I Am A Proud Member of Vets For Freedom

For up to date progress in the War In Iraq, please visit Vets For Freedom, an organization I am proud to be a member in good standing of.

Veteran's Suicide Hot Line Number!

1-800-273-TALK (8255) Call this number if you need help!!

A Vast Collection Of Buzzings At Memeorandum

If you wish to catch a buzz without the usual after affects, CLICK TO MEMEORANDUM. (It will not disturb the current page) That will be all. We now return to regular programming.

This Blog Is Moving

Greetings. After this weekend, this Take Our Country Back Blog will be moving to the new web site. Too many conservatives are getting zapped by the intolerant dweebs of the Obama Goons and seeing that this editing platform is a free site, Blogger can do pretty much what it feels like doing. Hence, I now have a paid site and will be migrating the last 1400+ posts shortly.

So, one day, you just may click this page somewhere and it will show up as "private". It has been fun but the intolerant Czarbie Goon Squads are brain dead idiots. They can come play at the new site which I OWN outright.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

War News: Voices From The War - Rare Stories Related

~Snooper~

These stories and photo galleries are from July of 2008. I post them as a reminder what our Troops have accomplished and as an indictment of our alleged informative news services in the USA.

News:
Greenhouses Open As New Model for Agriculture
By Pvt. Christopher McKenna
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq – A series of four greenhouses in Mahmudiyah officially opened in a ribbon cutting ceremony, June 28.

“The greenhouses are definitely a dominant feature in the area; there is nothing else around them, and they can be seen well into the distance,” said Capt. Benjamin Neusse, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, Civil Military Operations officer. “Hopefully it gives people the impression that progress is being made along agricultural lines.”

The four greenhouses are more than 500 square meters each, and use agriculture refill plastic sheets on the outside. The sheets convert ultraviolet rays into heat to produce a more acclimated environment for plants to grow.

“The greenhouse is a pilot project through the local agriculture union for research and development of agriculture technology,” said Neusse, a native of Murfreesboro, Tenn. “The houses are on lease for one year to the union to educate local farmers on potential technology.”

There is a 60 cubic meter storage pond for the drip irrigation system. All of the houses have an independent valve, which means each can be individually selected for irrigation. [...] photo
IA, Rakkasans Detain Four Suspected Insurgents in Village of Mushada
By Staff Sgt. Amber Emery
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – Iraqi army soldiers successfully led a joint ground and air assault mission in the village of Mushada, June 27.

The operation’s intent was to disrupt enemy operations and detain suspected insurgents in the area.

“Today was very successful. The IA’s are taking four detainees with them so I definitely count it as a success,” said Capt. Geoffrey Earnhart, Company C, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) commander.

Soldiers from 3rd Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division successfully completed the assault in Mushada, about 16 kilometer south of Baghdad, with guidance from Rakkasans Soldiers.

“We were conducting a supporting role in this operation . . . the main thrust of this was the IA coming in by ground,” said Earnhart, a native of Perrysburg, Ohio.

The operation demonstrated the ability of IA and coalition forces to react rapidly on an objective.

“So far I think they are doing very well. They were really quick to get on the target and they have shown a lot of professionalism and ability,” Earnhart said. [...] photos
Army Releases Account of First 18 Months of Iraq Occupation
By Kristen Noel
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON - A new book released by the Army examines the challenging period of transition from conventional combined-arms operations to full-spectrum and counterinsurgency operations in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in April 2003.

On Point II was written to provide a historical account for future Army leaders on the decisive 18 months following the overthrow of Saddam's regime, Army Col. Timothy Reese, an armor officer and one of the book's authors, told online journalists and bloggers in a teleconference yesterday.

"We tried to capture the improvisation and ingenuity of the average American soldier as they ... work through the challenges of detainee operations and working without enough linguists and trying to figure out how to oversee or supervise reconstruction operations," On Point II co-author Donald Wright added.

Reese explained that a period of uncertainty followed the regime's collapse, when the message wasn't clear on how U.S. and coalition forces would handle the turnover of power in Iraq.

"Was it an immediate turnover of power to ... some sort of Iraqi governing body, or was it going to be a multiyear process of allied occupation leading to a constitution and elections?" he asked.

"That (message) was certainly missing, and it was a message that changed radically in the course of 30 days, so that hurt," Reese said.

"You can imagine that, in that chaos, where assumptions are changing every day, it would have been very difficult for the military to sort of form this overall command message to the population about exactly where the coalition hoped to take Iraq and its citizens," Wright said. [...] no photos
Salah Ad Din Province Sees Over 600 Men Reconcile
By the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division Public Affairs Office

TIKRIT, Iraq - Recently a meeting between coalition forces and local Iraqi leadership took place June 26, regarding reconciliation in the city of Tikrit.

The governor of the Salah ad Din province, Hamad Hamood Shekti along with Col. Michael S. McBride, commander of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) met with local governmental and military leadership to discuss the way forward for Iraqis wishing to reintegrate back into society. Since May, over 600 hundred men, have pledged to support the Iraqi government by taking the gun out of politics in the province, which is home to the key Iraqi cities of Tikrit, Samarra, Bayji and Balad.

By broadening the reconciliation process across the province, the Iraqi government, Iraqi security forces and the Bastogne Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division seek to provide an opportunity for former fighters and supporters of the insurgency to unite under the Iraqi flag.

“The purpose of this is to open doors for those who do not have anything to do with violence or killing of any Iraqis or coalition forces,” said Shekti.

The long time governor said that reconciliation is a window of opportunity that men who find themselves wanted by ISF and CF, should not pass up.

“The individuals whose names are on the roster should hand themselves in,” he said. “It is great chance to clear your name so you can continue with your life and to rebuild Salah ad-Din and Iraq.” [...] no photos
Iraqi Army, Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers Find Weapons Caches in Baghdad
Multi-National Division – Baghdad Public Affairs Office

BAGHDAD – Iraqi army and Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers continued to uncover weapons caches July 1, in order to secure the area and increase local safety.

Soldiers with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi army division, seized a weapons cache in the Sadr City district of Baghdad containing 13 full AK-47 magazines, two grenades, three fuses, 30 AK-47 rounds and a body armor vest at approximately 5 a.m.

Soldiers with the same unit seized two AK-47s and a sniper rifle at approximately 7 a.m. in a separate operation.

At approximately 12 p.m., Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), received a tip leading to a cache in the Mansour district of Baghdad. The tip netted a rocket propelled grenade with launcher, three mortar rounds, a PKC and a 180 mm mortar round. [END]
Rakkasans Recover Cache Near Ghertema
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq –An informant’s tip led Rakkasan soldiers to a cache near Ghertema, June 29.

The informant led Soldiers from Company B, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division to the cache about 14 kilometers south of Baghdad.

The cache included seven 120 mm high explosive mortars, four 120 mm white phosphorous mortars, two 120 mm Russian made mortars, two 105 mm mortars, one 102 mm Russian made mortar, one 100 mm Russian made mortar, one 60 mm Chinese made mortar, two Italian made landmines, one with detonation cord and other explosives.

The serviceability of the explosives was unknown.

An explosive ordnance disposal team performed a controlled detonation destroying explosives found in the cache.

"Many of these caches discovered by the Rakkasans are based on information from citizens concerned with the safety and security in their area,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Dolwick, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. brigade deputy commander. “Finding these caches not only weakens the enemy but protects the citizens of Ghertema." [END]
MND-B Soldiers Seize Munitions Throughout Baghdad
Multi-National Division – Baghdad

BAGHDAD – Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers seized weapons caches as they continued conducting operations to increase security in Baghdad, July 1.

Soldiers serving with the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, found 80 cans of anti-air rounds, five rockets, 17 rocket tubes and several tubes of various sizes at approximately 9 a.m. north of Baghdad.

Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, seized a rocket propelled grenade with launcher, mortar rounds, a PKC and a 180mm mortar round in the Mansour District of Baghdad at approximately 12:20 p.m.

Approximately one hour later, Soldiers with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, seized seven mortar rounds in the Rusafa area of Baghdad.

At approximately 4:40 p.m., Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, found a full AK-47 magazine, a pistol belt, a vest with magazine pouches, a washing machine timer, a bayonet and a primer connected to a power source in the Adhamiyah area of Baghdad.

Soldiers from 4th BCT, 10th Mountain Division, found two flash bang grenades disassembled with fuses, an RPG sight, multiple AK-47s, 48 magazines, eight plate carriers with plates and an unopened box of 7.62mm ammo in the Rusafa area of Baghdad at approximately 5:30 p.m.

Approximately one hour later, Soldiers with the 4th BCT, 10th Mtn. Div., found two Austrian artillery rounds, two 5-kilogram bags of TNT, a license plate and two steel barriers in new Baghdad. [END]
Rakkasans Recover Cache Near Abu Hillah
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq –Rakkasan soldiers recovered a cache near Abu Hillah, June 30.

Soldiers from Company C, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division discovered the cache while executing a mission about 16 kilometers south of Baghdad.

The cache included seven rocket propelled grenades, three 60 mm mortars, two 80 mm mortars, one 105 mm mortar, five anti-tank mines and various other explosives.

About 50 percent of the cache was serviceable.

An explosive ordnance disposal team performed a controlled detonation destroying explosives found in the cache.

"Rakkasan soldiers continue to comb our area of operations to rid it of these dangerous weapons,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Dolwick, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. brigade deputy commander. “Every mortar, every rocket, every weapon found during security operations directly contributes to the safety and security of the Iraqi citizens." [END]
Congressional Delegation Visit Rakkasans
By Spc. Justin Snyder
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Public Affairs Office

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – United States representatives from California, Hawaii, Mississippi and Virginia visited Rakkasan Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at the Camp Striker dining facility during a congressional delegation visit, June 29.

Representatives included Brian Bilbray, representative of California’s 50th Congressional District, Mazie Hirono, representative of Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, Travis Childers, representative of Mississippi’s 1st Congressional District, Robert Goodlatte, representative of Virginia’s 6th Congressional District, and Thelma Drake, representative of Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

Representatives visited Camp Striker to learn first-hand about coalition forces’ progress in Iraq. They took the opportunity to discuss day-to-day life with Soldiers over dinner.

Capt. Cornelius Wilbert, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, and a native of Vicksburg, Miss., said meeting Congressman Childers was a great experience. He was glad to see that one of his state’s representatives was taking the time to visit and show his support. [...] photos
Iraqi Army Soldiers Recover Cache Near Janabi Village
By the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – Iraqi army soldiers recovered a cache near Janabi Village July 1.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 23rd Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division discovered the cache while executing a mission about 26 kilometers southwest of Baghdad.

The cache included one 82 mm mortar system, one 82 mm mortar tube, one 60 mm mortar system, two rocket-propelled grenade launchers, one RPK rifle, one bolt action rifle, two 155 mm mortars, seven 82 mm mortars, seven 60 mm mortars, 28 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds, three 57 mm anti-aircraft round warheads along with various other explosives and IED making materials.

An explosive ordnance disposal team was notified, and a controlled detonation will be conducted at a later date.

"The Iraqi security forces continue to make significant discoveries of weapons and munitions as they diligently strive to safeguard the people of Janabi Village,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Dolwick, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) brigade deputy commander. “The ISF continue to demonstrate their professionalism as they rid the streets of Janabi Village of these dangerous weapons." [END]
55 Strike Soldiers Re-enlist During Ceremony in Baghdad
By Sgt. James Hunter
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – “In serving our nation in war, you are following the footsteps of millions of brave Americans who have done so before you for some 232 years since our founding fathers declared America’s independence on this day in 1776,” said Gen. David Petraeus, a native of Cornwall-on-Hudson, N.Y., who serves as the commanding general of Multi-National Force – Iraq.

With 1,215 U.S. troops standing before him at the Al Faw Palace at Camp Victory on July 4, Petraeus gave the oath of enlistment, marking the largest re-enlistment ceremony in history.

Of those 1,215 troops, 55 were Soldiers of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

“Through your sacrifice and commitment, through your professionalism and skill, you are adding a proud new chapter to the already rich history of America’s military service,” said Petraeus, a former commander of the 101st Abn. Div. “It is clearly a case of serving something larger than self and it is impossible to calculate the value of what you are giving to our country.” [...] photos
Task Force Rogue Troops Transfer Authority of Operational Environment
By Sgt. James Hunter
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office, 101st Airborne Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – As a part of the final surge brigade into Baghdad, the Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, commemorated the completion of their 15-month deployment during a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Liberty, July 6.

The end of the deployment also marked the conclusion of the battalion’s third tour to Iraq since the war began in March 2003.

During the ceremony, the battalion handed over responsibility for its operational environment battle to the Soldiers of the 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, who have been operating within the Strike Brigade area of operations since earlier this year.

The battalion deployed in April 2007, arriving in Baghdad in June 2007 under the command of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, and was assigned an operational area in the Mansour District of Baghdad.

In November 2007, the Desert Rogue troops then fell under the command of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), when the Strike Brigade took over the reigns of western Baghdad. [...] photos
Explosion Kills One Civilian, Injures Seven in Mansour District
Multi-National Division – Baghdad

BAGHDAD – One Iraqi citizen was killed and seven were wounded when an explosion occurred in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Yarmouk at approximately 8:52 p.m. on July 4.

Iraqi army soldiers with the 54th brigade, 6th Iraqi army division were first on scene to investigate the explosion and tend to the wounded.

Soon after, Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers from the 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, and the 731st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company arrived on scene to help investigate the explosion that started a vehicle fire.

At 9:38 p.m., Iraqi fire fighters reported to the scene and extinguished the flames.

Currently, the cause of the explosion is still undetermined.

“The Iraqi and coalition first responders are well trained and able to tend to these types of emergency situations,” said Maj. J. Frank Garcia, spokesman for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “The Iraqi firemen played a particularly key role and demonstrate the increased capacity of the Iraqi government to take care of fire emergencies.” [END]
Zawra Park’s Pool Re-opens After Recent Refurbishment
By Sgt. Jason Thompson
Multi-National Division-Baghdad

BAGHDAD – Summer days in Baghdad often rival some of the hottest days from across the globe; and until recently, many residents of central Baghdad’s Karkh District did not have any place where they could visit to escape from the heat.

Zawra Park officials worked closely with Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, to reopen the park’s public swimming pool on July 5.

“This is a great day for the citizens of Baghdad,” said Salah Abou El Lail, park director, Zawra Park. “This pool will be a great and enjoyable destination for many Baghdad Families. Families already enjoy visiting the park and the zoo here, and the pool will be fun for everyone.”

The project to refurbish the swimming pool complex began more than four months ago and cost just less than $500,000 to complete.

Temperatures in Iraq regularly surpass 120 degrees during the merciless summer. But, for the Soldiers who patrol the streets in central Baghdad, the pool is a welcome scene which will help the people they’re here to protect. [...] photos
Tip Yields Cache Finds for IA, Rakkasans in Sayafiyah
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq– An informant in Mahmudiyah gave information to Iraqi army and Rakkasan soldiers, which led to a cache find in Sayafiyah, July 3.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 25th Brigade, 17th Iraqi army division and 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division acted on the tip and found a total of eight caches in the area 35 kilometers southwest of Baghdad.

“Iraqi and coalition forces continue to make significant strides in taking munitions off the streets and out of the hands of criminals,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. commander. “When citizens come forward with this kind of information, it shows their commitment to making the Mahmudiyah Qada a safer place.”

The caches included one 23 mm anti-aircraft gun, one makeshift sniper rifle, one Russsian Draganov sniper rifle, four rocket-propelled grenade launchers, one homemade rocket launcher, two anti-tank mines (one rigged as an anti-personnel improvised explosive device), seven 82 mm mortars, four 120 mm mortars, three 60 mm mortars, five 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds, 23 RPGs, more than 1,000 rounds of assorted ammunition, fuses, multiple AK-47 components and miscellaneous primers, detonators and IED-making materials.

The items were taken to the Mahmudiyah IA Compound for later destruction. [END]
Iraqi, MND-B Soldiers Seize Weapons Caches, Detain Suspected Criminals in Baghdad
By the Multi-National Division – Baghdad Public Affairs Office

BAGHDAD – Iraqi army and Multi-National Division – Baghdad soldiers seized weapons and detained suspected criminals as they continued operations to increase security July 5.

At approximately 11 a.m., local Iraqi residents turned in various small-arms munitions to soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, at a coalition forces forward operating base in the Adhamiyah district.. The munitions included 40 mm smoke grenades, 40 mm flare grenades, a 25 mm high-explosive round, loaded AK-47 magazines, .50-caliber rounds and a full M4 magazine.

At approximately noon in the Mansour East district, Iraqi army soldiers from the 54th Brigade, 6th IA Division, seized a weapons cache based on a tip from an area resident. The cache consisted of six explosively formed projectiles, two of which were rigged for immediate use, two sniper rifles, a rocket propelled grenade launcher, eight RPGs, eight RPG-7 rounds, a 50 mm mortar round, 16 AK-47 magazines and hundreds of 7.62 mm rounds.

Approximately three hours later, soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, seized a large munitions cache in the Kadhamiyah District, consisting of 69 60 mm mortar rounds; 16 82 mm mortar rounds; 13 100 mm rounds; 120 mm mortar rounds, a 130 mm artillery round, two Katyusha rockets, an 81 mm mortar round and an anti-aircraft weapons platform. An Explosive Ordnance Detachment team responded and destroyed the munitions. [...]
Graduation Ceremony Signifies Education, Hope for Hawr Rajab Locals
By Spc. Justin Snyder
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER – The second Village of Hope training center class graduated during a ceremony held at Patrol Base Stone in Hawr Rajab, July 3.

The graduating class of 58 Iraqi citizens spent 60 days training in electricity, carpentry and plumbing. Six of the students were returning trainees who took part in a newly created supervisors’ course.

The training program aims to teach local citizens of Hawr Rajab, about 10 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, a sustainable construction skill that will allow them to gain employment. Some of the graduates were former Sons of Iraq workers.

After attacks by al-Qaida left Hawr Rajab in ruins in November 2007, many houses were left inhabitable. Graduates of the first class began working on rebuilding those houses following their completion of the course in May, while the current graduates will soon begin work on a boys’ school in Hawr Rajab.

Air Force Capt. Michael Askegren, 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron officer in charge of the Village of Hope, said rebuilding the town is one of the biggest goals of the course. [...] photos
Cowboy/Soldier Hones Roping Skills While on Deployment in Baghdad
By Sgt. Matthew Vanderboegh
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

BAGHDAD – As Spc. Bryan Warman, a native of Dodge City, Kansas, winds up for his throw, eyes the plastic steer intensely and casts his hand out. The lasso finds its purchase and the slack is taken at a blinding speed.

This is an exercise he practices over and over until he finally feels satisfied that the old reflexes and muscles have not forgotten the proper technique.

Warman may be deployed to a small joint security station in Iraq, but with his love for competitive team roping he refuses to let his talent become rusty. As this cowboy turned infantryman would say “you have to be committed to it.”

Warman is currently serving as a radio operator for the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

Before joining the military he worked as a cowboy for a feed lot operation. Additionally, he has worked in the beef and dairy industry and horse training facilities. [...] photo
Soccer Tournament Celebrates Sunni and Shia Unity in Yethrib
By 1st Lt. Jonathan J. Springer
1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

Yethrib, Iraq – For the people of Yethrib, Iraq, it has been a long five years. For over half a decade, the Balad and Yethrib areas have been plagued with sectarian violence that has pitted rival Shiite Muslims and Sunni Arabs against one another. The bloodshed between tribes, at times, had turned into all out warfare that was waged in palm groves and fields near the Tigris River.

In 2007, the conflict between the Muslim sects had reached a boiling point and many throughout Iraq, described the situation as having elements of civil war.

But since then, things have drastically changed.

Over the course of 2007, the “tribal awakening” began to spread throughout all of Iraq. This awakening saw many high profile Iraqi sheiks turn their backs against the brutality of foreign led fighters and stand up, along with the coalition forces and Iraqi security forces, to take back the streets of their homeland. [...] photos
IA, Rakkasans Find EFP in Mahmudiyah Caches
By 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Divison

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq - A tip from an Iraqi citizen resulted in two cache finds in Shunatir Village, about 30 kilometers southwest of Baghdad, July 5.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 25th Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division and 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) followed the lead provided by the citizen.

The caches contained one six-array explosively formed penetrator, three RPKs (Russian-made machine guns), two AK-47s, one 7.62 mm sniper rifle, one rocket propelled grenade trigger mechanism, one 50-round drum for AK-47, 3,000 7.62 mm ball rounds, and one concussion grenade.

The EFP was taken to Forward Operating Base Mahmudiyah for exploitation and disposal by explosive ordnance disposal personnel. The other items were secured by the IA.

“We continue to see the local citizens stepping forward and identifying cache locations to the Iraqi army,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. commander. “Iraqi security forces are shouldering the responsibility of securing their country for the people of Iraq." [END]
Rakkasans Find More EFPs in Consecutive Days
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – For the second day in a row, Rakkasan soldiers found explosively formed penetrators in separate caches in the Mahmudiyah area, July 6.

Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), found a 10-inch EFP as well as a five-array EFP in different locations approximately 35 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Other items in one of the caches were two Bulgarian-made 40 mm high-explosive hand grenades, one Russian-made 85 mm rocket, one Russian-made 122 mm projectile, 150 rounds of small-arms ammunition, a Belgian M240 weapon system, a 7.62 mm machine gun and an 80 mm mortar system.

“The discovery and consequent destruction of weapons caches is an integral part of the ongoing objective of securing the people of Iraq,” said Col. Dominic Caraccilo, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div. (AASLT) commander.

The items were turned over to explosive ordnance personnel for further exploitation. [END]
Rakkasan Soldiers Take Part in Mass Reenlistment
By Spc. Justin Snyder
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – “I, your name, do solemnly swear,” began Gen. David Petraeus, commanding general of Multi-National Force - Iraq.

Twenty Rakkasan Soldiers, amidst a total of 1,215 service members, repeated those words, took part in a mass re-enlistment ceremony at the al Faw Palace on Camp Victory, July 4.

“That I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” continued Petraeus, with the re-enlistees right on his heels. “And that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

With those final words spoken, they shouted a thunderous “Hooah” that could’ve woken the spirits of their forefathers; those who gave the very first oath of enlistment in 1776.

The ceremony began with a slideshow, where the patriotic music of country superstars Hank Williams Jr. and Toby Keith serenaded the crowd. [...] photos
Top Guns Patrol Iraqi Family Village, Attend Council Meetings Weekly
By Sgt. James Hunter
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

BAGHDAD – Daily, Soldiers from the Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, patrol the streets of the Iraqi family village. The area, near the Victory Base Complex, is relatively safe, and is home to citizens from all throughout Iraq.

Once the war kicked off in 2003, many families fled their homes to come to this once abandoned orphanage on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Their mission is simple – keep the Iraqi people within the village safe and work with their local council to improve the quality of life for these struggling residents.

1st Lt. Andrew Bowling, a native of Medfield, Mass., said he believes a great deal of them were once wealthy, but when the war began they fell on hard times and needed to flee their area because of the fighting, leaving behind their lives and jobs.

The Soldiers of HHB are working tirelessly with the local council to improve their everyday lives in anyway they can.

They are currently conducting a census to gather as much information about the village as possible. This gives them a better understanding of who lives where, how many people live in the household, the occupation of those presiding, which in turn, helps gain a better understanding of the village as a whole. [...] photos
.

Photo Gallery
Strike Brigade Enlisted Troops Compete for Top Honors
101st Soldiers Patrol Western Baghdad Neighborhood of Hurriyah
Hard Rock Troops Continue to Patrol Western Baghdad Neighborhood of Hurriyah
Air Assault Troops Patrol Streets of Baghdad Daily
Soldiers Begin Independence Day With Prayer
Iraqi Troops Patrol West Baghdad
MND-B, IA Troops Patrol Western Baghdad
Aviation Brigade Holds Talent Show on Striker
Fourth of July Mass Reenlistment Ceremony
Yethib Nahi’a Holds Multi-village Soccer Tourney; First of Its Kind in 5 Years
101st Airborne Participate in an Air Assault Mission