October 29th, 2006 02:47 EST
Iraqi Army taking lead
BAGHDAD — With dawn still a couple of hours away from signaling the beginning of a new day, Iraqi army soldiers, along with a Multi-National Division – Baghdad Military Transition Team, departed from Forward Operating Base Constitution and embarked on a cordon and search mission in eastern Abu Ghuraib District Oct. 21.
Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, conducted the mission to help make the area safe for law-abiding Iraqi citizens.
“We’re looking for bomb-making materials and illegal weapons,” said Maj. Doug Tuttle, assistant team chief, 3rd Bde., 6th IAD MiTT, Iraqi Assistance Group, who hails from Kahoka, Mo. “There’s been a lot of bomb-making and (improvised-explosive device) making activity in this sector.”
The area the Soldiers work is well known for a variety of dangerous activities, added Maj. Joseph Mubarez, logistics advisor, 3-6 MiTT, IAG, who hails from Dearborn, Mich.
“We’re looking to confiscate any illegal weapons. There’s been a lot of activity up and down this road, so we want to see if they (IA) can find anything out about it,” he said.
Soldiers from 3-6 MiTT train on a regular basis with the IA soldiers, said Tuttle, primarily working with their staff and their company leadership, teaching them how to plan for their operations and to prepare for combat operations.
The MiTT team Soldiers said they are pleased with the progress the IA soldiers have made.
“This is one of the better brigades in the Iraqi army,” said Tuttle. “They already have two other battalions, who each have their own battle space. The soldiers are pretty well-trained, but they need extra training for the complex operations we do.”
MND-B Soldiers continue to work with the IA soldiers on basic soldiering skills.
Iraqi army soldiers from 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, confiscated numerous unauthorized weapons Oct. 27 during a cordon and search mission in eastern Abu Ghuraib. Soldiers from Multi-National Division – Baghdad's 3rd Bde., 6th IAD Military Transition Team, Iraqi Assistance Group, served as advisors during the IA's mission. Official Department of Defense photo by Staff Sgt. Kevin Lovel, 363rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.
“We’ve been working on infantry training with them, as well as planning operations with them so they can get ready to be able to take over their own area of operations,” said Capt. Patsky Gomez, operations officer and Headquarters Support Company advisor, 3-6 MiTT, who hails from Queens, N.Y.
The 1st Battalion has been training on room clearing and tactical control points, he added, and the soldiers are getting pretty good at the basic tactical skills at the soldier level.
Many MiTT team members said that the IA soldiers were doing well with the overall operation.
“When they went on the raid, they were able to go outside and provide good security for their soldiers on the ground. Then the guys on the ground were able to go in, search buildings, maintain good security and search personnel,” said Gomez.
The IA soldiers are anxious to learn and better their skills, added Staff Sgt. Ronnie Davis, logistics noncommissioned-officer-in-charge, 3-6 MiTT, IAG, who hails from Marion, S.C.
“I’ve been working with the IA for seven months, and I’ve seen a lot of improvement. They want to learn and train. They’re getting better every day,” said Davis.
The cordon and search operation that day was quite successful, netting at least six terrorist suspects and more than 10 unauthorized weapons, said Davis.