Dear Interested Readers,
Kudos to the 4th Stryker BCT 2nd ID, heading home next month after a most successful deployment. The Sarafiyah Bridge has a successful re-opening. Many insurgents killed or captured, and large amounts of weapons caches uncovered.
Multi-National Corps - Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
May 31, 2008
Sons of Iraq successfully defend checkpoint from attackers
TIKRIT - SoI killed 9 enemy insurgents today during a firefight at a checkpoint near Owja, south of Tikrit, May 29.
"If it were not for the SoI identifying the enemy threat, they would have moved through the checkpoint unnoticed, only to cause mayhem somewhere else," said Maj. Phillip Borders, 1st Special Troops Bn ops officer. "The SoI's vigilance is keeping the people of Tikrit safe."
A fuel truck was fabricated to hold enemy fighters. Eight enemy fighters dismounted from the truck after the driver exited the vehicle and detonated a suicide vest. After IP arrived, all were killed after a short fire-fight.
Iraqi citizens lead IA to large cache near Samarra
SAMARRA - Acting on a tip from local Iraqi citizens, IA Soldiers from discovered a large weapons cache site near the al-Rega area of the Salah ad-Din province, May 29.
The cache was buried nearly 5 feet underground. It contained 231 40 mm rounds; 29 60 mm rounds; and 14 80 mm artillery rounds. This type of ordnance has commonly been used to manufacture IEDs.
IA soldiers were also led to more than 10,000 20 mm high-explosive rounds. This find is the latest in a series of recent cache discoveries in the Samarra area. Earlier in the month, Iraqi and CF discovered 19 weapons caches in a 16 day period.
"The discovery of this large cache site was driven by human intel, which indicates the relationship developing between Iraqi SF and the local population in and around Samarra," said Lt. Col. Thomas Hauerwas, 1st BCT EO.
'Surge' Brigade redeploys
BAGHDAD - Approx. 4,000 Soldiers from the 4th Stryker BCT, 2nd ID, are redeploying back to Fort Lewis,
Wash., next month.
To secure the Diyala Province north of Baghdad and to improve the safety and quality of life for the approx. 1.2 million people living there, was their mission.
"We have been extremely successful during our 14 months of ops in Taji and Diyala," said Col. John Lehr, bde. cmdr. "Ops in concert with the Iraqi SF have made the province safer and more stable resulting in a place for the govt and civil services to conduct business and for the Iraqi people to live and work.
The 4th Stryker Bde partnered with, trained and supported more than 17,300 IP in Diyala Province at 64 IP stations in 11 separate district HQs. A Ministry of Interior Police Academy recently graduated its first class and will yield approximately 500 IP a month. "They are working hard to create a better police force -- a force that is non-sectarian and non-corrupt," said Lehr.
In addition to ISF training, the 4th Stryker Bde has assisted the provincial govt in developing and executing a plan to restart 3 electrical generator farms in Baquba to add electricity to the power grid. Currently, 2 of the farms are operational, adding a 25% increase in available power, and the third will be on line at the end of the month.
The 4th Stryker Bde in partnership with local Iraqi leaders contributed to reopening three vocational technical training centers in the city which will educate over 1000 Iraqi men in skills required for reconstruction efforts.
"One of the most telling signs of improvement in the province is the resurgence of market activity and traffic on the streets. Last fall, many markets were closed and there was limited traffic on the streets. Today, most of the markets are open and the streets are full of vehicles and pedestrians. Children go to school and a sense of normalcy has returned in most of the cities," said Lehr.
The brigade played an integral role in establishing the conditions for long-term security in Iraq by reducing
violence in the Diyala Province by 70% and providing hope for the future to the local population though training and employment opportunities.
Coalition forces kill 10 criminals in New Baghdad
FOB LOYALTY - CF killed 10 Special Group criminals in the Fedaliyah neighborhood of the New Baghdad
district in eastern Baghdad, May 28, after observing them emplace IEDs. The criminals were also carrying
Joint OPS help protect Soldiers on patrol
Air Force Maj. Robert Carneal, electronic warfare officer, 18th MP Bde, verifies settings on counter-IED equipment prior to teams preparing to depart for a combat mission, May 28 at Camp Victory.
Iraqis hold grand re-opening of Sarafiyah Bridge
By Sgt. Jerome Bishop
BAGHDAD - The promise of a prosperous future for Iraq took one step closer to becoming a reality as the Sarafiyah Bridge linking the Rusafa and Karkh districts of Baghdad was reopened May 27 after being rebuilt.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was present for the opening event, which featured live music, several speeches and a ribbon cutting on the bridge's road way.
The significance of the event was not limited only to the result of the bridge's opening, but also in how it came to be, as it was the GoI, who took the initiative to conduct the reconstruction.
In addition to tangible, economic gains offered by the re-opening of the bridge, the ceremony also marked a more symbolic meaning. "One side is Shi'a and the other side is Sunni, and there were very good relationships between them. The terrorists tried to send a message: 'We would like to cut the communication lines between these 2 main groups in Iraq;' but luckily, they didn't manage to do that," said Mohammed Asadi, a Baghdad native, who works as a media advisor for 2nd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. "And they send the message back: 'Here we are, and we are together,'" he added.
The Sarafiyah Bridge, one of several bridges that cross the Tigris River in the Iraqi capital, was destroyed in a VBIED attack April 12, 2007, that killed 10 Iraqis and injured at least 26 others.
Members of the Iraqi Color Guard.
MND-B Soldiers, NPs find weapons cache in Rashid
FOB FALCON - May 28, responding to a tip, Soldiers from 1st BCT, 4th ID, and IP, located 64 mortar rounds; 50 rockets; 14 pounds of plastic explosives; 6 RPGs; 3,000 7.62mm rounds of ammo; 4 PKC machine guns; an M-1 rifle; 4 EFP copper plates, 2 sets of body armor, a smoke grenade canister, 6 spools of command wire, and an unknown amount of EFP components.