Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Good News From Iraq - Tonga has troops in Iraq!

Iraqi Security Forces, MND-North Soldiers rebuild Mosul highwayMOSUL, Iraq - Iraqi Security Forces and Multi-National Division North Soldiers are currently conducting Operation Thunder Reaper to reopen Highway One, the major thoroughfare in western Mosul that has been closed due to improvised explosive device attacks on civilian and military traffic. "Highway One is a four-lane expressway that represents the economic heart of western Mosul," said Maj. John Oliver Jr., 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment. "Its reopening will improve local and provincial commerce, thereby creating economic opportunities. The road will also improve security for the people of Mosul by offering Iraqi Security Forces an increased freedom of movement when required." The ISF and Coalition Forces have been conducting Operation Thunder Reaper for five days. In that time, they have cleared and repaired five kilometers of previously unusable road, including roads that support Highway One. The ISF and CF see a prosperous future for Mosul and Iraq. The success of Thunder Reaper is just one aspect of that future that can be seen today."

MPs assist in distribution of Japan's donation to IPs, BAGHDAD - The 18th Military Police Brigade's Provincial Police Transition Team assisted in transferring 600 Yamaha XJ900P police motorcycles donated by the Japanese government to Iraqi Police units at Camp Victory, Iraq. "It is very important for us to have these types of vehicles in the traffic department; more than the car, because here in Iraq, the streets are very busy and it provides our police more mobility to move around in traffic," said Lt. Col. Mubdir Haliem, Iraqi Police traffic HQ representative. The majority of the 600 motorcycles will be issued to police traffic stations within Baghdad. The donation of these motorcycles comes at a time when the Iraqi Police continue to grow in capability and gain additional police officers during the IP expansion plan.

Partnership Day strengthens Iraqi, U.S. military ties CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Iraqi Army Soldiers and U.S. Soldiers from Task Force XII found they have a lot in common, specifically regarding aviation, when they met up for Iraqi Partnership Day. "The main goal of this day is to continue to improve the relationship between the U.S. and Iraqi militaries," said Col. Timothy J. Edens, commander of Task Force XII and an AH-64 Apache pilot. "It's important for us as aviators to have a strong relationship with our Iraqi counterparts." The cooperative relationship with Iraqi forces began with 1st Air Cavalry Brigade and grew throughout the course of their deployment. It is a privilege to participate in this Partnership Day and continue to improve this special relationship with such a skilled group of Soldiers, said 1st ACB commander, Col. Dan Shanahan. The Partnership Day began with a visit to the Taji Wing, Air Force area of operation. This is where the Iraqi Air Force lives, trains and works. "I would personally like to express my thanks to the U.S. military for all the help they have provided," said Gen Sati, commanderof the Taji Wing. "Through our military relations, we have successfully achieved the targeted goals for the Iraqi Air Force." This Partnership Day will be the last for 1st ACB, but the first of many for Task Force XII Soldiers. "I really enjoyed the conversations Gen. Sati and I had," said Edens. "I think he is a well spoken man and great leader. I wish him and his Soldiers nothing but the best.

U.S., Iraqi Soldiers patrol CLC security positions in north Babil FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq - U.S. Soldiers conducted a joint patrol with the Iraqi Army at newly established traffic control points in the Abu Shemsi region last week. Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division conducted the patrol alongside troops from the 8th Iraqi Army Division. The area's Concerned Local Citizens' leader, Sheik Salih Ghalum, established the traffic control points. Manning the control points allows residents the opportunity to help secure their community, as well as earn an income. "We hope that by helping the sheiks build these Concerned (Local) Citizen checkpoints, we can show the people that the Iraqi Army is involved in their welfare and livelihood, and hopefully the people get a sense of empowerment. They now have money; they can feed their family and we all end up safer," Capt. Jim Hart said.

SMA's Hope and Freedom Tour entertains Task Force Warrior Soldiers - Musician Keni Thomas, a former Ranger and Bronze Star with V device recipient, entertains Task Force Warrior Soldiers during the Sgt. Maj. of the Army's 2007 Hope and Freedom USO Tour Dec. 19 at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq. The show is in its sixth year and included country western star Darryl Worley, four members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, comedians Sheryl Underwood and Vince Morris, and Fox Sports commentator and model Leeann Tweeden.

Kingdom of Tonga Minister of Defense visits Tongan Royal Marines in Baghdad, BAGHDAD - The Kingdom of Tonga Minister of Defense Sonatane Tu'a Taumoepeau-Tupou visits Royal Tongan Marines at Camp Victory, Iraq.

---Multi-National Corps - Iraq
December 22, 2007

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