Dear Interested Reader,
Major progress as the southern Balad Ruz area of the Diyala province has had security transfered to Iraqi SF. In the Kharnabat area of west of Baghdad, IA and U.S. medics bring medical aid, while an elementary school in Rashid gets reopened after being refurbished. IA tracks down AQI fleeing from Diyala, as other criminals are detained or killed, and weapons caches seized.
Multi-National Corps - Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
Aug. 3, 2008
MND-N Soldiers transfer security responsibility in Diyala to ISF
DIYALA PROVINCE - A transfer of responsibility from MND - North Soldiers to Iraqi SF was finalized in the southern Balad Ruz area of the Diyala province of Iraq, Aug. 2.
The volatile area of Diyala, where 2 ops are currently being conducted, has seen success with security for the IA, IP and local residents.
The 3rd ACR handed over its security responsibility to Col. Abbas, Balad Ruz police Chief and the 18th Bde, 5th IA Div Cmdr. Staff Brig. Gen. Kadhim to allow the ISF to maintain security in their own townships.
"The Iraqis are ready to take over this area," Faris said. "Our people are ready to come back to their homes and support the Coalition and Iraqi forces."
"It is truly an exciting day," said Maj. Cameron Cantlon, a 3rd ACR sqdrn EO. "There is absolutely no question that
our forces couldn't have done any of this without the help of the Iraqi forces."
Maj. Cameron Cantlon and a linguist go through a map of the Balad Ruz area.
(Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Rose Mittlesteadt)
IA, MND-B Soldiers bring medical aid to village in Iraq
BAGHDAD - In the Kharnabat area west of Baghdad, July 29, IA and 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID medics converted the Al Manasir School into a temporary clinic and treated more than 170 people.
"We are so thankful for the U.S. and the IA for what they are doing, said one patient after being treated by an IA medic. "I have been sick for many days, and they gave me medicine for free that will help me get better."
The IA medics tended to the majority of the patients, while 2nd SBCT, 25th ID. medics treated a few immediate and complex cases. "Today was great," said Staff Sgt Amos Salas, a medic. "There were a lot of people who came and saw the IA working with local personnel. I believe this is a step in the right direction for the Iraqi people."
Maj. Kurt Kinney, a bn surgeon assists 2 Iraqi medics.
(Army photo by Cpl. Dustin Weidman)
Staff Sgt. Amos Salas hands out small Iraqi flags and stuffed animals to children.
Elementary school in Rashid reopens after refurbishment
BAGHDAD - The al-Harat Elementary School in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad reopened July 31, after 2 months of refurbishment. The school will open its new doors to more than 1,000 Iraqi boys and girls from 7-12 years old, and 60 teachers in September.
Among the improvements made to the school were window unit a/cs, interior and exterior paint, new doors, new chalkboards and a generator to supply the school with electricity. "The school looks very good," said Ali, who has served as the school's principal for 25 years. "It is like a new house for the students. Now that we have a new-looking school, it will allow the students to work harder and better."
The funds for the project came from the GoI, said Lt. Col. Timothy Watson, a 1st BCT, 4th ID bn cmdr. "This is one of the first schools to be refurbished in this area," Watson said. "We hope to work our way through all the schools."
"This school refurbishment is a testament to the level of care for the neighborhood," said Capt. Parsana Deoki, a 1st BCT, 4th ID co cmdr. "My Soldiers have taken the time to ensure work is done correctly and according to the scheduled scope of work."
"With the help of both CF and the District Council, this place has become a school again," said Capt. Yousif Ibrahim, the community SoI leader and neighborhood councilman. "On behalf of our neighborhood, principal and teachers, we give special thanks for giving us the security to make it happen."
With members of the Neighborhood and District Council and 60 teachers on his side, the school principal has plans to add 5 new classrooms with the hope of giving the children the best opportunity to learn.
Capt. Parsana Deoki speaks with local leaders.
(Army photo by Sgt. David Hodge)
An exterior view of the al-Harat Elementary School.
INPs turn in weapons, MND-B Soldiers detain suspected IED makers
BAGHDAD - In the Rashid district, at approx. 8:30 p.m., Aug.1, IP reported a weapons cache in the Abu T'shir community of southeastern Baghdad to Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID. The NPs brought the cache, which contained 3 RPG launchers, 2 RPG rounds, a machine gun, 50 7.62 mm rounds, a claymore mine, a 60 mm mortar tube with mount and base plate and 2 80 mm mortar tubes, to a JSS in Rashid.
At approx. 1 a.m. Aug. 2, Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained 2 suspected IED makers in the Saydiyah community of Rashid.
MND-B Soldiers detain suspected criminal, INPs seize cache in Rashid
BAGHDAD - Aug. 1, at approx. 1:45 p.m., Soldiers from the 1st BCT 4th ID, detained a suspected criminal in the Jihad community of Rashid and delivered the individual to a JSS for questioning.
At approx. 4:15 p.m., Iraqi NP seized 7 RPGs, 6 RPG propellants, 200 PKC rounds and 50 7.62 mm rounds in the Aamel community.
Hayy championship soccer tournament underway in Rashid
BAGHDAD - The Rashid Olympic Games are underway in southern Baghdad as 14 teams compete in a local soccer tournament for the chance to become champions.
MND - Baghdad Soldiers played a key role in the event, working as advisors to the local community leaders and, best of all, observing the games, said Capt. Thao Reed, cmdr., HHC, 1st Special Troops Bn, 1st BCT, 4th ID. Reed said her primary role is to help the Iraqi leaders from the local neighborhood councils with their initial planning and ongoing efforts to create a community program for Iraqis.
Reed said the games provide the Iraqis a sense of normalcy and, in the long term, the people see their local leaders doing something good for the community. "Through sports, they are also building a loyalty base with the kids - building pride and respect within the communities," Reed said.
Hashem Mahmood, the Deputy District Chairman met with Capt. Thao Reed to promote the Rashid Olympics.
(Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brent Williams)
IA tracks down AQI fleeing from Diyala
TIKRIT - IA Soldiers operating in the Salah ad-Din province during Op Eagle Pursuit killed 3 AQI fighters as another detonated his suicide vest, killing himself, July 31.
Op Eagle Pursuit is in direct support of Op Iron Pursuit being carried out by MND - North Soldiers in the volatile Diyala Province, which began a few days ago. The IA Soldiers also detained 9 AQI members during their initial stages of the op that has them pushing toward the Uzaym River Valley attempting to kill or capture AQI members fleeing from Diyala into Salah ad-Din in order to escape advancing Iraqi Security and CF.
"This op is significant in that it signals a step forward for the IA's ability to conduct self-sustained and long-term unilateral ops in the Salah ad-Din province," said Capt. James Hodgson, ISF liaison for the 1st BCT, 101st Abn Div. "The IA has shown marked improvement in recent months in its ability to gather intel, disrupt enemy activity and gain the trust and confidence of the Iraqi people. The initial stage of this op is simply a tribute to their continuous efforts."