If you didn't know it, now you do; today is POW/MIA Recognition Day.
SGT Keith Maupin is currently the only member of the American military that is listed as missing during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was captured on 9 April 2004 when his convoy was attacked by insurgents. In late June 2004, a video surfaced that supposedly showed SGT Maupin being executed, but the video was determined to be inconclusive by US authorities.
SGT Maupin, you are not forgotten.
Progress of Operation Together Forward
This video shows the progress that's been made over the last 4 weeks with regard to OTF. You'll see the various maps that have been released by MNF-I during the weekly press conference sequentially.
In the same press conference, MG McCoy who commands the US Army Corps of Engineers - Gulf Region District, spoke about the reconstruction progress that's being made in Baghdad. The strategy is to clear, hold, build and in the areas that show up as green on the maps above, the holding and building has begun. Also, if you recall during PM Maliki's address to congress he said that he wanted Iraqi companies to be given priority when selecting contractors for rebuilding and that's exactly what's happening
“We are making incredible headway in Iraq and in Baghdad,” he said. As of Sept. 12, more than 2,800 of more than 3,800 projects planned under the Iraq Reconstruction Program had been completed. Work has started on another 600.Dominoes
Much of this effort focuses on Baghdad, Iraq’s most populated city and the seat of its government. McCoy called reconstruction projects there vital to the city’s security situation.
“So the Gulf Region Division is integrally involved in Operation Together Forward to improve the essential services and the quality of life of Iraqis living in Baghdad,” he said.
An initiative called “Iraqi First” is ensuring as many contracts as possible for this effort go to Iraqi-owned businesses. “This empowers the citizens of Iraq to play a major role in rebuilding their nation and helps boost the nation’s economy,” he said.
You may have heard the term "actionable tips" or "actionable intelligence", but do you konw what it means? When something is actionable, what that means is that you can do something with it.
Take, for example, the recent capture of a personal buddy of Al Qaeda in Iraq's new leader. His capture provided actionable intelligence that allowed us to snatch up another 70 bad guys in 25 seperate raids in just a couple days (think dominoes here). Of course every chain of dominoes has an end and the fact that his capture has been made public indicates that this chain has come to that end.
The great thing about these dominoes, however, is that they set themselves up and we just have to knock them down.