Troop Scoop 7/17/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 17 Jul 2008 12:28 PM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
The Marines take pride in the progress made in Ramadi.  Al-Quibla Power Substation will extend power output for locals.  The U.S. Corps of Army Engineers are busy working on important projects to improve the way of life for Iraqis in the Dohuk region.  Hundreds of new officers join the IA and the Iraqi Air Force.  Criminals continue to be captured, and weapons caches seized.

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

July 17, 2008
Same City, Different Outlook in Ramadi

By Lance Cpl. Casey Jones

Cpl. Chris Sarlo, a rifleman with Weapons Co, 1st Bn receives a ‘thumbs up’ from young citizen in Ramadi, May 23.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Casey Jones.

RAMADI — A mostly Sunni city with about 500,000 residents, Ramadi was considered to be one of the most violent cities in the world during the early part of Op Iraqi Freedom.  Today, locals are out shopping at the city’s bustling marketplace, known as the souk.  Children are playing soccer in fields, and students are walking mostly worry-free to and from the province’s local college, al Anbar University.
The signs of war have steadily declined as the city has embraced peace and the region is returning to normalcy, which is an unexpected but welcome change for Marines with 1st Bn, 9th Marine Regt, Regimental Combat Team 1, returning to the region for consecutive tours.
The sacrifices Marines and other CF have made over the years to better security in Iraq have paid off. In May of 2008, the monthly total of deaths fo CF reached an all-time low of 19, the lowest in the five-year war.  According to a recent military report, roadside bombs in the country are down by nearly 90% from this time last year.
Today the region is being rebuilt, the people are enjoying peace, and the concern of yesterday has been transformed into the anticipation of tomorrow. “The people want some form of normalcy,” Dostal said. “You can see it from the houses being rebuilt and the buildings being reconstructed – the city is coming back.”
The gains in Iraq did not come without a loss. Thousands of servicemen have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of democracy and thousands of Iraqis have given their lives in their fight for freedom.  Without the selfless devotion of both the Marines and Iraqis, the region would not be where it is today.


SoI members lead MND-N Soldiers to cache west of Samarra

SAMARRA – SoI members led MND – North Soldiers from the 327th Inf Regt to a weapons cache in the Jazeera Desert area of the Salah ad Din province west of Samarra, July 15.
The cache consisted of 54 90 mm mortar rounds, 7 60 mm mortar rounds, 3 57 mm rounds, 4 120 mm artillery rounds and numerous small-arms munitions.  Over the past few months, local citizens and SoI groups have led Iraqi and CF to numerous weapons caches.
“The SoI groups in the Samarra area have gained the confidence of the local civilians, which has led to the discovery of many caches in the Jazeera Desert over the past few months,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Hauerwas, 1st BCT EO. “They are a valuable asset for keeping the remote desert areas safe.”


Al-Quibla Power Substation improves power grid

BASRA – Dozens of religious leaders, Basra Council members, the British Consul General, Nigel Haywood and a large group of local media gathered for the official opening of the al-Quibla power substation during a ribbon cutting ceremony, July 15. The power grid upgrade now provides 12 consistent daily hours of power to some 4,000 homes, according to engineer Hadi Saleh.
The on-going success of Op Charge of the Knights with IA soldiers leading the way in clearing the criminal elements from Basra has allowed rebuilding efforts to move forward.
The al-Quibla project falls under the Basra Provincial Council Development Strategy and is part of an initial two-year plan to improve power networks.

The British Consul General, Nigel Haywood gives an on-camera interview to Iraqi media during the opening ceremony.  Haywood told the gathering that he wished future success in rebuilding Basra and that British and Coalition friends will help provide support whenever possible.
(U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Ron Reeves)


MND-B Soldiers seize pistol cache in Rusafa

BAGHDAD – July 15, Soldiers from the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div (Lt) uncovered a cache of 99, 9 mm pistols and 5,000 rounds of ammo in the northwestern area of Rusafa.


MND-B Soldiers detain key suspect in New Baghdad

BAGHDAD – July 16, Soldiers from the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div (Lt) detained a suspected criminal leader during a mission in the Kamaliyah area. The suspect is believed to have emplaced IEDs and conducted indirect fire attacks in the Kamaliyah and Fedaliyah areas and financed his criminal cohorts’ IED activity.


MND-B Soldiers detain known Special Groups leader

BAGHDAD –  July 15, during Op Raider Nor’easter in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad, at approx. 9:15 a.m., Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID detained a known Special Groups criminal leader during an op in the Bayaa community. The criminal is known for his use of EFPs.


Baghdad National ERU, IA capture five suspected Special Groups criminals in separate ops

BALAD – The Baghdad National ERU and the IA captured 5 suspected Special Groups criminals in 2 separate ops around central Iraq, July 12-13.
The suspected Special Groups criminals are believed to be a financier for Special Groups in the Al-Qadisiyah Province, suspected of extra-judicial killings, assassinations, kidnapping, local intimidation and extortion in the Baghdad area.


MND-B Soldiers detain suspected Special Groups criminals, seize cache in Karadah

BAGHDAD – July 14, Soldiers from the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div (Lt) detained 2 highly sought after suspects, in the Baghdad al-Jadida area. The suspects were suspected of emplacing IEDs and EFPs and both suspects tested positive for having handled explosive materials. IP sources verified their identity.  In addition, 4 citizens came forward and signed sworn statements identifying the 2 suspects as Special Groups operatives.
Weapons and bomb-making materials from one of the suspect’s homes were seized, and other munitions.


Breaking Bread

Army Soldiers from 1st Sqdrn, 4th Cav Regt, 4th IBCT, 1st ID, enjoy a meal at the home of a local family in in Rashid District of Baghdad, Feb. 1, 2008
Photo by Pfc. Michael Hendrickson.


Improving Quality of Life in Dohuk

By Polli Barnes Keller

DOHUK — Two schools and a renovated water distribution network under construction in the Dohuk Province, will improve the quality of life for the residents. The projects, overseen by the Gulf Region Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, are constructed by Iraqi firms.
The schools in the Malta and Shindohka neighborhoods each consist of 12-room compounds that include an administrative building, laboratory rooms, toilet facilities, a play area and garden, as well as a perimeter wall, guard house and a maintenance room. The facilities will support approx. 2,400 children in 2 school sessions a day, and create employment for more than 40 teachers. These schools are currently under construction and scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
“Education is the key to a bright future, and these educated children are Iraq’s future leaders,” said Jim Hilario, the Dohuk resident engineer for the Gulf Region North district. “I’m grateful that I played a small roll in providing the tools necessary for the growth of this nation.”
The Masike to Jami Bini water network will provide a reliable water supply for approx. 65,000 people. Replacing the existing damaged network and installing new water lines will improve the quality and quantity of safe drinking water in the area.  The  project also provides collateral benefits of increasing water pressure, which reduces contamination; filling existing water storage tanks; and slowing aquifer depletion.  As long as there is a reliable source of water serving the Dohuk province, growth potential is unlimited. This project is also under construction and scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
“Americans take a lot of things for granted,” said Hilario. “Just by turning on the faucet, we are assured clean reliable water for cleaning, cooking or drinking. I am blessed to be part of re-building the infrastructures of Iraq.”
The Gulf Region Div. plays a vital role in the reconstruction efforts in Dohuk Province. To date, GRD has 22 ESF projects in the Dohuk Province.  Four projects are completed, 14 are underway and 4 are still in the planning stages. These projects are in areas including water, health and education, transportation and communications.


Hundreds of New Officers Join Iraqi Army, Air Force

RUSTAMIYAH — Amid showers of candy and shouts from family and friends, more than 250 new lieutenants joined the IA and Air Force after graduating from the Iraqi Military Academy, July 14.
The same day as the graduation at Rustamiyah, more than 400 cadets graduated from the academies at Zhako, Nasiriyah and Qualachalon.
“You are the future of Iraq,” Iraqi Defense Minister al-Mufriji said to the graduates. “You are who the country will count on for reconstruction and leadership.”  The defense minister stressed the importance of working together for the country’s future. “From this place, I’m asking you all to be united,” he said. “All work as one team, for Iraq only.  Remember that you all have the same enemy. … The biggest medal you can wear on your chest is the trust of the Iraqi people.”
U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, cmdr. of MNF Iraq, told the graduates they were joining increasingly capable forces that will benefit from their leadership. “You are about to join the IA and Air Force that have distinguished themselves in recent months against the enemies of Iraq,” he said. “I know you will live the values you learned here, and that you will provide the courageous leadership the military expects of you.”
The Rustamiyah academy was founded by the British in 1924 and is modeled after the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. It was closed in 2003 before the war, and since it reopened in 2005, Rustamiyah and the other 3 academies have graduated 4,800 new officers for the Iraqi armed forces.
The program of instruction is based on 3 training terms over a 1-year period, as well as a 6-month course for officer cadets who already have a university degree. Air force cadets go through the first term with their army counterparts, and then focus on air force and language training.
The junior term focuses on basic military training such as drill, basic weapon-handling drills and physical training to make the transition from civilian to officer cadet. The intermediate term focuses on leadership principles, command positions, and section and platoon attacks. The senior term focuses on bringing all of the principles together, culminating in a final tactical training exercise that brings the cadets to final readiness for their first job in the Iraqi forces.



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