02 October 2006

B36 News - 02 October 2006

Yeah, so we almost had a bang-up weekend here.

That knucklehead that got picked up for trying to blow up some car bombs was looking to blow them up here. Understand though that the last ground attack was back in 2004, it doesn't mean that we're safe forever, but it does mean that the guys who are responsible for making sure that the IZ stays "heavily fortified" are doing a good job of it. I slept just as good after hearing about this as I did before I heard it, it's not a macho thing, just that if I worried about every threat or possibility for attack I'd be wound so tight I'd snap.

To the troops who put the flexcuffs on this guy - good job, thanks for making me safe.

Sadr Backs His Thing Up
If images of the rotund Sadr gettin' jiggy don't send you into a fit of laughter then they'll send you to the hospital and I'm sorry for that. However, images of Sadr telling his militiamen to back down from confrontations with the Iraqi and Coalition forces though should make everyone happy. It's taken a while and a couple good battles, but it seems that Sadr is getting the idea that he isn't above the law.

According to the reports, Sadr gave his leaders the following instructions:
  • Reduce the size of units to 75 fighters, from as many as 400, to make the units more manageable.
  • Issue new identification cards to Mahdi army members to replace IDs that have been forged.
  • Send every member to an orientation course that would outline the group's mission.
  • Lay down weapons temporarily.
Optimistic in Ramadi
COL MacFarland of the 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division says that the situation in Ramadi has tipped in favor of the good guys. Ramadi is located in the Anbar province which had been getting a lot of bad media recently after a leaked classified report was interpreted as portraying the situation as a stalemate. Well, even if that was true, now with the support of the majority of the tribes in Anbar, the Iraqi government is set to put a hurtin on the bad guys.

If I was someone who was interested in what was going on in Iraq, I'd keep an eye on Anbar in the next few months.

SGT Leigh Ann Hester
On 20 March 2005, one squad of MPs escorting a supply convoy was ambushed by 34 bad guys. After applying a hearty helpin' of whoopass there was one squad of MPs escorting a supply convoy while 27 bad guys were dead, 6 were wounded and one was captured. SGT Hester was awarded the Silver Star for her part in the fight.

Hester, 23, who was born in Bowling Green, Ky., and later moved to Nashville, Tenn., said she was surprised when she heard she was being considered for the Silver Star.

"I'm honored to even be considered, much less awarded, the medal," she said.

Being the first woman soldier since World War II to receive the medal is significant to Hester. But, she said, she doesn't dwell on the fact. "It really doesn't have anything to do with being a female," she said. "It's about the duties I performed that day as a soldier."

Hester, who has been in the National Guard since April 2001, said she didn't have time to be scared when the fight started, and she didn't realize the impact of what had happened until much later.

"Your training kicks in and the soldier kicks in," she said. "It's your life or theirs. ... You've got a job to do -- protecting yourself and your fellow comrades."

If being interrogated by a woman is an outrage on a bad guy's personal dignity, I wonder what getting killed by one is.


Blogger The Griper said...

For those of you that checks out bandit's link to "Optimistic in Ramadi" you might take time to check out another feature there.

It is the slideshow of "Faces of Iraq". Get to meet some of the people there and put faces on those that we are fighting for and allied with in this war.

And don't forget to have a few tissues handy. Some very moving pictures there.

Anonymous Solo said...

Glad the car bomber wasn't successful, and was caught. I hope he provides some good intel. He didn't work alone. Al Sadr looks like he's put on a couple of pounds, and hopefully a little sense.

Blogger Louise said...

"If being interrogated by a woman is an outrage on a bad guy's personal dignity, I wonder what getting killed by one is."


Probably better. He has no face to save if he's dead.

Anonymous FVK said...

That's great news about Sadr and the Mahdi Army, but I think they also need a comprehensive dental plan.

Anonymous DJ Elliott said...

5th DBE Region and Najaf appear to be graduating...


Oct. 2, 2006

MND-B transfers control of FOB Duke to ISF

Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

FOB KALSU, Iraq – Iraqi officials and Multi-National Division – Baghdad leaders transferred responsibility of Forward Operating Base Duke to Iraqi Security Forces during a press conference at the base Sunday.

Col. John Tully, commander, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, officially signed documents to transfer the FOB to the Ministry of Interior, which was represented by Maj. Gen. Hussein Aooyiz Al Ghazali, commander, 5th Department of Border Enforcement, and Asaad Sultan Abu Gelal, the Najaf governor.

The transfer of the FOB follows an Iraqi in the Lead ceremony during the past week in which Iraqi Security Forces assumed operational control for the northern Babil province and security of the cities of Al Iskandariyah, Haswah and Al Khudi from 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT.

The FOB and operational area transitions are part of a plan to eventually turn over all southern provinces to the Iraqi government and military control as the ISF continues to grow into a viable force, said Maj. Jeff Avolio, ISF liaison officer, 2nd BCT.

“The turn over of these FOBs and operational areas is a key indicator of ISF success,” he added.

Before the press conference began, Tully and Hussein signed a property release, which signifies the beginning of 5th DBE’s ownership and assuming responsibility for the security of the FOB as well as the border security of areas that extend from the Iraq-Saudi Arabian border, to the southern portion of the An-Anbar province, and through the Najaf and Al Muthanna provinces, ending at the Iraq and Kuwait border.

The FOB transfers mark significant steps towards normalcy and the transition to full Iraqi control, especially with the large area the 5th DBE is responsible for, said Tully.

“This is a significant step in the ISF stepping to the lead in the Najaf province,” he said. “The turnover of FOB Duke to the border patrol shows the ISF is strong and able to handle the security of Najaf. The Najaf province continues to be an example for the rest of Iraq because of its leadership, like Governor Assad and Gen Hussein.”

Coalition Forces will not have a permanent presence in the province, but will continue to help train and equip the ISF on a weekly basis so it can continue growing stronger, Tully concluded.

Assad echoed Tully’s confidence in the ability of the ISF to provide security in the province, saying the ceremony is a historical day and it stands as proof that Coalition Forces are confident in the ISF’s ability to secure the province on its own.

Assad asked the sons of Najaf to stand with ISF and provide a new life, free from the oppression of the old regime, and to support the prime minister.

“We are the Najaf people. We support them, and we stand with them against the terrorists,” he concluded.

Blogger devildog6771 said...

Great news Bandit. Of it all I am most glad you and your fellow troops are safe. God is hearing our prayers. I am quardedly optimistic about Sadr. Nut cases don't usually give in so easily. without an ulterior motive.

When leigh Ann was awarded her Silver Star, her squad leader also was awarded the same medal. A Bronze Star went to another woman soldier [I believe it was]. Sevaral other medals were also awarded to other squad members. That squad of MP's were something else weren't they?

The news about Ramadi is encouraging. With all the obstacles put in the Iraqi's path to democratic self government they just seem to be determined to go forward. They certainly are amazing. Democracy is such a different way of life compared to their previous life structure of clans and such.

Maybe they are developing a sense of nationalismeven though Zawahiri and Bin Laden try to convince them it is against Islamic law.

I've been studying uo on all this and trying to understand their beliefs before. It seems to me that until Muhammad hit the scene, they were less dogmatic about this question. Is my conclusion correct or did IU mis-understand what I read? It isn't all that easy to understand. There seems to be so many contradictions.


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