Troop Scoop 7/9/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 09 Jul 2008 09:52 AM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
Enjoy a variety of positive stories from Bayji citizens given the opportunity for reconciliation, Adm. Mullen addresses concerns of our troops, to canal clean-up for delivering clean water to rural areas.  There is a media advisory on a great story concerning the opening of a recycling center.  Will we see this?

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

July 9, 2008
Adm. Mullen holds ‘All Hands’ meeting with junior service members

CAMP VICTORY – Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, held an ‘All Hands’ meeting with junior service members at the Hope Chapel here July 7 in order to address concerns and garner “education” from those in grades E5 and below.
Mullen spoke of his initiatives and took questions from more than 300 service members in attendance.  “It’s important to hear what’s on their minds,” Mullen said of the ‘All Hands’ call.  He said policy makers, like him, learn best from service members in the field.
Mullen answered questions ranging from combating suicide and post traumatic stress disorder, the effectiveness of the Army Combat Uniform to the growing of military forces, and how the presidential elections would affect that growth.
One Soldier in attendance felt the meeting was sincere, and said he was glad he was able to meet the chairman and hear what he had to say. “It shows people are paying attention to our needs,” said Sgt. Joseph A. Baker, a member of the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 39th IBCT stationed here. “I really thought what he said was heartfelt, and I really enjoyed being able to come and listen.”
A Soldier stood up and asked a question concerning suicides and mental health issues in the Army.  When treating PTSD and suicides, “we have to get rid of the stigma” of getting treatment, Mullen said. “When I talk to leaders, I tell them that they have to lead the way to the mental health clinic.  If they don’t, the message is it isn’t okay,” to seek treatment.
“I’m delighted with the progress all of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines are making here,” he said.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, speaks to service members.
( photo by Staff Sgt. Jeremy D. Crisp)


Coalition forces give Bayji citizens opportunity to reconcile

BAYJI – Criminals who wish to reject violence and rejoin their communities have been given an amnesty period, ending on July 10, during which they may make their pledge to stop fighting at the local joint coordination center.
With this pledge comes the opportunity to cease being targets of Iraqi Security and CF.
ISF and CF will continue searching for those responsible for criminal activity in the area unless they choose to reconcile before July 10. The reconciliation means that criminals may face Iraqi court dates if evidence ties them to criminal activities.  So far only a small fraction of the more than 2,000 who have reconciled throughout MND – North actually had to go to court based upon this standard.


Media Advisory: Iraqi-based Industrial Zone Recycle Center to open in Balad

WHO:          All media
WHAT:     Naseb Altememy, owner and general manager of Almandhour United Company will celebrate the opening of the Iraqi-based Industrial Zone (I-BIZ) Recycle Center at Joint Base Balad. A ribbon-cutting ceremony highlighting the event will take place.
WHEN:     3 p.m., July 10
WHERE:  Joint Base Balad
WHY:       The recycling center is an ambitious project that not only paves the way for environmentally friendly practice on JBB, but supports current MNF – Iraq ops to strengthen and sustain the Iraqi economy and people. A contract, created through the Air Force’s Joint Contracting Command, will provide employees, vehicles and equipment for the center. JBB continues to spur economic progress in Iraq, in the provinces surrounding the installation through the next local business initiative.


NPs, MND-B Soldiers confiscate weapons, detain 2 suspected criminals in Rashid

BAGHDAD –  In the Rashid district of southern Baghdad, Iraqi NP and Soldiers from the 64th AR, attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, conducted clearing ops and confiscated 75 AK-47 assault rifles July 7 in the Bayaa community of southern Baghdad.
At approx. 3:30 a.m. July 8, Soldiers from the 1st BCT, conducted a search op and detained 2 suspected
criminals in the Saha neighborhood.


Rashid community digs plans for canal clean-up

BAGHDAD – In the southern Baghdad community of Radwaniyah, fresh water for drinking and irrigation is just a few signatures away.  In the farming communities that lie on the outskirts of Baghdad, fresh water is of the utmost importance for the people and the economic stability of the community and has a direct effect on the neighboring areas.
For the farmers in the rural community southwest of urbanized Baghdad, 2 serious problems are irrigation and fresh water, said Capt. Mark Miller, a spokesman for 1st BCT, 4th ID. “The canals are capable of providing two independent sources of water,” Miller said. “One source would provide water for crop irrigation and the other for potable water that citizens could use for drinking, cooking, and other domestic needs.”
A COP in the community serves as the command center for HHC, 4th Bn., 64th AR, and as the location for meetings between community leaders, ISF, and the 1st BCT Bde Cmdr, Col. Ted Martin.  Martin expressed how CF would be aggressive in helping with the clean-up effort and how he expected the same from his Iraqi counterparts, during a meeting June 21.  After the briefing concluded, everyone traveled to a location
near where a fresh water canal spills into contaminated water to get a first-hand look at the issues the farming community faces.
“This way, the ISF and CF cmds. were able to see the problem in person along with the GoI leaders,” Miller said.
The group also traveled to a local water treatment plant to discuss the resources needed to make the plant operational, and what it would mean to the surrounding areas.
The people would no longer have to pay import tariffs for their food from neighboring countries, said Capt. David Simms, the cmdr of HHC, 4th Bn., 64th AR.  “Not only will the local farmers benefit and be able to start growing crops again, but this will bring Iraqi food to Iraqi markets,” said Simms. “It stimulates their economy by bringing more jobs to the area for farmers, as well as providing food at a lower cost to the community.”
The contracts to begin the canal work are currently in the hands of the GoI and awaiting signatures.

Col. Ted Martin discusses the parameters of a canal renovation project with local leaders.


Baghdad National ERU detains three suspected criminals

BALAD – The Baghdad National ERU detained 3 suspected AQI criminals working within the Ministry of Technology and Science in the Rusafa district of Baghdad, July 6.
The Ministry of Interior issued warrants to detain 3 govt employees suspected of killings, IED attacks, mortar attacks, and local intimidation and displacement in the Rashid and Karadah districts of Baghdad.
Two of the suspected criminals detained are brothers who allegedly killed 4 Iraqi civilians in a mortar attack. One of the brothers is said to be an AQI financier.


Shake On It

Spc. Gregory Kastner, greets 2 Iraqi boys, July 2, while on patrol in a marketplace in the Taji Qada, northwest of Baghdad.  Kastner is a communications specialist assigned to HHC, 1st Bn, 27 Inf. Regt., Wolfhounds,” with the 2nd Stryker BCT “Warrior,” 25th ID.
Photo by Sgt. J.B. Jaso



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