Iraqi and Coalition Forces flush al-Qaeda from Euphrates hideouts BAGHDAD - Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces launch Marne Roundup, an operation focused on flushing out al-Qaeda extremists and weapons smugglers operating near Iskandariyah, Iraq, Dec. 15. The ground assault included Iraqi Army forces and Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division. "The purpose of Marne Roundup is to defeat al-Qaeda in North Babil" by denying them sanctuary and escape routes, Col. Thomas James, commander of the 4th BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. told reporters. "The plan is designed to catch them as they egress," James said. Operation Marne Roundup is the latest in a series of combat offensives launched by Multi-National Division - Center Soldiers to squeeze AQI from the areas south and west of Baghdad.
50 Iraqi Soldiers graduate Commando Course CAMP STRIKER, Iraq - The Iraqi Army has 50 new Commandos to add to its ranks in the Rakkasan operational area. The 50 Soldiers graduated Dec. 13 from the Iraqi Army's Commando Course in a ceremony held at the Iraqi Army compound in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad. The course started with 156 Soldiers; most fell out during the physical fitness testing and the obstacle course. "A lot of these guys go back to their units, take the training that they learned here and help their fellow Soldiers out to make better Soldiers in the battalions," said Sgt. 1st Class James Jorgensen, senior instructor. Graduates are either returned to their original units or are assigned to the Commando Company currently assisting the Red Knights with operations in the Mahmudiyah area. "The Commando Company will be able to do a lot more patrols on their own, enter and clear houses on their own and help keep AQI (al-Qaeda in Iraq) out of our area." Jorgensen said. "They are able to support themselves." This was the fifth graduating Commando class and the first one facilitated by the Red Knights.
MND - Center Soldiers disrupt extremist activity FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq - In two separate operations Dec. 12, Soldiers from the 1st Cavalry Regiment detained a suspected extremist and seized an enemy weapons cache. Using information provided by local citizens, Soldiers apprehended an individual in the early morning hours in a house north of Khargulia. The suspect is believed to be a leader in a local extremist cell that is active in the trafficking of weapons and ammunition. Later in the day, Soldiers discovered a weapons cache during an operation near Jisr Diyala. As they searched a house, Soldiers discovered a large sum of Iraqi dinar, a spool of detonation wire, a pistol, a large bag of 7.62 mm ammunition and a camcorder.
Extremists lose ground in Arab Jabour BAGHDAD - Coalition Forces discovered two weapons caches in Hawr Rajab and Adwaniyah. In Hawr Rajab, Soldiers with the 6th Iraqi Army Division, located a rocket weapons cache while conducting a patrol west of Patrol Base Stone. In Adwaniyah, Soldiers from the 3rd Inf. Div., located another cache while conducting a patrol north of Patrol Base W-1.
MND - Center medic stabilizes Iraqi girl for 70-minute MEDEVAC flight BAGHDAD - A Medical Evacuation team from the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade transported a 17-year-old Iraqi girl to a Coalition Forces' hospital after a local hospital in Ad Diwaniyah was unable to treat her. The girl was in a coma, unresponsive and seizing due to a post-partum illness. However, aviators, crew chiefs and flight medics fly any patients who the ground forces commander approves, in order to prevent the loss of life, limb or eyesight, Maj. Oliver Hasse said. "This mission supporting a 17-year-old local national from Diwaniyah to Balad is just a great example of how 2-3 Aviation's MEDEVAC supports any patient in critical need," he added. The medic on board the MEDEVAC stabilized the girl for the 70-minute flight to the Balad CSH when it appeared her condition was deteriorating. The girl is now at the Balad CSH in stable condition.
MND - Center Soldiers secure caches, detain 2 suspected AQI operatives BAGHDAD - Coalition Forces in Arab Jabour and Al Buaytha detained two suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq members and destroyed four weapons caches Dec. 14. Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division has been conducting increased offensive operations against AQI for the past week. Concerned Local Citizens identified the two Iraqi males as members of al-Qaeda. The suspected al-Qaeda members were detained by the CLCs and turned over to Soldiers at Patrol Base Murray.
---Multi-National Corps - Iraq, December 17, 2007