Troop Scoop 7/18/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 18 Jul 2008 08:23 AM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
Big stories and wonderful pictures!  High level AQI leader, and Special Groups criminals captured.  Improving living conditions for our troops at JSS Ur, a priority.  Village of Hope graduates are rebuilding their community.  Marines and Sailors take part in a Combined Medical Engagement, while economic reconstruction projects help the Iraqi people.
Joanna
________________________________________

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

July 18, 2008
Fostering Relationships for the Future

By Pfc. Jerry Murphy

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Lance Cpl. Josh A. Buege, a rifleman with Co F provides overhead security at a Combined Medical Engagement (CME), July 6.

Photo by Pfc. Jerry Murphy

MUDIQ — The transition of authority in the al Anbar province from CF to the GoI is a priority in the province.  However, this cannot be accomplished without the trust and support of the Iraqi people.  To strengthen their relationship with local Iraqis, Marines of Co F, 2nd Bn, 24th Marine Regt, Regimental Combat Team 1, conducted a combined medical engagement recently.
“The people need to see our presence – know we are here to help them,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew G. McDonald, a corpsman with HQ and Service Co, 2nd Bn, 24th Marines. “Our support through (medicines), food, stickers, suckers and interaction with the children is very important.”
Throughout the afternoon, the corpsmen with the unit cared for several hundred Iraqi patients, who are recently showing more faith in CF’ efforts to secure a safe and hospitable environment for them to live in. “The Iraqis see that we are here to help them and, in turn, begin to realize that we are not here to hurt them,” said McDonald, a 25-year-old. “We’re here to bring them hope.”
Female Marines were on hand to search Iraqi women and children in accordance with Muslim traditions.  “Having us there really fostered a positive image, showing the Iraqis that we care enough about them to (respect their traditions),” said Capt. Lisa M. O’Brien, the communications officer for Marine Wing Support Sqdrn 374. “We’ve seen at least 300 people today and without the girls here helping, it would make it hard on not only the Marines, but the Iraqis as well.”
Attending her first CME, Lance Cpl. Amanda R. Carnagey, a 20-year-old Marine said she was a little nervous before coming to the CME, but calmed down eventually and had fun interacting with the Iraqi people for the first time. “It was a blast. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first, but it turned out to be a great experience,” she said. “It was funny; the Iraqi women would come at you and try to do everything they could to get us to understand what they needed, using hand gestures while speaking in Arabic. It was confusing at first, but I got it towards the end and just had fun.  If I could volunteer to go out again, I would in a heartbeat.  It was very rewarding knowing that I was actually out there helping the Iraqi people.”
At the end of the day the Marines and sailors packed their medical supplies and headed back to the respective bases only to begin planning their next op to support the Iraqi people.

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MND-B Soldiers seize multiple caches in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – July 15, at approx. 4:30 p.m., Soldiers from 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID found 7 155 mm artillery rounds, 26 120 mm mortars, 2 PG-7 machine guns, a PG-9 machine gun, a 57 mm rocket, a 2.75 inch rocket warhead, a 5-gallon can of UBE explosive material, 22 100 mm mortars and 26 82 mm mortars north of Baghdad.
Later, Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID found 10 mortar fuses at approx. 10 p.m., in the West Rashid area of Baghdad.
Soldiers from the 18th MP Bde found 5 one pound blocks of C-4 explosive material in the Kadamiyah area of Baghdad.
“Since May 20, in full partnership with Iraqi SF, U.S. Soldiers in Baghdad have seized more than 450 weapons and munitions caches,” said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, spokesman, MND-B and the 4th ID. “Dubbed Op Ironhorse Tempest, we have seized 275 EFPs, 336 IEDs, 245 rockets, 478 artillery rounds, 2,159 mortar rounds, 972 rocket propelled grenades and 5,320 rifles – a very significant achievement and good news for both the Iraqi and American people.”

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ISOF detain suspected AQI leader

BALAD – In Fallujah, July 15 the suspect detained on a Ministry of Justice warrant, is reportedly in charge of 3 AQI emirs overseeing approx. 200 terrorists.  He is also accused of smuggling and storing chemicals and mortars used in attacks against Iraqi and CF, and is said to order the emplacement of IEDs.

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ISF detain two suspected Special Groups criminals in central Iraq

BALAD –  July 15, in the Sadr City district of Baghdad, the Baghdad National ERU detained a Special Groups criminal on a warrant issued by the Ministry of Interior. The individual is suspected of killings and attacks against Iraqi Security and CF with IEDs, EFPs and small-arms fire.  He is also suspected of participating in a recent assassination of a MoI guard.
In a separate op in Jisr Diyala neighborhood, in southeastern Baghdad, Iraqi SOF detained a suspected Special Groups IED/EFP cell leader. The suspect is allegedly responsible for weapons trafficking and using EFPs in the area.  He is also said to be involved in an assassination plot against an Iraqi general officer.

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Blackanthem Military News

JSS Ur focal point for security efforts

By Sgt. Philip Klein

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Col. John Hort, cmdr., gets a first-hand assessment of barrier emplacement plans at the JSS Ur.

BAGDAD – Col. John Hort outlined the Brigade’s plans for  JSS Ur in northeast Baghdad, July 15.  Hort spoke with the Soldiers, assessed damage and discussed future plans for the outpost; to include improving conditions for Soldiers and an Iraqi Assistance Center. “My first priority for the Soldiers here is to improve their living conditions.  The Soldiers here need a place they can come back to and relax after a ten-hour patrol,” said Hort, 3rd BCT, 4th ID, cmdr. “It’s about keeping our Soldiers’ energy up.  If they have a better place to unwind, they will be more motivated to help the people of Baghdad – energy is paramount.”
Among the improvements Hort has in mind are new containerized housing units (CHUs), a Soldier support center, a gym area, and a revamped aid station.  There will be 24 40-foot CHUs scheduled to be installed along with 8 20-foot CHUs which are designated for showers and office space for a new Civil Military Ops Center.
Maj. Geoff Greene, the EO for the 1st CAB, 68th AR, 3rd BCT said that the T-wall barriers are already in place for the new living CHUs as well as the other improvements slated for emplacement at JSS Ur.  “We already have the design for the improvements to the JSS and have contractors and engineers ready to implement the upgrades,” said Greene.  “We will be setting up new generators as well as adding a Morale, Welfare and Rec. Center with phones, computers and televisions to help our Soldiers wind down after a mission,” he continued.
“My priorities are for our Soldiers safety, comfort and a place to relax,” said Hort.

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Village of Hope graduates to begin rebuilding Hawr Rajab

BAGHDAD – Equipped with a new tool kit and construction skills, former SoI members of Hawr Rajab, now graduates of the Village of Hope School, will begin rebuilding the local boys’ school this week.
The boys’ school project marks the beginning of a larger plan for Hawr Rajab to include the renovation of several homes, more schools, mosques, water treatment facilities, medical facilities and police stations.
“The residents have responded well to our presence and the community has really gotten behind what we are trying to School. “The return of the homeowners is very symbolic of the hard work and effort put forth by the local Iraqis and SoI to rebuild their community.”

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Economic Reconstruction Programs Boost Iraqi Payrolls, Businesses

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Soldiers from Task Force Regulars, 1st Bn 6th ID, 432nd CAB and the 926th Eng. Bde conduct assessments in the Thawra 1 neighborhoods of the Sadr City District of Baghdad on July 3.
Photo by Tech Sgt. Cohen A. Young.

BAGHDAD — Two U.S.-military sponsored economic reconstruction programs are helping to put thousands of Iraqi citizens into productive jobs while boosting the country’s business activity, a senior U.S. military officer posted in Iraq said, July 16.
In March 2007, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, cmdr. of MNF Iraq, directed his officers to find ways to provide jobs and increased opportunities for economic expansion, entrepreneurship and skills training for the people of Iraq, recalled Army Maj. Gen. Timothy McHale, director of personnel, logistics and resources for MNF Iraq. The successful Iraqi First LOGCAP and Iraqi-Based Industrial Zone programs are direct results of Petraeus’ directive, McHale said. “Both of these programs are focused on contributing to Iraq’s economic progress and security,” McHale pointed out.
The Iraqi First LOGCAP program provides a conduit for Iraqi businesses to sell their products and services to coalition customers, McHale explained. “We are striving to put Iraqis first in purchase decisions,” McHale noted. LOGCAP, he said, is the name of the military logistics contracting and purchasing system.
Today, about 3,700 Iraqi citizens are holding jobs as part of the Iraqi First-LOGCAP program, McHale said. At some installations, he noted, Iraqi citizens make up more than 50 percent of the work force. “We are working every day to open up more jobs on more bases to Iraqi citizens, and we expect to add thousands of jobs over the next several months,” McHale said, noting Iraqis are working in skilled positions such as construction, carpentry, masonry, welding, plumbing, electrical work, well-drilling as well as many types of general-labor positions.  “Iraqis also have a growing presence in both professional and administrative positions,” McHale said. A new initiative, he noted, is exploring ways to hire Iraqis through Iraqi-govt-sponsored vocational-technical schools.
Meanwhile, the Iraqi-Based Industrial Zone program, called IBIZ, continues to help Iraqi entrepreneurs to do business with the U.S. military, McHale said.  “IBIZ is a program that provides secure locations on or next to CF bases for privately owned, small and medium sized Iraqi businesses employing Iraqi workers,” McHale explained. The program, he said, injects money into the Iraqi economy while boosting social stability by providing jobs to Iraqis so that they can support their families.
Successful businesses that participate in the IBIZ program include building trades, vehicle-repair, retail shops, cement and asphalt, metal cutting, trucking and generator repair.  The IBIZ program is growing, McHale said, noting it is now being implemented on 11 coalition bases, with plans to expand it to 14 bases this summer.

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Water Works

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Army Pfc. Holtzhauser squeezes in next to several cases of water bottles in his Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Diyala, July 13.  Holtzhauser is assigned to the 3rd ACR Troop G, 2nd Bn.
Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Paul Seeber

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Copy Cats

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Marine Corps Cpl. Jonathan Segovia, personnel security detail, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, a ground combat element attached to MNF-W, relaxes with Iraqi children in Sha-ban, July 9.
Photo by Cpl. Taylor J. Schulz

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Baby Face

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Army Staff Sgt. Kristy Vanlanen holds an Iraqi child at the Civil Military Ops Center at FOB Hawk, July 13.  Vanlanen is assigned to the 432nd CAB, 4th ID.
Photo by Staff Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez

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