MND-Center NCOs team up to build Iraqi Army's 'backbone' FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq
"No one is more professional than I," states the U.S. Army's NCO Creed, and noncommissioned officers at Forward Operating Base Kalsu are gearing up to instill the same pride and professionalism in their Iraqi Army counterparts. The Task Force Marne NCO Academy at FOB Kalsu will welcome its first class of Iraqi Soldiers Jan. 14. "We're going to be teaching them everything - combat orders, combat medical, map-reading, mounted patrols, dismounted patrols, weapons, rules of engagement, duties and responsibilities," said Master Sgt. Michael Howle, the new training facility's commandant. "The instructors who were selected are supposed to be some of the best NCOs we have here." Training Iraqis to take over is a driving force for the NCOs running and teaching at the academy. "Over the years, it has been acknowledged that the NCO Corps is the backbone of our Army," Multi-National Division - Center Command Sergeant Major Jesse L. Andrews Jr. said. "Once the Iraqi NCOs get that, they'll get a better grip on their worth. They've got the combat experience - now they need the institutional knowledge. You've got to have both."
IA, CF Soldiers kill, capture al-Qaeda operatives BAQUBAH, Iraq
Coalition Forces and Iraqi Army Soldiers detained nine individuals and killed one enemy combatant during a joint operation in Abu Tamur. One of the detainees is a known al-Qaeda in Iraq operative wanted by the Iraqi Army for stealing weapons. Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division from Fort Lewis, Wash., were clearing the village when they were engaged with small arms fire by enemy forces. The troops returned fire, killing one enemy combatant. A cache was found in the area containing four AK-47s, six AK-47 magazines, a PKC, PKC drum and PKC ammo belt. "AQI presence (in) this area was confirmed, and I believe it validates our assessment that (the village) was an AQI safe haven from which they planned attacks," said Lt. Col. Ricardo Love. "I believe this operation will positively impact peace and security in the area."
MND-Center Soldiers capture weapons traffickerFORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq
A suspected distributor of car bombs and a weapons trafficker for al-Qaeda in Iraq was captured 25 miles south of Baghdad. The detainee is the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division's No. 1 most wanted individual. Prior to the raid, Soldiers watched the target for hours with a Predator drone and OH-58D Kiowa observation helicopters. Shortly after the individual stopped at his house, Soldiers boarded helicopters and landed in a field next to the house. Within minutes, the target was in custody.
Samarra reopens bridge to citySAMARRA, IRAQ
The Salah ad Din governor, the deputy governor, and the provincial director of police, along with other leaders from the city of Samarra attended a joint ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the Samarra Dam Bridge. After eight months of traffic restriction, the bridge will provide passage from surrounding communities to Samarra's markets and services. For the past eight months, the entrances to the city of Samarra were essentially closed due to the levels of violence. Commerce into and within the city stopped. The re-opening of the bridge and other entry points is a direct result of improving security. "The reopening of the bridge is a positive sign for improved security, as well as an improvement of freedom for the citizens of Samarra to conduct their daily lives," said Capt. Josh Kurtzman. Captain Kurtzman is the local Coalition Force commander in Samarra.
Iraqi Security Forces detain 4 known extremists in Barrah BALAD, Iraq
Iraqi Security Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained four known extremists Jan. 3 in an operation in Barrah. The extremists are said to be part of a counterfeiting and smuggling cell in and around villages near Barrah. They are reported to be involved in the smuggling and distribution of counterfeit U.S. and Iraqi currency, weapons and explosives, as well as reporting Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces movements to foreign fighters. One other suspect is being held for further questioning.
Iraqi Security Forces detain 4 suspected extremists, kill one BAGHDAD
Iraqi Security Forces, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained two suspected extremists and two extremist cell leaders in separate raids. In Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad, Iraqi Special Operations Forces detained two suspected extremists who are believed to be responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Iraqi citizens, weapons trafficking as well as attacks on Iraqi and Coalition Forces. During the course of the operation, the assault force received small arms fire from an individual near the target objective. Iraqi and U.S. Forces engaged the individual, killing him. In a separate operation, an Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics Team from Ninewah detained two extremist cell leaders in western Mosul. The two suspects are believed to be responsible for financing and planning attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces along with smuggling weapons for extremists in the region.
Multi-National Corps - Iraq
January 6, 2008