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Friday, January 9, 2009

War News Voices From The War


Bringing you news and images the Lame Stream will not...


Iraqi Soldiers Continue Seizing Caches in Sadr City
By the Multi-National Division – North Public Affairs Office

TIKRIT, Iraq – Iraqi army soldiers with the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, uncovered several weapons caches in Sadr City, Baghdad, June 7.

The soldiers seized a weapons cache at approximately 5:30 a.m. consisting of an explosively formed projectile, a 155 mm artillery round, an improvised-explosive device, explosive wire, two anti-tank rockets and an anti-aircraft rocket.

At approximately 5:45 a.m., soldiers in the same unit discovered two more caches, the first of which consisted of two 60 mm mortar rounds, three machine guns, four Russian sniper rifles, five AK-47 magazines and 200 AK-47 rounds.

The second cache consisted of a rocket propelled grenade, five grenades, an RPG-7 round, three SPG-9 anti-tank rockets, a 20 mm round, three fuses made up of explosive wire, a radio and an IED with a 155 mm mortar round.

Another cache found at approximately 9 a.m. included two IEDs, two RPGs, four propellant RPGs, two anti-tank mines, an anti-personnel mine, wire and a block of C-4. [...] no photos
Rakkasans Coordinate Veterinarian Visit in Owesat
By Pvt. Christopher McKenna
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Public Affairs Office

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – The Rakkasans organized a veterinary clinic at the Nasiriyah school in Owesat, May 31.

“Owesat is a farming community and the animals and husbandry is a key aspect of their lives,” said 1st Lt. Edward Janis, Company A, 3rd Battalion, 187 Infantry Regiment. “Currently, they don’t have any medicine for the animals so we funded a project to sponsor a local animal doctor who has some training in the field.”

The Soldiers of 3-187 Inf. Regt., 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), coordinated for Iraqi veterinarian Mohammed Helim to vaccinate livestock in the community, approximately 26 kilometers southwest of Baghdad. Helim is responsible for tending to the livestock of four tribes in the area.

Local farmers brought their livestock to the school courtyard where Helim administered vaccinations to approximately 30 sheep, goats and cows.

“This goes to the core of what people value out here, which is their animals,” Janis said. “We are here to care and we are here to help the Iraqi people in whatever way we can.” [...] photos
Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers Continue Clearing Baghdad’s Streets of Weapons
By the Multi-National Division – Baghdad PAO

BAGHDAD – Iraqi army and Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers discovered multiple weapons caches in Baghdad June 9.

MND-B Soldiers with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, discovered a cache in the West Rashid district of Baghdad at approximately 4:30 a.m., consisting of two AK-47 rifles, a 9 mm pistol, 10 PKC light machine gun drums for ammunition, four PKC barrels and assorted weapons parts.

Iraqi army soldiers with the 22nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division and Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), seized a weapons cache in the Kadamiya district of Baghdad at approximately 10:30 a.m. The munitions included four rocket propelled grenades, nine rockets with propellant, four explosively formed projectiles and more than 700, 7.62 mm armor-piercing rounds. [END]
NPs, MND-B Soldiers Seize Weapons in Baghdad
By Multi-National Division – Baghdad

BAGHDAD – Iraqi national police and Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers, with the help of local Iraqis, seized a number of weapons in Baghdad, June 10.

Iraqi national police from the 2nd Brigade, 1st NP Division found 26 AK-47s, two SKS rifles and a Mauser rifle north of Baghdad at approximately 6 a.m.

At approximately 3:45 p.m., an Iraqi resident brought four 60 mm mortars to a MND-B combat outpost in the Shaab area of Adhamiyah.

Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, seized an explosively formed projectile, an improvised explosive device, six rocket propelled grenades, 10 RPG charges and an unknown artillery round at approximately 5:30 p.m. while conducting a mounted patrol in the Shulla area of Kadhamiyah.

At approximately 10:10 pm. in the Jihad area of Rashid, Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, acting on a tip from a local Iraqi, found 20 60 mm mortars, 50 grenades, 50 grenade fuses, three non-electric blasting caps and 1,200 7.62 mm rounds.

“Signs of progress and reconciliation are evident with each cache seized,” said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, spokesman, Multi-National Division – Baghdad and the 4th Infantry Division. “It is a good sign when Baghdad residents call in tips or approach their own Iraqi security forces and MND-B Soldiers on terrorist activity.” [END]
More Than 500 Fighters Reconcile in Balad
By Sgt. Rick Rzepka
1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

BALAD, Iraq – Since, May 22, 506 fighters in the Balad area have reconciled with the Iraqi government by turning themselves into Iraqi security forces.

Operation Balad Musalahah is a combined effort between the Qadah level government of Iraq, the leadership of the Iraqi police, the 4th Iraqi Army Division, and the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

The ongoing effort has encouraged tribal leaders and locals with significant influence to promote unity within the once beleaguered area. The process seeks to reintegrate those who have felt marginalized, back into the maturing governance process here, said Lt. Col. Bob McCarthy, 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment commander.

“Former fighters in the Balad Qadah have stepped forward to reconcile with their fellow countrymen,” said McCarthy.

“This is a key step in reestablishing their ties to the communities, rejoining their families in their homes, and becoming active participants in Iraq’s future,” he said. [...] photo
Barrier Emplacement Opens Roads in Abu Ghuraib

By Sgt. Paul Monroe
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

BAGHDAD, Iraq –Packed cars, meandering pedestrians and the occasional donkey pulling a cart fill the busy streets of Baghdad daily.

Couple this with roads blocked off by Iraqi security and coalition forces to lessen special groups militants and extremists ability to prey on citizens and you have the makings of a traffic jam in Baghdad.

In Abu Ghuraib leaders from the 24th “Muthana” Brigade decided to close Leaders Bridge more than three years ago to impede the movement of various militant and extremist elements.

Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers with 1st “Top Guns” Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, along with Iraqi army soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 24th “Muthana” Brigade, 6th Iraqi army division, worked together to open the bridge over a three day period ending, June 6.

“This was a great team effort between our battalion, the 168th Brigade Support Battalion, the 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi army division, and the associated military transition teams,” said Maj. Thomas Bolen, a plans officer with 1st Bn., 320th FA Regt. [...] photos
Karaoke in Iraq
By Spc. Cynthia S. Teears
11th Public Affairs Detachment

COB SPEICHER, Iraq - Having a place where the Soldiers can be themselves is a great stress reducer while deployed to Iraq. The average Soldier is at work the majority of the time, with few to no days off.

This is where the Morale, Welfare and Recreation comes into play. Troops find a way to relax in a combat zone through the MWR center at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, located in Tikrit, Iraq.

The MWR offers a variety of activities for service members and civilians. One favorite crowd pleaser is karaoke. Soldiers can come in and sing their favorite songs during karaoke night, Tuesday and Thursday at the main MWR facility.

“I love Karaoke,” exclaimed Spc. Matthew Hansen, a motor transport operator, 426th Brigade Support Battalion. “Sing badly if you must, but sing!”

“Karaoke gives you time to get away from work,” said Sgt. Thera Pead, a supply sergeant assigned to Company A, 426th BSB, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. “It gives you a chance to be yourself and it builds morale.” [...] photos
Public Works Substation Opens in Yarmouk
By Sgt. Paul Monroe
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

BAGHDAD – Multi-National Division Baghdad Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, opened a public works substation in Yarmouk, a neighborhood in northwest Baghdad, June 14.

The Yarmouk substation will serve the southeast Mansour District and provides workers a place to store equipment used for basic services, such as trash removal and sewage maintenance.

“All of this was built from scratch” said 1st Lt. Nicholas Anderson, a civil military operations officer with the 4th “Straight Arrows” Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, operationally attached to the 2nd BCT, 101st Abn. Div.

Blackjack Soldiers picked up where the Soldiers they replaced from 2nd “Patriot” Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st infantry Division, left off, who worked during their 15-month deployment to improve security and get essential services going. The unit went as far as hiring 50 workers to pickup trash in the Yarmouk area while funding for the substation was on hold. [...] photos
Criminals Kill 27 Iraqis, Injure 40 in Unknown Explosion
By Multi-National Division – Baghdad

BAGHDAD – An unknown explosion occurred in the Kadamiyah District at approximately 5:45 p.m., June 17.

According to initial reports twenty-seven Iraqi citizens were killed and 40 injured.

"(Criminals) are creating a dangerous place for the innocent people of western Baghdad,” said Maj. J. Frank Garcia, spokesman for the 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad. “We put a great deal of effort into helping better the environment for the people here and murderous acts like this just impede progress.” [END]
Iraqi Security Forces, National Police, Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers Seize Weapons Caches Throughout Baghdad
Multi-National Division – Baghdad Public Affairs Office

BAGHDAD – Iraqi army soldiers, national police and Multi-National Division – Baghdad Soldiers seized multiple weapons caches throughout Baghdad June 18.

In Sadr City, Soldiers with the 38th Brigade, 10th Iraqi army division, seized three explosively formed projectiles, one PKC machine gun, two rocket-propelled grenades, one fuse and one 9 mm machine gun at approximately 6 a.m.

Approximately two hours later, Soldiers with the 54th Brigade, 6th IA Div., and MND-B Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), found a weapons cache in the Mansour district. The weapons included three RPGs, one box of 12.7 mm rounds, one machine gun; 1,000, 7.62 mm rounds; two 120 mm rounds, one set of body armor plates, detonation cord, one blasting cap and homemade explosives.

Also in Sadr City, Soldiers with the 34th Brigade, 9th IA Div., discovered two EFPs, six light anti-armor launchers, 11 anti-tank RPG rounds, two anti-personnel RPG rounds, one machine gun, several AK-47 magazines, one pair of night vision goggles, two 14 mm rounds, two 25 mm sights, three AK-47s and more than 200 7.62 rounds at approximately 9 a.m.

Police with the 5th Brigade, 2nd national police division, uncovered a weapons cache in the West Rashid district at approximately 1 p.m. The caches consisted of one RPG launcher, one war head, four hand grenades and approximately 700 7.62 rounds.

“Iraqis have continued to provide Iraqi army, national police and the Soldiers of MND-Baghdad with invaluable intelligence concerning the whereabouts of weapons caches containing illegal weapons,” said Lt. Col. Steve Stover, MND-B and 4th Infantry Division spokesperson. [END]
Mass Casualty Exercise Prepares for the Worst
By Pvt. Christopher McKenna
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Public Affairs Office

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq –Soldiers of 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), conducted a mass casualty exercise at the Camp Striker dining facility, June 17.

A simulated mortar attack struck the dining facility at approximately 3 p.m. Medical personnel brought Soldiers to the aid station for proper care and evacuation. The simulated injuries ranged from minor lacerations to traumatic head wounds.

“This was a worst case scenario exercise,” said Pfc. Aaron Betts, a native of Houston, Texas, and truck driver for Company A, 626th BSB. “(The exercise) trained on how to properly recover and treat injured personnel in case of a mortar attack.”

This was the first exercise of the kind conducted by Rakkasan Soldiers since taking command of the Troop Medical Center.

“We just took over the TMC a month-and-a-half ago, and it is beneficial to practice the evacuation, transport and treatment procedures in the instance that something like this happens,” said 1st Lt. Christopher Johnson, Co. C, 626th BSB nurse. [...] photos
Screaming Eagle’s, Iraqi Volunteers and Iraqi Forces Have Al Qaida Reeling
By Sgt. Rick Rzepka

1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs Office

Al JAZZERA DESERT, Iraq – “Yesterday some men tried to kill me as I was driving my car,” said the man with a reflective belt draped across his chest. “They say that if I stay with the volunteers they will kill me, but I don’t care about that,” he said as he lit one cigarette with the stub of another.

The man is part of an all volunteer force called the Concerned Local Citizens, or “Sons of Iraq” and he and his compatriots have had enough. The violence, the killing, the overall lawlessness that was a hallmark of Samarra a year ago, left these men to make a decision: apathy or action. They chose the latter.

Today, hundreds of volunteers, spread throughout the greater Samarra area have banded together to secure the once turbulent city and its people from enemy extremists. In doing so, they have allowed coalition forces to focus their attention on dismantling a waning al Qaida in Iraq.

“CLC leaders and IP leaders are taking care of a lot of the footwork in securing the population centers, which lets us take the fight to al Qaeda and their safe-havens,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Martin, Gator Company, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment.

Martin and his Soldiers are part of the famed “No Slack” battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, which has a reputation for an intense work ethic and exceptional Soldiering. Since arriving in Iraq in October of 2007, the battalion has seen the security situation in Samarra and its periphery go from fragile to firm due to greater cooperation and effectiveness of Iraqi Security Forces, the volunteers and Coalition forces. [...] photos
Never Give Up
The adrenaline and anticipation is flowing throughout every member of both aircrews. Suddenly, the helicopters are welcomed with a hail of gunfire. The teams respond quickly and return salutations with successive rounds of automatic machinegun fire.

The enemy backs off. However, both crews ran out of ammunition and the enemy sees an opening to attack ground troops once again. A decision must be made. It must be made quickly because every delayed second is another 101st Airborne Division Soldier wounded.

“We stay and fight,” said Lt. Col. James H. Bradley Jr., the battalion commander of the 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division.

On January 16 2008, two aircrews commanded by Bradley and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Henry, supported Troop C., 1st Squadron 32nd Cavalry ground forces as an aerial reaction force. After his crew dispensed the helicopter’s ammunition, the team made low passes at the enemy to draw enemy fire.

Bradley stated how proud he was of his team and how privileged he felt to serve with them. “Heroic events happen in OIF everyday. Most events go unrecognized.” [...] no photos
Relations Build at Fence Line
By Maj. Craig Heathscott
39th Brigade Combat Team, Multi-National Division - Baghdad

BAGHDAD – Time had little effect on the strands of razor-sharp concertina wire that spanned hundreds of meters and split Ali’s farmland except to dull its original purpose - security. Located on the outer wall of Camp Slayer on the Victory Base Complex in Baghdad, the fence was originally constructed sometime during the beginning Operation Iraqi Freedom more than five years ago. But until early June, it served no purpose but to divide.

In the small community of Radwaniyah, west of Baghdad International airport, an Iraqi farmer simply wanted to be able to access his fields without the seemingly unnecessary long walk-a-rounds resulting from the wire. He had wanted to take the fence down himself; however, he was afraid the coalition forces overlooking his farm from the towers might shoot him.

“I happy to do work taking poles out of ground, but don’t want someone to shoot me because I was stealing,” said Ali, who speaks relatively good English. “I talked to captain (Cesaro) when he drove by and I asked him if I could move it. I thank him very much. Good man.” [...] photos
'Operation Balls DiMaggio' Aims to Deter IDF, Weapons Trafficking in Vicinity of Joint Base Balad Anaconda
By 1st Lt. Jonathan J. Springer
1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

Joint Base Balad Anaconda, Iraq – Since, June 18, Artillerymen from the 2nd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), have been conducting a full-spectrum combat operation aimed at disrupting and limiting indirect-fire attacks in vicinity of Joint-Base Balad Anaconda, Iraq.

The operation, dubbed “Balls DiMaggio”, is a large-scale operation solely focused on the security of the local population; it is being executed with continuous, 24-hour, combat-security patrols with the intent of denying and deterring IDF attacks targeted towards Iraqi civilians and personnel located on the JBBA.

“We have had great success in reducing attacks of all types within our area of responsibility; however, at this time, IDF is affecting the local populace more and it is detracting from economic opportunities and injuring civilians,” said Lt. Col. John F Dunleavy, battalion commander for the 2-320th FAR.

Since 2004, over 2500 IDF attacks have occurred on or near the JBBA. In the last 6 months alone, six Iraqi children have been killed and numerous civilians have been wounded due to insurgent indirect-fire attacks. The 2-320th FAR hopes to prevent these kinds of incidents from happening in the future. [...] photos
IA, Rakkasans Conduct Patrols Near Fetoah
By Staff Sgt. Amber Emery
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – Iraqi army soldiers conducted a cordon, search and patrol of the Fetoah area, June 18, to disrupt enemy operations and detain any insurgents in the area.

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 22nd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division were assisted by Rakkasan Soldiers from 3rd platoon, Company B, 1st Bn., 35th Armored Division (attached). The combined effort successfully gained intelligence about the area and demonstrated the capabilities of IA to the local populace.

“The people in the houses we visited today were very calm and collected and wanting to help the IA find what they were looking for,” said Cpl. Raymond W. Miller, 1st squad A, Co. B, 1-35 Armd. Div. team leader.

The IA actively participates in every phase of the planning process for these missions, said Sgt. Ryan Hamilton, 1st squad leader, Co. B, 1-35 Armd. Div.

“The number one thing (the IA) did today was they listened. They performed everything that we expected of them and really gave 110 percent,” said Hamilton, a native of Mocksville, N.C. “I think they are capable of doing these types of missions and completing these types of missions with flying colors.”

The structure of the IA is totally different than that of the coalition forces, said 1st Lt. Thomas J. Woodard, 3rd Plt., Co. B,, 1-35 Armd. Div. platoon leader. [...] photos

Photo Gallery:

Soldiers Test New Off-road Prototypes
Mission Time in Mahmudiyah
Making Things Safe in Mahmudiyah
Speaking to Iraqis
Progress in Meshahdah
U.S. Soldiers Patrol Mahmudiyah
Humanitarian Aid Drop for Afghanistan
Iraqi Police, MND-B Soldiers Seizes Cache
U.S. Soldiers and Iraqi Police Conduct Combined Patrol
Weapon Cache Search
MND-B Deputy CG Visits Local Power Substation
Patrol Work Throughout Casadia
Patrol Duties for Sergeant in Casadia
Battalion Operation Aims to Deter IDF, Weapons Trafficking and Caches in Vicinity of Joint Base Balad Anaconda
Convoy in Samrah
2-320th FAR Operation Aims to Deter IDF, Weapons Trafficking, and Caches in Vicinity of Joint Base Balad Anaconda