June 12th, 2007 08:47 EST
Baghdad neighborhood: Iraqi troops lead security searches
BAGHDAD — Iraqi Army troops and Coalition Soldiers conducted a joint security operation in the Hor Al Bosh neighborhood of Baghdad Wednesday.
Iraqi Army Soldiers with the 3rd Brigade, 9th Iraqi Army Division (Mechanized) teamed with Soldiers from the 2nd “Stallion” Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment to perform a large Iraqi-led combined cordon and search operation, in an effort to clear the streets of extremists.
Coalition Soldiers observed the Iraqi troops as they conducted the searches. The Iraqi troops went from house to house checking for weapons caches and meeting with the people of each neighborhood. The troops handed out tip cards to locals for information on any extremists who may be operating in the area.
Coalition Soldiers only assisted the Iraqi troops when needed.
“They’re (the Iraqi troops) pretty comfortable with everything and taking it slowly and deliberately as they go about their searches,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ben Melton, a platoon leader for Company D, 2-8th Cav. Reg. “They’re really doing an excellent job flushing out the bad guys.”
Soldiers from the Stallion Battalion have been helping train the Iraqi troops in advanced infantry tactics and other aspects of military training in the last few months. It has been only recently that members of the 2-8th Cav. Reg. have been able to conduct joint operations with their Iraqi counterparts.
“When we go on missions with them, we haven’t had to give them any pointers, they’re pretty much already on it,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Marcus Canseco, a squad leader for Company D, 2-8th Cav. Reg..
Iraqi troops arrested 17 suspects and confiscated several illegal weapons through the course of the day.
The days success is a testament to the Iraqi Army troops and U.S. Soldiers working together to gain the trust of locals, Canseco said.
“We’ve been securing our patrol base here and making our presence known, and a lot of the time we’ve spent here has involved meeting the people and most of them want us and the Iraqi Security Forces here,” said Canseco. “We feel really good about what we’re doing here today.”
The Iraqi Army Soldiers operate with dedication and motivation. When they take fire they react and accomplish the mission, Canseco said.
Iraqi troops taking the lead in operations is evidence of their continued commitment to building a safe and secure Iraq.
(U.S. Army Story from Multi-National Division-Baghdad PAO)