Archive for July 13th, 2008

Troop Scoop 7/13/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 13 Jul 2008 09:11 AM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
Gen. Petraeus, who did such a fine job implementing the surge in Iraq, will soon be in charge of CENCOM, and Gen. Odierno will be in charge of MNF-Iraq.  The people of Fedaliyah will enjoy the use of purified water, thanks to the 66th AR.  The Stryker BCT 25th ID, and the 4th ID  had a busy day getting weapons caches off the streets throughout Baghdad.  Thanks to a tip from a local citizen, Patriot Bde Cav Soldiers were able to capture a high level terrorist in Rusafa.  Pressure on AQI increases, and networks are degraded.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

July 13, 2008
Patriot Brigade Cavalry Soldiers Take High Value Target off the Streets

By Spc. Grant T. Okubo
10th Mountain Division

Sgt. James Griffith peers over a rooftop ledge to look for suspicious activity during a search op in the Rusafa security district of eastern Baghdad, July 1.
Photo by Spc. Grant Okubo

FOB LOYALTY — Patriot Bde Soldiers scored another victory as they took a high value target (HVT) off the streets of Rusafa in eastern Baghdad, July 1.
Troop A, 3rd Sqdrn, 89th Cav Regt Soldiers conducted a search mission targeting an HVT after receiving a citizen tip. The individual was suspected in placing roadside bombs, IEDs and EFPs within 3rd Sqdrn. 89th Cav. Regt.’s operating environment, said Staff Sgt. Adelbert Capen, lead scout for Troop A.
“Over the last few months the community has really stepped up. The info we received today was from a concerned local citizen,” said Capen. “He pointed out exactly who the guy is, and that is how we were able to pinpoint him so quickly.  So as long as the people are giving you good info, you can’t beat it. [A] local source is the best.”
Capen believes Soldiers’ actions will help strengthen the relationship between CF and the local populace, showing citizens the Soldiers are here with the people to help. “It isn’t always about breaking down doors,” said Capen. “We can come in here and we can do it civilly.  Just give us the bad guys, and we’ll remove them for you.”


MND-B Soldiers provide services, security in Fedaliyah

BAGHDAD – A water distribution site officially opened at JSS Al Khansa in Fedaliyah of the New Baghdad district, June 27.
Soldiers from the 66th AR had a hand in bringing purified water to area residents, but first had to provide security and build trust. “The Soldiers faced tough circumstances when we first arrived in Fedaliyah,” said Capt. David Beskow, a 66th AR co. cmdr.  “Our area of ops was a Special Group stronghold.  Enemy contact was a given for any patrol, and EFPs were strategically placed along all routes, which criminals also covered with small-arms fire and RPGs.”
Nonetheless, the 66th AR Soldiers began to drive a wedge between criminals and the local population. One of the most important factors in this effort was conducting ops from JSS Al Khansa, said Beskow.  Working with IP and Iraqi NP, 66th AR Soldiers soon developed bonds with their Iraqi SF partners that led them to actively pursue and defeat criminals in the area and enforce the rule of law,.
“The 66th AR Soldiers’ success at JSS Al Khansa was quickly noted, and plans for supporting the population of Fedaliyah soon incorporated the station,” said Beskow. “Owing to high summer temps and relentless conditions, water distribution throughout Baghdad quickly became a top priority.  It followed that the JSS would be a prime location to support this effort.”
U.S. and Iraqi officials decided to emplace a Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit at JSS Al-Khansa, one of three newly opened water distribution sites in eastern Baghdad.  Staff Sgt. David Hinson, a water purification specialist with the 94th BSB said the ROWPU system produces a lot of potable water, which Iraqi water experts give a clean bill of health.
Where the Soldiers of the 66th AR once faced an explosion on every patrol, they now face children asking for soccer balls. The water distribution at JSS Al Khansa will assist in keeping things that way.  Establishing security in a former enclave and preventing cholera and other health issues is something Beskow said the 66th AR Soldiers are proud to have accomplished in less than 90 days of ops.


MND-B Soldiers seize caches throughout Baghdad

BAGHDAD – July 11, Soldiers serving with the 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, found RPGs, 40 mm grenades,
rocket launchers, and 80 Dishka rounds at approx. 11 a.m., in the Falahat village northwest of Baghdad.
At approx. 12:30 p.m., they found 5 RPG rounds, RPG propellants, a fuse, 6 9 volt batteries wired to a switch, a line of copper wire and a bandolier with AK-47 magazines near al-Mashahidah north of Baghdad.
Later, these Soldiers on a different patrol found a 120 mm mortar tube at approx. 2:30 p.m. near Tarmiyah north of Baghdad,
Soldiers from 3rd BCT, 4th ID, seized 3 munitions caches in the same vicinity in northern Baghdad at approx. 10:30 p.m. The munitions included 13 60 mm mortar rounds, 10 120 mm mortar rounds, an 81 mm mortar round.


Senate Confirms Petraeus for CENTCOM, Odierno to Command MNF-I


In this March 1, 2008 file photo, Gen. David H. Petraeus, comm. gen. of MNF – Iraq, talks with a group of Iraqi boys at the Al Zawra Stadium in the Karkh District of west Baghdad.
Photo by Sgt. James Hunter

WASHINGTON — The Senate has confirmed Army Gen. David H. Petraeus as cmdr. of U.S. Central Command and Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno to receive his fourth star and succeed Petraeus as cmdr. of MNF – Iraq.
The full Senate confirmed Petraeus by a vote of 95-2 and Odierno by a 96-1 margin.  Odierno is the Army’s 3rd Corps cmdr. and served as cmdr. of MNC – Iraq for 14 months.
The changes put Petraeus — who implemented the U.S. surge into Iraq — in charge of U.S. military forces in a dangerous part of the world. The command stretches from Pakistan to Egypt and from Kazakhstan to the Saudi Arabian peninsula.  It includes the war in Afghanistan and, until Oct. 1, also includes control of Joint Task Force Horn of Africa based in Djibouti.
Petraeus will take over CENTCOM after giving his assessment on the post-surge conditions in Iraq. The last surge brigade will leave Iraq at the end of this month.
Petraeus called for — and Defense Department leaders agreed to — a pause before bringing the U.S. force in Iraq down any further. The decision on further withdrawals probably will not come until mid-September, and Petraeus will not leave the Iraq command until that is complete, officials said.
(Story by Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service)



Pressure on al-Qaeda in Iraq increases, networks degraded

BAGHDAD – CF detained 2 wanted men and 10 additional suspects July12, while pursuing AQI leaders and operatives in central and northern Iraq.
In Sharqat, about 90 km south of Mosul, CF captured a man wanted for allegedly conspiring with AQI senior leaders in northwest Iraq. Three additional suspects were detained.
Farther south in the Tigris River Valley, a wanted man believed to be involved in the AQI foreign terrorist facilitation network was captured near Balad, about 80 km north of Baghdad.  CF detained 5 suspects in Baghdad for allegedly aiding foreign terrorists in the city.
CF detained 2 suspected terrorists during an op targeting an extremist group with ties to AQI senior leaders in Karmah, about 40 km west of Baghdad.