Dear Interested Reader,
Kudos to the 168th BSB for completing 3,000 missions! Enjoy some great pics of the goings on at the airfield in Camp Taji. More than 500,000 Iraqis will now have purified water in their neighborhoods, something we take for granted. Salvadoran and U.S. Military Medics treat villagers, while the future of Ramadi youths look bright. Security increases as more terrorists are captured, and weapons and munition caches continue to be seized.
Multi-National Corps - Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
Aug. 7, 2008
Blackanthem Military News
"Make It Happen" reaches 3,000 Missions
By Capt. Jennifer St. John, HQ, 168th BSB
Soldiers with the Heavy Equipment Truck Transport (HETT) Plt, 416th Transportation Co, attached to the 57th Transportation Co, 168th BSB, 1st Sustainment Bde, make sure a Stryker is loaded onto their M1000 trailer properly. The HETT Plt is on a 15 month rotation in Iraq and moves heavy equipment throughout the MND Baghdad footprint.
(Army photo by Staff Sgt. David Jenkins)
CAMP LIBERTY - The 168th BSB has reached a significant milestone in its quest to being the best support bn in the Army. Since arriving in Iraq less than a year ago, the battalion has conducted more than 3,000 Deliberate Combat Logistics Patrols as part of its efforts to sustain units located at 8 FOBs across MNDn - Baghdad and MND - Central.
The growing and expanding of JSSs and COPs in Iraq has increased the requirement for all types of barriers. These barriers are not only used for the safety and security of Soldiers, but for traffic control in and around Baghdad. The battalion also utilizes private security elements and private trucking companies to accomplish this task. They are instrumental in moving and emplacing barriers along some of the most dangerous routes in Baghdad including areas around Sadr City.
Working together, this team has completed more 5,100 TMRs and has moved about 28,000 pieces of cargo not including commodities such as food, water and fuel. Through all these moving pieces, the SPO section has discovered the key to planning a successful DCLP operation is following the process and using the systems that they have established. The section must adhere to the same standards and discipline that are instilled in all the Soldiers of the 168th BSB. Teamwork throughout the battalion and at every level enables the unit to "Make it Happen." This is why reaching their 3,000th DCLP is such a celebration.
Staff Sgt. Severo Henry, truck driver with the HETT Pln, conducts a radio check just prior to a convoy mission, here June 26.
(Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bryant Maude)
Blackanthem Military News
A Day at the CAB, 4th Inf. Div. airfield
By Sgt. Jason Dangel
A U.S. Army AH-64D Apache Attack helicopter from the CAB, 4th ID, prepares to land after the conclusion of a mission on Camp Taji, July 28. The Apache has been the Army's primary attack helicopter since 1984 and has seen action in Panama, the Gulf War, Op Enduring Freedom and Op Iraqi Freedom.
(Army photo by Sgt. Jason Dangel)
A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter from the CAB, 4th ID, prepares to take-off from the brigade's airfield. The helicopter has been in service for the U.S. Army since 1979 and can perform a wide array of ops to include tactical transport of personnel and air assaults.
Spc. Joseph Yatzor, crew chief, Co A, 3rd Bn, prepares a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter for a mission.
Officials open water distribution site, fill trucks for delivery
BAGHDAD - More than 500,000 Iraqi residents have purified water headed to their neighborhoods as Baghdad Water Authority officials, along with Iraqi leaders and leaders from the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, opened a water distribution site at JSS Al Khansa in eastern Baghdad, Aug. 3.
After officials opened the site, 2 BWA drivers filled their trucks with purified water for distribution to residents in their neighborhoods.
When the site is fully operational, Al Khansa area residents can expect an estimated 10 BWA trucks delivering water in their neighborhoods daily. Each truck will contain 12,000 to 15,000 liters of purified water and, initially, the site will service at least 500,000 citizens.
In addition, the water distribution site at Al Khansa has 3 taps for people to fill small containers with purified water on site.
From left, Hato Hassan, 9th Nissan district council chairman; Wadi Al Shamari, another 9th Nissan councilman; and Iraqi Brig. Gen. Hassoun, cmdr., refresh themselves with purified water from taps.
(Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matt Meadows)
MND-B Soldiers detain three suspected criminals
BAGHDAD - Aug. 6, in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad, at approx. 1:30 a.m. in the Jihad community, Soldiers from the Scout Plt, HHC, 1st Bn, 22nd Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained the 3 suspected roadside bomb emplacers.
IA soldiers seize large weapons cache in Sadr City
BAGHDAD - An Iraqi citizen led IA Soldiers to a weapons cache in the Sadr City district of Baghdad Aug. 4. "We saved a lot of lives tonight," said Maj. Gen. Muzer, cmdr of the 11th IA Div. "We will never know how many, but this is something of which we can be proud."
The cache consisted of 28 107 mm Iranian rockets; a 107 mm Chinese rocket; 7 122 mm Russian rockets; 63 60 mm Iranian mortars; a 240 mm warhead; 25 Chinese fuses; 25 Iranian fuses; a propellant charge for a RPG; a 120 mm mortar tube; 2 Iranian 60 mm mortar tubes; a 81 mm mortar tube; 8 107 mm rocket launchers; 8 mortar sights; IED-making materials, and video tapes of attacks on Iraqi Security and CF.
The weapons cache consisted of new Iranian munitions with a manufacture date of early 2008. Both the 107 mm and 122 mm rocket types were used against the International Zone and civilian populace throughout Baghdad during late March and early May. There were approx. 1,100 rockets fired, resulting in 149 civilian casualties in that timeframe.
MND-B Soldiers detain four suspected terrorists in southern Baghdad
BAGHDAD - Aug. 4, in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad, Soldiers from HHC, 1st Bn, 22nd Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained 4 suspected AQI members at approximately 11 p.m. in the Aamel community.
Salvadoran, U.S. Military Medical Teams Help Iraqi Villagers
By Army Sgt. Daniel T. West
Salvadoran 1st Lt. Alfaro, examines an Iraqi boy's crippled hands during a medical activity by American and Salvadoran doctors at the Jameer clinic in the Zuwarijat district of Kut, July 31, 2008. The event kicked off Op Bring on the Docs, designed to identify and improve health-care capabilities in Kut.
Army photo by Sgt. Daniel T. West, 41st Fires Brigade
FOB DELTA — The event kicked off Op Bring on the Docs, a multiphase op with the Wasit province’s Health Ministry, which is designed to identify and improve health care capabilities, said Army Col. (Dr.) Italo Bastianelli, 41st Fires Bde surgeon. “The overall objective is to develop an Iraqi-led, enduring, quality health care system within Wasit province,” he said.
The Zuwarijat op was held at the Wasit Health Ministry’s Jamaheer clinic, and focused on education for local health care professionals and citizens of the district. Medical assistance visits are planned and executed in cooperation with Iraqi health care professionals, Bastianelli said. Coalition health care providers use the visits to understand limitations local doctors face and to improve their ability to care for their patients, he said. “With improved training, facilities, medical equipment and supplies, Iraqi health professionals will be able to take the lead in caring for the Iraqi people,” Bastianelli said. “This will allow CF medical assets to take advisory and support roles.”
About 200 patients received treatment, which focused on preventive medicine, at the Jamaheer clinic during the event. “It’s a good experience for young medics and doctors to get out and see the people of Iraq, and work with them, to help rebuild the country,” said Army Pfc. Jessica Rush, of Co C, 589th BSB, one of the medics on the scene.
“All together, it was fun,” added Army Pfc. Dana Larsen, also of Co C. “We never got a rest or lunch break, and didn’t even notice. We did a lot, but there are so many more things we wish we could have done, but couldn’t.” They will have their chance. The operation’s work in the area should take about 2 months to complete, Bastianelli said.
Al-Qaeda Being Targeted, Captured
BAGHDAD — Iraqi and CF targeted AQI elements in the central and northern part of the country August 5 & 6, detaining 3 wanted men and 7 additional suspects.
In Baghdad August 5, CF captured a wanted man and 2 additional suspected terrorists during an op to further disrupt the AQI foreign terrorist facilitation network. Intel reports indicate the wanted man is well-connected to international terrorists.
In a precision raid August 5, near Khanaqin, about 150 km southeast of Kirkuk, CF captured a wanted man with suspected ties to a recently detained regional AQI leader.
Another op in Khanaqin on August 6 targeted a foreign terrorist facilitator involved in suicide bombings. CF detained a suspected terrorist.
Iraqi and CF near Hawijah, about 60 km southwest of Kirkuk, captured a wanted man who allegedly conspires with an AQI regional leader. The force detained 2 additional suspects.
Targeting an AQI cell leader responsible for attacks against civilians, CF detained 2 suspected terrorists in Sharqat, about 90 km south of Mosul. One suspect was injured during the op, but was treated on site by CF medics.
Future of Ramadi Youth Looks Bright
By Lance Cpl. Casey Jones
An Iraqi boy cheers on his neighborhood's soccer team during the Ramadi Youth Conference soccer tournament, July 23, 2008.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Casey Jones.
RAMADI — Nearly 3,000 school-aged children from various neighborhoods in Ramadi joined recently for the city’s inaugural Ramadi Youth Conference; one more sign the region is on the right road to recovery after years of intense violence. The city’s officials, in conjunction with the ePRT-Ramadi and 1st Bn, 9th Marine Regt, Regimental Combat Team 1, hosted the conference at the south Ramadi indoor olympic gym, July 21-24, 2008, to help improve the children’s future.
“The 4-day conference was intended to boost the capabilities of the youth,” said Air Force Col. Mary Ann P. Ante-Amburgey, the ePRT social affairs leader for Ramadi. “The event was also designed to encourage them to demonstrate their national pride and to stay in school because the future of Iraq is in their hands.”
The coordinators of the conference mixed fun with knowledge by holding classes about leadership; hosting several guest speakers including the city’s mayor, a health dept. rep., the dir. gen. of education and the DG of youth and sports; and also holding sports tournaments and cultural contests.
The children are a “metaphor for the city’s revival,” Ante-Amburgey said. The children, just like the city, are still growing and are still susceptible to radical Islamic groups trying to prevent advancement in the region. The city’s youth, especially those between 14 and 18, had been a recruiting base for the insurgency, she said. The conference showed the children there are other options for their energies and talents.
“It proved to them that their future is brighter now than what it was during those violent years,” said Ante-Amburgey. “I’ve met many Iraqis who really wanted to make a difference in their community and wish for their kids’ lives to be better than theirs.”
Leaders in the region, making the most of peace and tranquility, are planning several more conferences in the upcoming weeks and months. The city has scheduled a medical conference, leadership summit, and several soccer tournaments in the near future.
Coalition forces destroy weapons caches in Lake Thar Thar region
BAGHDAD – CF discovered and destroyed 2 weapons caches during a mission ending Aug. 2 to disrupt AQI ops near Lake Thar Thar in central Iraq. Intel reports indicate the Lake Thar Thar region is used by AQI leaders and operatives as a transit route, safe haven, and training area for foreign terrorists brought into Iraq. CF conducted a methodical 72-hour security sweep of the area and discovered 2 weapons caches.
One of the caches contained several rifles, pistols and armor-piercing ammo. Another cache, hidden behind false walls in a building, contained more than 10,000 rounds of various ammo and bomb-making materials. CF called for supporting aircraft, which destroyed the building and cache inside.
An IA Soldier helps an elderly woman cross the street in Abu Ghraib, Aug. 2, 2008. The Iraqi Soldiers accompanied U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, comm. gen. of MNF - Iraq, as he toured the town's market.
Army photo by Spc. Charles W. Gill.