Dear Interested Readers,
Large weapon caches uncovered, and many terrorists captured including some high level AQI. Basrah gets an economic boost; Op Marne Piledriver continues its success as the IA takes the lead; Al Quibla businesses reopen; and the Iraqi Border Patrol prepares to update.
Multi-National Corps - Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
April 16, 2008
Iraqi Army finds weapons cache in vehicle
BAGHDAD - IA soldiers uncovered a weapons cache during a patrol in Haw al-Askery April 15.
A tip from a local resident led the Soldiers to the cache in the trunk of a car containing 24 60 mm anti-personnel IEDs, 6 RPGs and 2 AK-47 magazines.
General talks economic boost with local leaders
BASRA - Iraqi Maj. Gen. Tariq, cmdr. of the 1st Div IA, met with local sheiks in the district of al-Quibla, Basra April 14, to help give them an economic jump start in their neighborhoods.
The IA, with assistance from a Civil Affairs team, is working to boost economic growth within al-Quibla by asking the local population to clean their streets of trash. The program gives citizens jobs and increases the local economy's activity by putting money into the hands of the citizens. It also begins a cycle of sanitation to soon be funded by the GoI and become self supporting. The IA and the Civil Affairs team will return at a later date to assess the progress of the program and additional help will be given once certain goals are met.
Iraqi leaders and citizens attend a gathering for Iraqi Maj. Gen. Tariq and Civil Affairs personnel.
One of five community leaders who have been chosen as supervisors in leading citizens to clean up trash in the streets, asks a question of Iraqi Col. Aldien after receiving his incentive payment from U.S. Navy Cmdr. Dirk Padgett.
Iraqi Army discovers IED materials during clearing operations
BAGHDAD - During a clearing op in Mahmudiyah, in support of Op Marne Piledriver, IA soldiers uncovered 5 weapons caches, April 15.
The caches contained 2 155 mm artillery rounds, an oxygen tank rigged as an IED, a Katusha rocket launcher, 2 oxygen tanks, 2 82 mm mortar tubes, a 3-foot tube of homemade explosives and multiple pressure strips.
While the focus of the op is on capacity building, Iraqi SF will simultaneously target remaining insurgent pockets with the help of CF.
Iraqi Army takes lead in Marne Piledriver
BAGHDAD - Op Marne Piledriver launched in the Mahmudiyah area April 15, as IA and MND-Center Soldiers conducted joint ops.
Iraqi Soldiers and 3rd Bn, 320th FA, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (Air Assault) combined to conduct dismounted patrols and an air assault.
"The Iraqi Soldiers took initiative from the start," said Pfc. Nathan Krueger, Btry A, 3-320th FA. "Every time I went into a building, there would already be an IA Soldier clearing or searching the area. Once we got on-site, they took the lead."
"Our role was to support the IA," said Capt. Ryan Mayfield, cmdr. of Btry A. "Because of what has been going on in the whole country, specifically Mahmudiyah, we're continuing to maintain momentum and ... provide the basic needs, as well as freedom of movement to the people so that the govt and tribes can continue to help build the area."
Iraqi Soldiers teamed with 3rd Plt, Btry. A, 3-320th FA on dismount patrols, while others partnered with HH Btry, 3-320th FA. "Now that we feel the AQI presence is at a minimum, we are about to start establishing SoI checkpoints through the area, which adds to the freedom of movement," Mayfield said. "The main effort of our portion of Piledriver is to develop multiple projects as well as solid governance in the area. We are providing support to the IA wherever they deem it's needed."
Sons of Iraq lead MND-C Soldiers to weapons cache
BAGHDAD - SoI led Soldiers from Troop C, 3rd Sqdrn, 1st Cav Regt, and IP to a large weapons cache in Tameem, a town east of Baghdad, April 14. The cache was buried approx. 500 meters from the NP headquarters in Tameem.
"The cache had been in the ground a long time," said 1st Lt. Andrew Ellison, a squad leader in Troop C. "EOD Soldiers estimated that the munitions had been buried for over a year based on their condition." The cache contained 389 82 mm mortar rounds, 96 125 mm tank rounds, 172 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds, 38 60 mm mortar rounds, 30 130 mm artillery rounds, 17 122 mm mortar rounds, 15 100 mm rockets, 7 155 artillery rounds, 5 100 kg aircraft bombs and 4 120 mm mortar rounds.
"Even though many of the munitions were badly degraded, they could have still been used to make IEDs," Ellison said. "We are extremely happy to help interdict these accelerants here."
Al-Quibla businesses reopen
BASRA - Since the arrival of Iraq's 1st Army Div, peace and order are becoming a norm once again in the town of Al-Quibla.
Local businesses such as kiosks, food markets and gas stations are re-opening and offering job opportunities for the citizens of Iraq. "The jobs created by small business stimulate the local economy and advances positive economic incentives in the daily lives of the Iraqi people," said Maj. Tom Holloway, a spokesman for MND-Southeast. "The IA's ability to secure Al-Quibla was an essential step in helping to provide not only economic growth in the community, but also their ability to make Basra a safe and secure place to live."
Iraqi Minister of Defence visits Basra
BASRA - The Iraqi Minister of Defence al-Mufriji visited the Al-Quibla district of Basra, April 14. The minister was welcomed by the residents of the Al-Quibla district in Basra, as he was escorted by the 1st Iraqi Div Army and local Basra Police. During his visit, the minister was able to receive an update of the Army's situation and plans while talking with the 1st Iraqi Army's Maj. Gen Tariq.
"Criminals have been operating throughout a number of districts in Basra for the past few weeks," said Maj. Tom Holloway, a spokesman for MND-Southeast. "However, since the increased presence of IA soldiers and their ability to provide security, many citizens are now feeling safer in their neighborhoods."
For the past 9 days, supplies of food rations and water have been successfully delivered and received by many of the Iraqis living in the area.
Coalition UAV engages RPG team, kills four criminals
BASRA - A CF Predator UAV observed 5 criminals attack an IA patrol with RPGs on the eastern side of the Hayyaniyah district, April 16.
The UAV engaged the criminals and fired a Hellfire missile killing 4 and wounding one. The criminals' vehicle was suspected of containing more weapons and ammo and engaged and destroyed by a second Hellfire missile.
"The message is clear to those that continue to obstruct the rule of law in Basra," said Capt. Chris Ford, spokesman for the CF in Basra said. "Those attacking the IA and other GoI SF will be targeted as part of enduring Coalition support to the people of Iraq."
Iraqi Border Patrol prepares for automated passport scanning
BASRA - A passport scanning system, which will read passports of those wanting to enter the country, is being installed for use by the IBP officers near the Um Qsar Port.
Once trained to operate the system, the IBP will have approx. 16 stations to help facilitate immigration and speed ID of persons entering the country that will help ensure the sovereignty of Iraq.
The current system involves a tedious process of looking at each passport and visually comparing the photo to the individual presenting it. Once the IBP officer has determined the photo in the passport matches the person presenting it, the individual is then allowed to see the Directorate of Travelling and Identity for entry into Iraq.
Iraq Security Forces kill seven, detain three suspects
BALAD - 7 AQI fighters were killed during an op conducted by Tikrit IP, CF and a Tikrit Iraqi SWAT team, April 12.
Iraqi SF conducted the op to disrupt AQI ops in the Jazeera region of the Salah al-Din province. During a sweep of the objective area, enemy fighters engaged ISF, resulting in numerous firefights which left 7 of the terrorists dead.
During the op, ISWAT also seized a truck containing a suicide vest, several mortar rounds, rockets, detonation cord, a PKC rifle and 5,000 rounds of ammo. Three suspected AQI terrorists were detained for questioning.
"Catching terrorists where they train and keeping the fight in the sparsely inhabited Jazeera Desert will potentially save Iraqi civilian lives and increase overall security in Iraq," said Col. Bill Buckner, the MNC-Iraq public affairs officer.
Iraqi SF detain 2 wanted criminal leaders, 10 others in Basrah
BAGHDAD - Iraqi SF detained 2 criminal leaders wanted by the GoI in separate ops, April 14 in Basrah.
An Iraqi ERU captured the suspected leader and three other members of an IED cell operating in the Basrah area. Intel reports indicate the cell has been involved in multiple attacks against Iraqi and CF, and the distribution of IEDs and illegal weapons.
In another op in Basrah, a Hillah SWAT team detained the suspected leader of a criminal cell. Seven suspected members of the cell were also detained. The detaining of these men will disrupt criminal ops in Basrah, likely decrease IED attacks and potentially lead to info about other cell leaders and activities in the area.
MND-B Soldiers seize rockets, weapons cache
BAGHDAD - In different ops in the Rashid District in southern Baghdad, April 14,
Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, seized more than a dozen 107mm rockets with launchers that appear to be of Iranian manufacture.
These Soldiers also seized weapons during a security patrol in western Rashid, capturing rocket propelled grenades, and almost 100 shot gun rounds enroute to a nearby combat outpost.
The Soldiers also detained a man accused of attacking CF during the ongoing security ops in West Rashid.
107mm rockets and fuses that appear to be of Iranian manufacture.