Dear Interested Reader,
Enjoy an amazing story transforming a 2-room mud shack into a 6-classroom, 2-office building with a garden, while the 404th renovated several Rashid school. The 4th ID assessed security at Medical City, a 7-hospital complex in Baghdad. IA gets training on landing zone procedures, while others take a mass casualty class at Camp Taji. 7th Cav soldiers help distribute food packages to needy in Amarah. 1st BCT, 4th ID partake in Iftar dinner. Iranian backed SG criminals arrested and weapons caches seized.
Sept. 30, 2008
Multi-National Corps - Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
7th Sustainment Brigade partners with local Iraqis for school reconstruction
The 7th Sustainment Bde and citizens of Al Fawaz joined forces to expand the Al Ashyabb school house from this 2-room mudshack into a 6-classroom, 2-office building with a garden area.
(Army photos by Spc. Anthony Hooker)
Chief Warrant Officer Chris Gauthreaux, a civil-military officer with the 7th Sustainment Bde, conducts a site survey and in-progress review with local contractors.
The 7th Sustainment Bde and citizens of Al Fawaz joined forces to expand the Al Ashyabb school house.
Prominent community leader shares iftar dinner with MND-B Soldiers
By Sgt. David Hodge
BAGHDAD - A community leader from southern Baghdad's Rashid district gathered with MND - Baghdad Soldiers, Sep. 27 at FOB Falcon to celebrate a night of Ramadan.
Dr. Hamed, a philanthropist who has organized many community events in Rashid, served a traditional Iraqi feast to more than 400 1st BCT, 4th ID Soldiers to mark the iftar, or breaking of the day's fast.
"On this day of Ramadan it is an honor to join with Soldiers," said Hamed to a large group of Soldiers. "This dinner tonight is the end result of work between Iraqis and CF. This is how it should always be." Hamed coordinated and hosted several iftar dinners for the 1st BCT Soldiers during the month-long Muslim holiday of Ramadan.
Col. Ted Martin, cmdr. of the Raider BCT, said he believes hospitality is very prevalent across the Rashid district during Ramadan. "Iraqis are the most gracious hosts anyone will ever meet," he said. "Being invited to the dinners throughout Rashid is a big honor for me and also my Soldiers."
Muayad selected a food called gus, more commonly referred to around the world as gyros, to serve to Soldiers from the 4th Support Bn and 1st Special Troops Bn. Spc. Silvia Olvera, a water treatment specialist assigned to Co A, 4th Supt. Bn., 1st BCT, 4th ID, said she liked the food Hamed brought to the dining facility and will definitely try to eat Iraqi food again. "It's good," she said. "I have never had it before - it's something new."
When Hamed approached Martin a few weeks ago with the idea of feeding Soldiers for Iftar, Martin had no idea how many people Hamed had in mind. "I was thinking we would include about 15 to 20 Soldiers, but when I asked Dr. Muayad what we should plan for he said 400 to 500," he said.
"It was very thoughtful to incorporate the Soldiers into the meal," said1st Lt. Rendy Yuhistira, EO for Co. C. "They get to see the people and culture they are affecting."
Many Soldiers are stuck on the FOB and they don't get a chance to see how their work is affecting the country, he said. "I think this dinner showed our Soldiers that many Iraqis are very appreciative of what we have done," he added.
"This was a fantastic night," Martin said. "We are really grateful to Dr. Muayad. "They are showing their happiness and thanks toward us. It's was a really special event."
Dr. Hamed speaks with Lt. Col. David Hill during an Iftar dinner.
Spc. Silvia Olvera eats a plate of gus, a traditional Iraqi sandwich more commonly referred to around the world as gyros.
An Iraqi prepares a traditional Iftar dinner.
An Iraqi prepares a traditional Iftar dinner.
1st Lt. Rendy Yuhistira (left) awaits his chance to try some traditional Iraqi cuisine.
MND-C Soldiers help NGO provide assistance to Iraqis
AMARAH, I - Approx. 680 Iraqi families received food distribution, Sept. 25 in Amarah.
The Alyktha Org., a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Maysan Province, partnered with 2nd Bn, 7th Cav Regt, 4th BCT, 1st Cav Div Soldiers to provide assistance to the Amarah citizins by conducting a food-distribution mission at the city's main soccer stadium.
Razaq Saadun, an Iraqi citizen that received food at the event, feels this is a good start in helping the people in this area. "The people of Amarah needed something like this," said Saadun. "We need food, medicine and clothing; but this is a good step in the right direction."
The 2nd Bn., 7th Cav. Div. Soldiers are stationed close to the soccer stadium, at the recently built FOB Garry Owen. Many of the MND-C Soldiers lending a hand that day believe the food drop was important to their mission because it immediately had a positive impact on the Maysan people. "The Alkyth agency basically came in here and ran the show," said 1st Lt. David Collins, the fire support officer for 2nd Bn., 7th Cav. Regt.
Waiting to help his fellow Iraqis, Ahmed Salih reflected on his own times of need, and the impact of this work. "We are doing good things that help the people that live here," Salih said, as he helped prepare the boxes of food for the local citizens. Salih said future projects will be arranged to improve education and break the language barrier in his former town.
Col. Philip Battaglia, 4th BCT, 1st Cav Div cmdr., and members of the non-govt Alkytha Org. help prepare food baskets.
(Army photos by By Pfc. Terence Ewings)
Two 2nd Bn, 7th Cav Regt hand out candy to Iraqi children.
MND-B Soldiers renovate Rashid schools
By Capt. Mark Miller
BAGHDAD - MND - Baghdad Soldiers, partnered with Civil Affairs Soldiers and local Iraqi community leaders, completed renovations on schools in Baghdad's Rashid district, Sept. 25, in time for the start of the school year.
"The whole project had to be completed in less than 6 weeks," said Sgt. 1st Class Eric McCoy, NCO-in-Charge of the Civil Affairs team, assigned to the 404th Civil Affairs Bn. "The buildings have been re-faced, all of the electrical wires re-ran; a new generator has been installed, and the bathrooms were completely renovated as well."
At the first ribbon-cutting ceremony in Jari Village, a neighborhood in the Radwaniyah community, students and teachers found newly renovated buildings with fresh paint, new desks, new roofing and 3 additional classrooms. "The community now has better resources thanks to the hard work of the CF and Iraqi contractors," said Sheik Ayad, a local leader of the Radwaniyah district.
Less than one hour later, a re-opening ceremony began for the Malaly School in the Radwaniyah community of Rashid. Capt. Christopher Johnson, EO for HHC, 4th Bn, 64th Armor Regt, spoke to the crowd of students, teachers, and local leaders. "This is the future of Iraq; it begins here with the children." Johnson reflected on memories he had of the school when he first saw it, only months ago. "We all remember when the roof here was falling in, and it was a dangerous environment for the kids," he said. "This is a better environment for the students and teachers to focus on education now."
McCoy and Johnson visited the students, asking if they liked their new classrooms. They also spoke to the students about their favorite subjects and what they like to do for fun, when not in school. "I always enjoy talking with the kids," McCoy said. "They're a lot of fun to interact with, and they deserve the best chance they can get."
Capt. Christopher Johnson and Sheik Ayad talk with local citizens about the new Halwan School.
Iraqi children applaud the opening of their newly remodeled school.
MND-B doctors, leaders visit Medical City
By Staff Sgt. Brock Jones
BAGHDAD – Members from MND – Baghdad met with leaders of Medical City, a 7-hospital complex in Baghdad, to assess concerns and issues regarding the security of the complex and to see mechanical issues in some of the buildings firsthand, Sept. 24.
“The purpose of this visit is to show local leaders that Medical City is a safe place for their people to come for care,” said Lt. Col. David Ristedt, div. surgeon of 4th ID. “With the IA and Force Protection Services and, for that matter, the IP who are protecting this compound … I would feel comfortable walking around without my (personal protective equipment) on.”
“The memories of having people come here a year and a half ago and disappear and be kidnapped and never seen again is still out there,” said Col. Craig Collier, cmdr. of 3rd Sqdrn, 89th Cav Regt, 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, about concerns leaders in his area of ops have expressed. “We still get reports that a lot of people will not go to Medical City because they just don’t trust (the security), and that’s part of the outreach that people need to understand.”
“Medical City is here to serve the entire population of Iraq, not just Baghdad or some districts,” said Dr. Jasim, the dep. dir. gen. of Medical City. “We are honored to receive patients from all our districts. This complex is for all Iraqi people.”
“There’s a surgical hospital, which is 18 floors high; there’s a pediatric hospital; there’s a nursing hospital, a nursing home or geriatric-type hospital. There’s a cardio hospital now,” said Maj. Gregory Brewer, dep. chief of medical ops with 4th ID. “So, they’ve really expanded out what they’re doing, but their real goal was to teach physicians at Medical City and that Medical City would be the premier healthcare center for Iraq.”
Dr. Jasim, the deputy discusses concerns of local leaders about the security of the Medical City complex in his office.
(Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brock Jones)
Iraqi soldiers get training on landing zone procedures from MND-C Soldiers
By Pfc. Terence Ewings
L.D. Metscher, a crew chief working with the 4th BCT, 1st Cav Div, assists an IA soldier with fastening his seat belt in a UH-60 Black Hawk during landing zone training on FOB Garry Owen, Sept. 25.
Staff Sgt. Michael Newsom, the NCO-in-charge of the tactical training mission with the IA, teaches IA soldiers basic landing-zone procedures when exiting an UH-60 Black Hawk.
MND-B Soldiers, ISF seize weapons, arrest Iranian backed SG criminals throughout Baghdad's Rashid district
FOB FALCON - At approx. 7 p.m., Soldiers from Co C, 1st Bn, 22nd Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 4th ID, reported finding a weapons cache in Hayy Jihad of the Rashid district, Sept. 27.
After contacting an EOD unit, Soldiers found 4 60 mm mortar rounds, a 57 mm projectile, 2 sniper scopes, 16 AK-47 magazines, 4 blasting caps and 250 7.62 mm rounds.
At approx. 7:30 p.m., Soldiers from Co. C, 4th Bn., 64th Armor Regt, attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained a reputed Special Groups member in the Risalah community of southern Baghdad. The suspect is known to have conducted kidnappings, extra judicial killings and EFP attacks in the area.
At approx. 10:45 p.m., Iraqi NP seized a weapons cache in the Risalah community of the Rashid district of southern Baghdad. Soldiers from Co. B, 4th Bn. responded to the find, to assist the ISF. The cache consisted of 2 RPGs, 7 armor piercing RPGs, 6 RPG fuses, a M60 rifle grenade, an anti-tank rifle grenade, a white flair rifle grenade, 2,500 rounds of 7.62 mm rounds, 20 full AK-47 mags, 3 ammo vests, a night vision scope, and 5 hand-held radios.
Blackanthem Military News
Mountaineer ISF logistics team provides supplies, trains Iraqis
By Capt. David Mitchell
Staff Sgt. Timothy Walker (center), poses with his IA mass casualty class students at Camp Taji in northwestern Baghdad, August 2008. Walker serves as the Support Ops section medical NCOIC with the 64th BSB, 3rd BCT, 4th ID.
(Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Dwain Johns)
CAMP TAJI - For the last 9 months the 64th BSB's Support Ops Section has doubled as the Iraqi SF logistics coordination team for the Striker Bde. It has been diligently working with all NP and MiTTs in the 3rd BCT, 4th ID, MND - Baghdad operational environment, trying to make a long-lasting partnership with the Iraqi NP and IA units in northern Baghdad.
This coordination started on a small scale and has quickly grown into a full-time job for the Soldiers involved. SSgt. Timothy Walker, a combat medic, and Sgt. 1st Class Dwain Johns, a supply sgt, is the general supply officer for the Mountaineer Bn. These two men are the main Soldiers from 64th BSB taking part in this op.
Johns is the NCOIC of the ISF Team providing direct guidance on a daily basis to his small team of Soldiers; whereas Walker is the medical material coordinator for the ISF team, providing coordination and oversight.
"If this is our way of contributing to the overall success for the future in Iraq, then this is what our team will continue to do," said Johns. This assistance allows the IA to take a giant step forward in supporting themselves. Additionally, Walker has arranged for the IA bdes to send their soldiers to a medical supply class on Camp Taji, which provides each unit its own qualified and trained medical supply personnel able to track and receive their own medical material.
Walker conducts train the trainer classes to the most proficient IA medics in mass casualty missions and combat lifesaver; then observes as they teach the class until they are fully competent in their tasks. These classes are smaller than a regular combat lifesaver class, allowing for more student-to-teacher interaction that ensures the Iraqi soldiers are ready to go back and teach their fellow countrymen.
"The Iraqi medics appreciate this type of instruction; the ‘train the trainer' concept allows them to learn, then teach one another, alleviating the requirement of Coalition medics to come in and train them in the future," Walker said. "In the end this will allow these medics to be more self-sufficient while gaining the respect of their peers in the IA.
Sgt. 1st Class Dwain Johns (right), discusses techniques and procedures with IA medics.