Monday, March 12, 2007

CentCom Update March 5, 2007

I don't know what is going on over at CentCom, other than the officer in charge is way over his head. He emailed me and believe me he knows nothing about the internet and is trying to work it out. but, I am trying to keep getting the message out.

Iraqi, Coalition Leaders Discuss Security South of Baghdad

By Multi-National Corps, Iraq
Public Affairs Office


KALSU, Iraq, Feb. 26, 2007 — Iraqi and American security leaders representing the Iraqi police, Iraqi Army, provincial military transition teams, the Multi-National Division - Baghdad and other units operating in northern Babil and Karbala gathered here Feb. 24 to coordinate and plan operations that will allow the transition of security responsibility to provincial Iraqi control.

“Iraqi security forces have demonstrated the skill to enforce security in their respective provinces,” said Col. Michael Garrett, commander, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division and a Cleveland native. “They already provide most of the security in the provinces.”

Lt. Gen. Hamza Qais, commander of Babil Province police, answers questions from media embers following Kalsu Conference III with Iraqi security force and coalition leaders at Forward Operating Base Kalsu Feb. 24. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Marcus Butler.The security coordination meeting was the third in four months. A conference took place in November after 4th BCT assumed control of the area and again last month.

The meeting was also an opportunity for face-to-face contact with counterparts in the Iraqi security forces and the Spartan Brigade from Fort Richardson, Alaska.

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Iraqi Police, Marines work together to restore security to Habbaniyah

02 March 2007

By Lance Cpl. Christopher Zahn
Regimental Combat Team 6

HABBANIYAH — Marines from Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, recently conducted their first joint security patrol with the Iraqi Police since arriving in Al Anbar late January. Staff Sgt. Michael S. Richard, 30, from Merrimack, N.H., speaks to an Iraqi civilian while on patrol with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, and the Iraqi Police. The IPs, pictured here wearing ski masks to avoid being identified, face a constant threat of death from insurgents frustrated by the diligent work of policemen dedicated to cleaning up the streets of the city. The combined efforts of both Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police mean a safer environment for the people. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Christopher ZahnThe historic operation marked a turning point for the future of Habbaniyah. The local populace has grown accustomed to seeing Marines and Iraqi Army soldiers patrol the streets, but not with the Iraqi Police.

The mission of the day was to pass out Iraqi Police recruiting pamphlets, search suspicious vehicles and establish the presence of police forces. Unlike the Iraqi Army soldiers, who are recruited throughout the country, the Iraqi Police are locally recruited. By joining forces with the Marines, the IPs are ensuring the safety of their own neighborhoods.

“I think we definitely turned some heads out there,” said Staff Sgt. Michael S. Richard, 30, from Merrimack, N.H. “The Iraqi people saw that the Iraqi Police are here to rid their neighborhoods of bad guys.”

For the Marines, their mission can be summed up in one word: transition. Fighting the insurgency gets easier as the Iraqi Security Forces become more effective. A more effective force means the ISF will be able to take over their towns and villages.

“Our mission is transition,” said Maj. Mark H. Clingan, battalion operations officer, 36, from Westminster, Md. “We need to set up the Iraqi Security Forces for success. We have done extensive work with the Iraqi Army, and now it’s time to start doing the same with the Iraqi Police.”

The eagerness of the Iraqi Police to patrol their own hometowns was evident, despite the threat they face daily from anti-Iraqi forces.

“The IPs showed a desire to conduct joint patrols with the Marines,” said Richard. “(They) responded without hesitation to dismount from their armored vehicles and patrol the streets with us.”

This first combined patrol set the pace and tone for what the mission is really about. The Marines are here to create an environment that will allow the ISF to create an Iraq, for Iraqis, by Iraqis. It is important for the Iraqi people to see their fellow citizens stepping up to fill this role.

Photo: Staff Sgt. Michael S. Richard, 30, from Merrimack, N.H., speaks to an Iraqi civilian while on patrol with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, and the Iraqi Police. The IPs, pictured here wearing ski masks to avoid being identified, face a constant threat of death from insurgents frustrated by the diligent work of policemen dedicated to cleaning up the streets of the city. The combined efforts of both Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police mean a safer environment for the people. (Photo by: Lance Cpl. Christopher Zahn)

U.S. Soldiers Save Iraqi Baby Boy's Life

By Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division

YUSUFIYAH, Iraq, Feb. 26, 2007 — Soldiers recently received something they least expected – a baby.

Soldiers from the 210th Brigade Support Battalion “Providers” and the 4th Battalion 31st Infantry Regiment “Polar Bears,” both units of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), took care of a sick Iraqi baby boy at the Patrol Base Yusufiyah aid station here.

“The baby’s mother brought him to us because he was very sick,” said Maj. Casey Geaney, a native of Portland, Ore., who serves as a battalion surgeon currently attached to the 4-31st.

U.S. Army Spc. Carrielynn Spillis, a medic with the 210th Brigade Support Battalion “Providers,” 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, shows Nasseir Alaobed how to care for his infant son at the Patrol Base Yusufiyah aid station in Yusufiyah, Iraq Feb. 21, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie.Knowing that the baby, Sajad, was very ill and that the Iraqi medical system did not have the capabilities to care for the infant, Geaney decided Sajad would become an in-patient.

“Usually this is not an in-patient facility,” Geaney explained. “However, after discovering the child had an infection we did not want him to go home.”

Sajad, who was seven months of age, was only the size of a two-month-old. He was believed to have suffered brain injury during his birth.

“Sajad was very dehydrated and sick when we first saw him,” said Spc. Carrielynn Spillis, a 210th BSB medic and native of Toledo, Ohio, as she held him in her arms. “We have been feeding him through a tube because he was too weak to feed from a bottle.

”Keeping Sajad was a huge responsibility for the team. He required around-the-clock attention, just as any infant.
“We would take turns watching him,” Spills explained. “One medic would stay with him at the aid station during the night and others would watch him during the day.”

Another medic shared her thoughts of caring for Sajad.
“It’s tiring to take care of him,” said Spc. Erin Byers, a medic with the 210th BSB and native of Guysmills, Penn.

“But it is a nice change of pace. I am used to dealing with soldiers, but Sajad allowed me to be compassionate – it is a different mindset.”

After caring for Sajad for four days, Geaney decided he was well enough to return home. But before releasing the infant, Geaney and the medics taught Sajad’s father how to care for him.

“They (the doctor and medics) did a nice job,” said Nasseir Alaobed, Sajad’s father, as he was learning to feed his son through a tube. “The Iraqi hospitals do not have this kind of care and I am glad I brought him in.”

Sajad was returned to his parents fully hydrated and with more strength. At one point, Spillis was mentioned that Sajad was actually feeding from a bottle.

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