Dear Interested Readers,
Our first story is another fascinating behind the scenes marvel of why we have the greatest military in the world, and makes us swell with pride. The tide is turning in Mosul, as our troops begin concentrating on infrastructure. High value targets continue to be captured, as well as numerous weapons caches.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
March 19, 2008
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency Brings Clarity to ‘Fog of War’
By Ray McNulty
Specialist Monica Mitchell, ACE GEOINT, G2 section, 3rd ID (left), and Chief Warrant Officer 1 Scott Potter, ACE GEOINT branch chief, evaluate intel data sourced by the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Support Team 29 embedded with MND – Central.
CAMP VICTORY — MND-Center formed in spring 2007 as part of the U.S. troop surge. The progress made since then has been well-documented. What is less well-known is the surge in support required from other U.S. govt agencies in bringing about those gains. One of the most significant of those surge partners is the NGA (National Geospatial Agency).
When the fog of war thickens, as it always does, geospatial intel creates a vivid visual picture of the battle space. The mapping and imagery produced gives commanders on the ground a forward look into enemy territory.
Over the past year, surge forces have launched a series of combat offensives targeting locations near Baghdad or villages that were enemy sanctuaries. When the mission enters unfamiliar territory, geospatial intel shows the way with maps, charts and imagery.
Analysts work to pinpoint geospatial mapping where it is most effective, to find insurgent locations, identify trends and assist in reducing enemy effectiveness to conduct ops against our forces.
When the enemy tries to hide, geospatial intel makes pinpoint precision targeting possible. As a result of the military success, support to infrastructure and reconstruction projects is becoming a higher priority for the NGA team. One example of that shift involves exploring the potential use of geospatial analysis and advanced technology to assist in monitoring and depicting the health of agriculture in MND-C and the status of the irrigation canal network – crucial capabilities in supporting a region of Iraq that is heavily dependent on agriculture for its livelihood.
MND-N Soldiers Take Mosul’s Pulse
MOSUL — Soldiers assigned to 1st Bn, 8th Inf Regt in Mosul are working to assess and help improve services for basic needs such as schools, healthcare and security.
“Essentially we go out and speak with key people at schools, neighborhood healthcare clinics, shopkeepers and local leaders,” said 1st Lt. Larry Gwinn, a platoon leader with the Regiment. “We get to know the people and what their needs are; this will help up us as we enter the rebuilding phase.”
Gwinn said sanitation workers were already hired through the local government and were making a difference in the community. Several other contracts are also in the bidding process for community improvements. “The Soldiers on the ground are fighting the enemy on several different levels. This phase of the fight helps the citizens, and helps the Iraqi Security and CF through mutual cooperation,” said Capt. Melody Faulkenberry, spokesperson for MND – North.
Iraqi schoolchildren crowd their classroom window to greet Soldiers who have come to assess the needs of their school March 17.
Sgt. John Ozment provides security.
1st Lt. Larry Gwinn meets with a resident of the al-Kadra neighborhood of Mosul to assess the security situation March 15.
Local Resident leads CF to weapons caches
BAGHDAD – An Iraqi citizen led Soldiers of Co C, 2nd Bn, 502nd Inf Regt, attached to 4th BCT, 3rd ID to 2 separate weapons caches in the Shaka 3 region, March 17.
The first cache included 47 82 mm mortar rounds, 10 60 mm mortar rounds and 13 mixed sizes of mortar fuses.
The second cache included 8 155 mm mortar rounds, a rocket launcher and 4 chlorine tanks. The cache was brought back to FOB Kalsu.
“This shows that the locals are cooperating with us and they want their area safe,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Keaton, Co C.
Coalition detains 17 suspects while targeting terrorist networks
BAGHDAD – CF detained 17 suspected terrorists while targeting AQI leaders and weapons facilitators during ops March 18 and 19, in the Tigris River Valley.
CF captured an alleged al Qaeda operative believed to be part of the network distributing homemade explosives materials and products throughout the country. The ground forces detained 2 additional suspects at the scene.
Another alleged weapons facilitator and an associate were captured during a Coalition op north of Samarra. The targeted individual has allegedly been stockpiling weapons for the last month.
CF targeted alleged associates of AQI senior leaders in Taji and Baqouba, capturing 2 wanted individuals and detaining 6 suspected terrorists. In Baqouba, CF discovered a building containing homemade explosives, wires, markings and other indications it was being made into a house-borne IED. The ground forces destroyed the building to prevent future use for terrorist activity.
In Mosul, CF conducted ops, detaining 4 individuals with suspected ties to terrorist leaders in the area. “Iraqi and Coalition ops are systematically dismantling AQI’s terrorist networks,” said Maj. Winfield Danielson, MNF-I spokesman. “Iraqi citizens have rejected al Qaeda’s indiscriminate violence and corrupt ideology, and these terrorists have no place in Iraq’s future.”
Night Raid Leads to Capture of High-Value Target
By Spc. Ben Hutto
3rd HBCT, 3rd Inf. Div.
A scout from Troop B, 3rd Sqdrn, 1st Cav Regt, provides security during a night raid. During the raid, Troop B cleared 3 houses and detained 4 individuals.
Capt. Jared Albright searches a building.
FOB HAMMER — A HVT was captured during a night raid in Narhwan by Soldiers of the 3rd HBCT, March 16. The HVT was wanted by Iraqi SF and CF for his role in several IED attacks. He was suspected of smuggling weapons and explosives to several criminal groups throughout Iraq.
“Everything went perfectly,” said Capt. Jared Albright, cmdr. of Troop B. “Our guys did everything according to plan and it went exactly as we rehearsed it.”
First Lt. James Self, platoon leader in Troop B, said the capture of the target was important. “The target was a really bad guy,” he said. “It’s a very good thing that he is off the streets. His capture not only makes Narhwan a safer place, it makes Iraq, as a whole, safer.”
Earlier this month, Troop B detained another HVT in a raid outside of Narhwan. Staff Sgt. Denis Pettitt, the troop’s ops NCO said, “On average, we’ve been capturing about one high-value target a month, so our guys know what do.”
Troop B is mainly comprised of scouts serving their first deployment, but the troop’s performance hasn’t suffered due to lack of experience. “Our new guys have performed well,” Pettitt said. “Part of that has to do with our NCOs. They keep our guys calm and have done a good job getting them ready for those situations. They stay calm and haven’t gotten a big head about our successes.”
The 3-1st Cav. Regt. and 1-10th FAR are assigned to the 3rd HBCT, 3rd ID, from Fort Benning, Ga.
Me and My Shadows