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Archive for the ‘trust’ Category

29 Aug 07
By Cpl. Ryan M. Blaich, II
Marine Expeditionary Force (FWD)
.

HABBANIYAH, Iraq – When a group of American military advisors deployed to Iraq and took over a small combat outpost on the outskirts of town recently, they knew the task ahead might get tough, but each day would be rewarding. The Marines and sailors that make up Military Transition Team 13, working alongside the 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division, are increasing the security of the area and the quality of life for local residents as well.

They operate out of a dusty, war-faced outpost named the OK Corral. They usually work long hours, patrolling streets with Iraqi soldiers or standing post overlooking the Euphrates River. They cook each meal themselves, because there is no chow hall to feed the 14 Marines, two corpsmen and company of Iraqi soldiers. They have learned to adapt, dealt with sweltering heat and braved the roadways of a foreign land.

Many of the men of MTT 13 have been to Iraq before, making them ideal candidates for an advisory team. The soldiers that make up 1st Battalion are veteran war fighters as well; hardened by battles past, experienced in combat operations. Perhaps that is why the people in this area trust the Iraqi soldiers.

Habbaniyah acts as a corridor in a crucial area, known as Jazerria, located between the once terrorist safe heaven cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. Nowadays, people go about their lives freely while searching for jobs, attending schools, plowing fields and shopping in crowded markets without fear of being shot in the crossfire of combat.

“The IAs have won the trust of the people,” said Cpl. Jason Syvrud an infantryman attached to MTT 13. “People see that they’re here, the area is safe, they are happy that their families aren’t at risk anymore. The IA is here to help the whole country and get this back on its feet. The people are loving to see the change. The country as a whole is trying to rebuild.”

Syvrud is only 22, but is currently serving his third tour in Iraq. He has been in cities where it was difficult to trust the citizens. But now he has seen a significant change in the war and in the people. He feels pride in his advisory role, knowing each day is bringing comfort to strangers he once felt uncomfortable around.

“I’ve seen in the three times I’ve been here this country has done a complete 180. It’s gone from everyone not knowing what to do and being scared to do anything, to them starting to come out and finding out what a democratic society would be like,” he said. “Now, they are really trying to get involved. They are building their schools up, they’re building up the mosques, their homes. They’re trying to find jobs. It looks more and more like a typical American rural area. The majority of the people seem happy. They’re doing what they have to do to survive and building a life out of this.”

Safety is what brings out the smiles and trust of the townspeople Syvrud said. The locals are involved with the Iraqi Army now. They help locate possible terrorists. They have begun to rebuild their community by fixing up schools, roads and mosques. The province is still early in reconstruction efforts, but the transition seems to be working as planned.

Getting the soldiers to understand the benefits of civil engagements, such as the civil medical engagements, is a priority for MTT 13 team chief, Lt. Col. Thomas Hobbs. Transition teams have assisted in several CMEs, which provide medical care to people who would normally have to travel to Ramadi to see a doctor. With more than 16 years of experience in the Marine Corps, Hobbs said focusing on civil affairs can not only counter the insurgent’s propaganda, but win the hearts and minds of law-abiding citizens.

“This battalion tends to be very focused on conventional operations. What I mean by that is in a counter-insurgency environment they are enamored with cache sweeps, security patrolling,” Hobbs said. “They should be focusing on civil affairs information operations and focusing on the population as a whole. The security level right now allows for that, so I’m trying to teach them to think in that manner.”

Hobbs praised the Iraqi company commanders for understanding the impact civil affairs has on the war efforts. “They have been very willing to get out and meet the population and doing civil affairs projects on their own, even without money. We’ve been really successful in getting the companies to move and they’re actually initiating a lot of things I want to change or make better,” he said.

Hobbs said the predominately Shiite Army has been received with open arms by the Anbari locals, who are mainly Sunni. A huge reason for this may lie in the idea of getting his team of advisors to stress the importance of making the population comfortable to Iraqi leaders. It is his philosophy that if the people are happy and satisfied with their life, then the terrorists will no longer have the ability to move freely within the community. He said the company and platoon leaders have begun to buy into the civil affairs mindset. As a result, the city has not seen any escalation in force in more than two months.

The soldiers of 1-3-1 can fight, that has been proven during the past year and a half of combat operations. Hobbs said the battalion is known throughout the Iraqi Army for its ability to engage and defeat the enemy, and that is what the terrorists should realize. The mission now is to concentrate on keeping this rural area safe and prospering. The smiles on children are evidence enough that the plan is working.

“I feel proud when I look around and see the kids and people smiling,” Syvrud said. “They’re happy when the Army and Marines come walking around, they aren’t afraid of us anymore. They’re happy with themselves, they’re happy with the environment around them and they’re striving to get better. They’re not just satisfied with things, they want it better, just like any American does.”

Photo – Lt. Col. Thomas Hoobs, team chief for Military Transition Team 13, talks to members of the Iraqi Security Forces during an inspection of a local bridge. Keeping roadways safe and drivable not only helps navigation of anti-terrorist traffic, but is part of a wider ranging civil affairs mission of the 1st Battalion, 3rd Iraqi Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division.

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Manly Men & Womanly Ladies (OTB)

Dear Men,

Speaking for myself, I was raised by a very strong Father. Regardless as to whether he was right or wrong, us children knew where we stood. One time I asked him how to know the difference between right and wrong and he said, “If you wouldn’t do it if I were there, then don’t do it!” This turned out to be a very good rule to live by. It’s just a shame I didn’t. Why didn’t I?

Because when it came down to the testing time (I was 14 when he caught me smoking a cigarrette), he failed. He did not follow through on his threat of, “If I ever catch any of you kids smoking, drinking, doing drugs, etc…” I caught the bus and went home. I was home before he was. I was ready to confess to my Mother and quit for good. Nothing ever happened. I give you this story in order to help you to understand what comes next.

Men, you have to stand up to the plate. You were put on earth for a reason, even if the libbers would have you think otherwise. You are responsible for the way societies evolve. If your neighborhood is going to hell in a handbasket, it is your fault. You are the one we look to for guidance.

Oh sure, you may not hear that much, and the schools truly are trying to change the make-up of a true CIVILIZED society, but it will never work. You are necessary, wanted, and appreciated. Please, come back and take your place in society.

Dear Ladies,

Do not stand in the way of your man, but gently discuss your disagreements. Be wise as to which battles you choose do fight on, for it may be the battleground upon which you die.

We do not have to yell and scream like Rosie O’Donnel to get our message across. No, we are much wiser than her type. Men are a very necessary part of our lives, although many of us have been taught we don’t need them. Oh really? Is this true? Let’s think about that…were you Daddy’s little girl? I was, and it was the greatest sense of security I ever felt. This is a feeling neither my Mother nor any other woman could fulfill. Remember this when people are trying to convince you that you don’t need a man.

Yes, it is possible to live life without a man, but don’t expect the government to be your Daddy! I’m sick of it, and I’m sure many other women are as well. So what is your responsibility? Ah, this is a tricky one. Are you religious? Then it should not be so tricky. This, however, will work either way. We are to support the men in our community by helping them think up those decisions for which they will claim as their own! LOL. It is quite easy if we could only learn to allow them to take the credit for our ideas.

I went off on a different tangent there. I wanted to speak you, my lady friends, about something more meaningful. Ladies, you do not have to have a job. You do not have to have all those other luxeries to be considered a lady. It is preferred (BY YOUR CHILDREN and by many women and men) if you stay home and raise your children. This a very hard and rewarding JOB. It also takes a true measure of true grit. Down to earth common sense that will whoop butt each and every time applied. 🙂

We do not need to follow other women. After all, have you ever heard of the blind leading the blind? That’s right, jump all over me because you misunderstood what I said. For any group or individual to follow any group or individual because they don’t want to take the time to examine the facts themselves is FOOLISH and BLIND.

We are such beautiful creatures with the power to build up or tear down a whole society. The tearing down has already started because we have not been loud enough in standing beside our men. It is not too late for this to change. Let us beautiful people come together, even if it is only with our spouses and/or neighbors, and plant the seeds of reconcilliation. After all, isn’t this what we are asking of a country which has lived through tyranny for most of its existence? Hmm…we can do this. God bless the women of the world, as well as the men. 🙂

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I would like to open this post up to trackbacks in the hope that some of you will read this post. I surely would like some comments as to whether or not you agree, disagree, have something to add, feel better, feel worse, etc. Thank you.

These are posts I have trackbacked to: Faultline USA, DeMediacratic Nation, The World According to Carl, Perri Nelson’s Website, Right Truth, Big Dog’s Weblog, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Pirate’s Cove, Leaning Straight Up, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, The Yankee Sailor, Webloggin, The Virtuous Republic, and Nanotechnology Today, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

These are the posts that have trackedback to here:

  • The Amboy Times: Belgian Muslims Want a Ban on Easter eggs.
  • Adam’s Blog: Planned Parenthood v. Women’s Health.
  • Planck’s Constant: Michael Vick would be smart to convert to Islam.
  • Planck’s Constant: Bruce Willis comes to my High School in Bayonne.
  • Nanotechnology Today: IED Nanotech Research.
  • Faultline USA: Is Your Church a Secret Sanctuary?
  • DeMediacratic Nation: Bush Finally Sees Iraq as being like Vietnam.
  • Right Truth: Iran, what you don’t know.
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    7 Aug 07
    By Staff Sgt. Cassandra Locke
    379th Air Expeditionary Wing
    .

    SOUTHWEST ASIA – The 379th Expeditionary Wing’s aerospace medicine team provides care for the flyers so they can stay in the fight. “We are the maintainers of the ‘wet ware’ that flies the hardware,” said Maj. Walter Matthews, chief of aerospace medicine for the wing.

    Flight surgeons are rated aircrew along with pilots and navigators and are required to fly four hours per month to maintain currency. “In order to evaluate the factors involved in flying here, we fly with our air crews,” said Matthews, who is deployed here from Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.

    Traditional medicine deals with abnormal physiology in a normal environment, while aerospace medicine deals with mostly normal physiology in an abnormal environment. The flight medics provide occupational medicine for maintainers, ensure the safety of the workplace and oversee their water and food quality. The team also assists the fire chief with the medical aspects of in-flight emergency investigations along with gathering the medical intelligence from the rest of the crew members.

    “The quality of medical care received in both the flight medicine clinic and the main clinic is the same, but flight surgeons see medicine through a distinctly operational lens,” said Matthews. “We are charged with being the bridge between the flying world and the medical world.

    The most critical requirement for the crew to accomplish their mission is to gain the trust of the flying community. To do this, the flight medics spend most of their time in the aircraft on the line. “Air crews can sometimes have a hard time trusting docs, but they usually trust ‘their own.’ This is why flight surgeons are as much aircrew as physicians,” said Matthews.

    Not only do the flyers rely on the support of the physicians, but the doctors rely on the flyers as well. The crew must not only fix what is wrong with a flyer, but also must determine if that condition will cause problems in the jet or degrade the flyer’s ability to effectively fight in the air.

    “A strong bridge must be well-anchored on both sides,” said Matthews.

    Each of the flight medicine Airmen is part of one of the flying squadrons. The medics are part of the squadron medical element for those groups and are given the responsibility to keep the Airmen healthy. “The doctors, independent duty medical technicians and medical technicians all bring different skills to the table to form a cohesive unit that can deal with anything that is presented to them,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Nored, deployed from Grand Forks Air Force Base, N.D.

    Off the line, on a daily basis the flight medicine clinic sees patients for initial illnesses, follow-ups, shots and malaria medication. “We are building a healthier population by being vigilant with our immunizations program,” said Tech. Sgt. Marc Marrerro, deployed from Offutt Air Force, Neb.

    They maintain a presence of all aspects of the mission that affect the flying community by ensuring the health and performance of the flyers, providing primary medical care, conducting evaluations and monitoring performance enhancement.

    Photo – Airman 1st Class Nagelia Harrison, 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron flight medicine clinic, prepares to draw a blood sample from a patient’s arm. The flight medicine clinic caters specifically to the health of aircrew member. Photo by Staff Sgt. Cassandra Locke.

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    Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.

    13 July 07
    By Cpl. Eric C. Schwartz
    2nd Marine Division
    .

    ANAH, Iraq – The air smelled clean, the roads were paved and spotless, and the laughter of children echoed through the streets. A young girl, in a lilac colored dress, sprayed her driveway down with a garden hose proving the plumbing worked in her town. Men, women and children gave friendly waves to the Marines and Iraqi policemen as they patrolled through the secure streets here.

    “Patrols like these let the people know we are fighting for them, and they see that,” said Lance Cpl. Charles Tobin, a SAW gunner with Bravo Company Proper, Task Force 1st Battalion, 4th Marines proper, attached to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 2.

    The mixed patrol of Iraqi police and Marines passed through alleyways and side streets where instead of littered ground and walls covered in graffiti, the curbs had neatly swept piles of dirt and the houses freshly painted.

    “The average Anah person seems more affluent than the average Iraqi,” said Cpl. Steven Kreyenhagen, a team leader with Bravo Company. The Iraqi police explain that the townspeople here are mostly college educated, and all of their children attend school. “There are schools established in town, and the teachers speak great English,” Kreyenhagen said.

    The Marines and IPs stopped into the local markets, full of vegetables, dry goods, electronics and clothing, to buy snacks for local children and bread to share with their brother Marines not on patrol. “I like interacting with the people,” Tobin said. “You can be having a horrible day and the kids will crack you up, making your day all better.”

    Children waved at the patrol and saluted the IPs with the open-handed salute traditionally given to Iraqi officers as a sign of respect. “The area has some five and six-year-olds speaking better English than me,” Tobin said.

    A grasp of the English language doesn’t make the people of Anah superior to other towns but understanding the language of its protector’s means they have a worldly view on the coalition’s mission in Iraq.“My squad’s been invited to dinner twice already by friendly homes,” said Sgt. Tacoma Parris, a squadleader and native of New York City. “They’ve gained our trust.”

    Trust aside, the town still hides some insurgents rather willingly, or by force. “Most of the time the locals won’t tell us who planted the IEDs,” Parris said. “They’ll tell the IPs because the IPs are from the neighborhood.” The townspeople know their neighborhood, and they tell their IPs because they want safety.

    “They’d rather tell a buddy or brother they grew up with,” Parris said. “They trust us, but not wholeheartedly.”

    Anah is filled with hardworking, educated citizens, but those who travel outside of the safe town are affected by the less positive situations occurring in other parts of Iraq.

    “I used to take the bus five days a week to work before the war,” said Ghassan Thabet, an electrical engineer living in Anah. “The road is now dangerous to Al Qa’im.”

    Food rations are given to the unemployed people of Iraq by its newly established government. With help from coalition forces and the strength of local police, the roads will become safer and buses will carry hard working people like Thabet.

    Constant, friendly patrols, mixed with IPs and Marines, keep the citizens of Anah safe and help the locals here see there is a transition happening, and that terrorism will eventually subside.

    Photo – An Iraqi policeman enters a gateway into a townsperson’s home along with Marines from Bravo Company, Proper Task Force, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, attached to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 2, on June 24, 2007. Marines and Iraqi police speak with homeowners providing a friendly face and show the cohesion of Iraqi and coalition forces.

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