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Archive for the ‘Iraq gov’t’ Category

Source: US CentCom.

31 October 2007
by Sgt. 1st Class Kerensa Hardy
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division
.

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – The nondescript building at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex Civil Military Operations Center appears unassuming, but the Government Information Center represents a beacon of hope for some Iraqis. While the GIC provides several services, one of the most invaluable for local residents is the paying of legal claims.

With the Commandos of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), on their way back home, this is just one of many missions the Rakkasans of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division have taken over.

“(Local Iraqis) come in with all kinds of complaints,” said Huda, the GIC administrator, who also translates between the Iraqis and the U.S. Soldiers processing the claims. Huda and Faik, the Iraqi attorney who works at the GIC, do most of the claim work.

“(People) come in with requests to be paid for damages, and I help (file) new claims,” Huda said. Faik determines whether or not a claim is legitimate. He and Huda prepare the paperwork and collect the evidence required to prove that the claim is valid. The 3rd BCT legal office personnel determine whether or not the United States is actually responsible for damages and whether or not the claimant will be paid.

“Sometimes it is not for the United States to pay; it is the fault of an explosion by terrorists,” Huda explained, adding over the 2.5 years she has worked at the GIC there have been months when less than half the claims are found to be legitimate. When Faik deems the claims valid, the packets are forwarded to the 3rd BCT legal office for a final review and payment.

“By the time it gets to me, it’s already been determined that the claim is legal,” said Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Williams, from Tampa, Fla., senior 3rd BCT, 101st Abn. Div., paralegal and foreign claims pay agent. He actually makes the payments to the claimants.

“My job is both good and bad,” Williams said. “Obviously, I pay money when the damages were caused by the United States. But at the same time, when a claim is denied, I have to explain that the United States is not going to pay.”

The CMOC is a blessing for some Iraqis, Huda said. She said now the Iraqis feel that they have a means to get assistance. “It’s very great for them and they are grateful for it.” She added, “I like to help; it is good for me because I help the (Iraqi) people and the U.S. Army.”

Photo- Faik, an Iraqi attorney who processes claims at the Radwaniyah Palace Complex Civil Military Operations Center Government Information Center, discusses a new claim with Capt. Jonathan Gross, from New York City, claims adjudicator with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kerensa Hardy.

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22 Aug 07
Cpl. Rick Nelson
2nd Marine Division
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BARWANAH, Iraq – Progress continues to be made in Al Anbar Province. A city once threatened by small arms fire, populace intimidation, improvised explosive devices and snipers is experiencing a renaissance.

This renaissance is due to the continued presence of the Marines assigned to Alpha Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2 in and around the town, and the recent build up of Iraqi Security Forces.

“When we first got here things were running very slow and not many stores were open, but now a lot of new businesses are opening and people seem to be a lot more friendly and helpful with us,” said Sgt. Anthony C. Galloway, a section leader with Weapons Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 2.

Galloway, a veteran of the Battle of Fallujah has seen combat at its most intense but was still a little reserved upon his arrival in country. “You never know what to expect when entering a combat zone,” said Galloway . “I was imagining it was going to be just like my first deployment to Iraq, which was all out war and nothing but combat.” This deployment has been less intense than what Galloway experienced two years ago, but there have been numerous challenges faced by 1/3. It takes time to win over the local populace, but Galloway has noticed a big change since Alpha Company first arrived here and is impressed by the way the local people have taken to his Company.

“You can tell a lot by the attitude of the local people,” said Galloway. “They give information to us about terrorists or suspected insurgents, when they couldn’t before for fear of their lives. With the stability of the city though, the local people have such freedom now to give the Marines information.”

Lance Cpl. Bryan P. Stutts, a machine gunner in the Company, has also noticed how the local populace seems to be much more accepting of the Marines. “They seem to be very thankful for the security we provide. A lot of times they will come out to say hello, or give us sodas while we’re on a patrol,” said Stutts. “That’s the one thing that stands out, the people. This is my first deployment, but I didn’t expect the people to be so friendly, they’re awesome.”

Stutts said although the situation has improved, he still remains aware of the enemy. “Even though I feel safe here, I still keep my guard up and keep the mindset in case the time comes when we do get contact,” said Stutts, a Texas native. “You never know when you may go around a corner and get blown up or take contact.”

Cpl. Anthony P. Mitchell, an intelligence analyst with the Company, said due to a berm that was built around the city in December as a part of Operation Majid, the IEDs inside the city are rare. “A lot of the caches were found along the edge of the Euphrates,” said Mitchell. “We don’t see them nearly as much due to the increase of the company’s patrols in the area.” Mitchell went on to explain another reason for the success seen today was due to the units who operated in Barwanah prior to 1/3’s arrival.

“The Marines from second Battalion, third Marines and second Battalion, fourth Marines had a big mission to secure the city. By the time Alpha Company arrived, it already had much, not all, of the qualities and stability we see today,” said Mitchell, a native of Burlington, Colo. “The problem we faced when we arrived here was maintaining that stability and building the Iraqi Police and Army force.”

Prior to April, the Iraqi police force in Barwanah was minor, both in size and impact. However, with the help of the local community leaders, specifically the mayor and city council chairman, the force’s size has increased significantly. It currently stands at 150. Their presence, as much as the Marines, has been a driving force behind this new found progress.

“The Iraqi Police in Barwanah are all locals from the area, so they’re able to know who the bad guys are,” said Mitchell. “This makes it a lot easier for us when it comes time to detain the people because the Iraqi Police know exactly who they are and where to find them.”

The population is now able to enjoy its city and spend more time outdoors. “At night, children will play soccer until the 11 p.m. curfew. I don’t know many American parents who would feel comfortable allowing their eight or nine-year-old child to stay out that late,” said the 21-year-old Mitchell. There has been a strong connection made between the Marines, sailors, Iraq Security Forces, and people of Barwanah. This connection has shut down the insurgency within the city and uplifted progress.

Photo – Sgt. Anthony C. Galloway, section leader, 1st Squad, 4th Platoon, Alpha Company, 1/3 briefs his Marines while holding security at a bridge in Barwanah. Photo by: Cpl. Rick Nelson.

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27 July 07
by Maj. Robert Couse-Baker
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
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BALAD AIR BASE, Iraq (AFPN) — F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing here destroyed an al-Qaida training camp southwest of Baghdad July 21.

In a coordinated attack, joint air terminal controllers on the ground cleared seven F-16s to drop 500-pound and 1,000-pound guided bombs on the terror complex near Karbala.

The precision-guided weapons destroyed the target, degrading al-Qaida’s ability to mount attacks on the Iraqi government, coalition forces and innocent civilians.

The destruction of the terrorist facility is part of aggressive and comprehensive operations to hunt down, capture or kill terrorists trying to prevent a peaceful and stable Iraq, said Col. Charles Moore, the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group commander. “Our Airmen and other coalition forces are helping Iraq achieve a stable government and ultimately, helping the United States and our allies to defeat terrorism,” he said.

A large part of the 332nd AEW’s combat effectiveness stems from the Air Force’s culture of excellence. “We train day-to-day to make sure when we are called upon to deliver, we do it with precision and professionalism,” said Capt. Kevin Hicok, a pilot with the 13th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, deployed here from Misawa Air Base, Japan. “Deliberate coordination and careful planning goes into every weapons drop,” Captain Hicok said, “to ensure that we have a positive ID on the target and that everyone is on the same page.”

The recent increase in air operations is part of the coalition’s increasing pressure on violent extremists, primarily in Baghdad and nearby areas. In a separate air strike north of Baghdad July 22, another F-16 from Balad AB dropped a precision-guided weapon on a terrorist weapons cache in a rural area, destroying it and detonating the explosives stored inside.

“I could not be prouder of the way our Airmen performed on Saturday,” Colonel Moore said. “The events of this past weekend once again demonstrate the Air Force’s ability to deliver decisive combat airpower any place and at any time.”

Photo – An F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off for a combat mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom July 22 at Balad Air Base, Iraq. The two F-16s are deployed from the Oklahoma Air National Guard’s 138th Fighter Wing at the Tulsa International Airport. F-16s from the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing destroyed an al-Qaida training camp southwest of Baghdad July 21. Photo Senior Airman Olufemi A. Owolabi.

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This is a remarkable article. It is nice to finally see the end results of a reconstruction project. It used to be, under Saddam’s rule, that the police stations were also in the Mosques. Not anymore. There is a new day in Wahida, Iraq, and it gives hope to the Iraqi people. Also, the people of Wahida finally can see that the money given for these projects is not being pocketed as before. The government has actually been trying to help the people. This brings birth to hope.

Source: CentCom amd reposted @ DoD Daily News-2.

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I came upon this fantastic article (if it is true) today over at Matt Drudge’s site. Here is a portion:

    Written by: Michael Howard in Sulaymaniya.
    Thursday June 21, 2007
    The Guardian.

    Iraq’s Kurdish leaders said last night they had struck an important deal with the central government in Baghdad over a law to divide up Iraq’s oil revenues, which is seen by the Bush administration as one of the benchmarks in attempts to foster national reconciliation.

    Ashti Hawrami, the minister for natural resources in the Kurdistan regional government, told the Guardian the text had been finalised late last night after 48 hours of “tough bargaining” with Baghdad. The deal represented “a genuine revenue sharing agreement” that was transparent and would benefit all the people of Iraq and help pull the country together, he said. [Continue reading.]

I have also included many of the other stories links. If you are interested in some of the articles, you may find a link to that story that is no longer on the first page. lol. Have a great day.

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