brand new school to attend.

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MND-B Soldiers detain suspected IED maker in Rashid district

FOB FALCON –  July 3, at approx. 11:15 a.m., Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained the suspect in the Masafee community.  During a search of his home and workplace, the patrol found a substantial amount of bomb-making components.

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ISF, MND-B Soldiers seize weapons in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – July 3, at approx. 6:30 a.m., Iraqi NP working with Soldiers from the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div confiscated 25 AK-47s, 2 SKS 7.62 mm semi-automatic machine guns, an SMG machine gun with drum, a PKC machine gun Drum, a radar pole and uniforms.
Later in the day, IA soldiers working with Soldiers from 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID discovered a cache of weapons consisting of 8 57 mm mortar rounds that had been converted to IEDs with initiators; 16, 82 mm mortar rounds; 3 122 mm mortar rounds; 100, 14.8 mm rounds; and 111, 25 mm rounds north of Baghdad at approx. 3 p.m.

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A Broken Heart Mending in Fallujah

By Cpl. Chris T. Mann
Regimental Combat Team – 1

Screenshot_006
Five-year-old Ahmed and his father, Warrant Officer Othman Mallouki, an IP with Fallujah HQ District, get ready to leave the Joint Command Center after a visit with Marines from Co B, Police Transition Team 8, RCT 1, June 21. Marines with the team are working with the family to arrange transportation for Ahmed’s surgery in Jordan.
Photo by Cpl. Chris Mann.

FALLUJAH — Sounds of joy and laughter resonate through a police station’s narrow hallways. A young boy slowly enters through a doorway at the end to greet the boisterous group of Marines, but the sounds of excitement quickly diminish as they see him gasping for air after walking just a short distance.
The boy, five-year-old Ahmed, is the son of Warrant Officer Mallouki, an IP with Fallujah HQ District. Since his birth, Ahmed has suffered from a rare but fatal heart condition that if left untreated, will eventually kill him at an unthinkable young age.
Only recently did the light begin to peak through at the end of a dark tunnel for Ahmed and his family when Marines from Co B, Police Transition Team 8, RCT 1, and a charitable organization called “Gift of Life,” based in Tampa, Fla., intervened.
Ahmed’s condition was diagnosed at Fallujah Surgical when Marines took him in for an exam, said Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Craig W. Pasanen, a corpsmen with the team.  Doctors discovered a hole in the septum of his heart that causes oxygen and deoxygenated blood to pass through the heart and not the lungs.
Mallouki and his son have been working with CF for the past year in attempts to get the money and medical attention that they so desperately need to help Ahmed.  The operation to mend Ahmed’s heart will be extensive and will require a specialist to stitch the hole inside his heart that is causing his condition.  But medical expenses for the family soon became too much. The nearest qualified specialist who can perform the surgery locates at a surgical clinic in Jordan.  The family had no way of earning the money they need to travel and pay for Ahmed’s medical expenses.
Several months ago, members of the team contacted representatives at “Gift of Life,” who began sponsoring Mallouki and Ahmed.  In June, Mallouki was able to apply for Visas that would allow the father and son access into Jordan.  Their travel expenses were also covered by the charitable organization, and Transition Team members organized several convoys to Baghdad, to assist.  Ahmed will finally undergo the surgery he’s needed sometime this month.
“Before I could not hope for anything at all and I was depressed all the time,” said Mallouki. “Now I feel in my heart a sense of hope that my son will grow up normal.  I would not have this hope in my life if it weren’t for the Marines here.”

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