June 6, 2008

From the Front: 06/06/2008

News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

In their own words:
Bill Roggio: US targets al Qaeda operatives with links to Iran, Pakistan - The US Treasury Department has added three al Qaeda operatives from the Gulf States to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist Individuals. The three operatives have provided logistical, financial, and material support to al Qaeda and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group throughout the Middle East. Two of these operatives have provided direct support for al Qaeda leaders based in Iran and two have operated in the tribal regions in Pakistan. The US has designated Khalifa Muhammad Turki al Subaiy, a Qatari national; and Adil Muhammad Mahmud Abd al Khaliq and Abd al Rahman Muhammad Jaffar 'Ali, Bahraini nationals, as Specially Designated Global Terrorist Individuals under Executive Order 13224. The designation allows the US to freeze their assets, prevent them from using financial institutions, and prosecute them for terrorist activities. (READ MORE)

Bill Roggio: Mahdi Army uses “flying IEDs” in Baghdad - The explosions in the Sha'ab neighborhood in the Baghdad district of Adhamiyah, which killed 16 civilians and wounded 29 more, have been "misreported," according to the US military. The explosions in the Mahdi Army stronghold were initially reported in the media as a car bomb attack that targeted a police commander. The attack was held up as the largest bombing in Baghdad since mid-March. But the US military has refuted the reports, saying the explosions were caused by the premature detonation of a Special Groups improvised rocket launching system. The system, which has been described as a flying improvised explosive device, or airborne IED, had received little attention until yesterday’s explosions in Sha’ab. (READ MORE)

Navy Gal: Perspective - I know, I know, I'm a shit-bag for not posting anything sooner. Truth is....not much going on up here. I am after all stuck in prison inside these fence-lined walls. Today, we are having yet ANOTHER dust storm with 30 mph winds and blowing dust everywhere. The heat has been on the rise, I think it's been around 115-120 lately and I don't care what anyone says...the desert is NOT a dry heat!! There is nothing dry on my body after I have been out on a mission all morning in this damned heat. Nothing finer than feeling that lone sweat droplet start at the base of my neck and trace the curve of my spine all the way down and end up settling in my ass!! Nice graphic huh? Sorry, that's the joys of being deployed to this jolly sandbox! (READ MORE)

Back but still writing:
1romad: American Life - I have been home now for about 4 months. My time is now spent enjoying my family (listening to my wife, coaching my boys, re-connecting with friends), developing business strategies at work, and working in the garage /house / yard. I am also following the current events surrounding the presidential nominations, the continuing events unfolding in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the greater civil war within Islam, and the "reality" as presented on TV. Everyone asks how it feels to be home and what the transition is like. Well, I liken it to returning home from a vacation; but in reverse. Spending time in Iraq or Afghanistan forces one to live in a very present reality--embracing distraction can be deadly. Leaving that reality and re-entering American life is like leaving work for a few weeks and entering Disneyland. (READ MORE)

Heading Out:
Big Tobacco: Revenge is a Dish Best Complemented with a Corona Gordo - I smoked a Fincks Mexican Fiesta While Writing This. It’s 4AM. Our aircraft touches down at McGuire Air Force base. Somebody shouts : “How does it feel to be ugly again?” to the lone female on our plane. Typical infantry: if you are a female soldier we love you, we hate you, we’re so confused. The movie “Raising Hellen” was shown on the plane. This was a chick flick about a fashion designer who’s ends up with three children after her sister dies in a car accident. This is not a typical movie for infantrymen, but when it is turned off with five minutes to go, the entire cabin goes crazy. A battalion of infantrymen start screaming: “Turn it back on” and “Does she get the kids?” The flight attendants turn the movie back on as we taxi to the ramp. When the plane stops, we exit in as orderly a manner as we can, with our equipment and rifles bumping against our seats. We are back in New Jersey and the desert has again become the stuff of books and dreams. It’s January of 2005 and I am home. (READ MORE)

On the Home Front:
Phil Basinski: The wonderful help of 'Our Military Kids' - Last weekend I went with my son's Boy Scout troop on a canoe trip. Along with hanging out with my son, it was nice to enjoy the company of some adults outside of work. We ended up getting cold & soaked, enough so that I ended up sick as a dog most of this week. Not a good thing when you've got to be there to keep things going. The military is always sending me and the other home side spouses all this information about the different programs and benefits available to us both through the government and also through the private sector. The rule seems to be that if there's a program through the government it's either a huge hassle, has little or no value, or you don't qualify. (READ MORE)

News from the Front:

Operation Muthana Strike destroys major al-Qaeda in Iraq cell - TIKRIT, Iraq – Coalition forces detained more than 20 suspected terrorists and killed four during an operation targeting a major al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network along the Tigris River Valley in the western portion of the Ta’mim province June 4. Among the dead were a suspected cell leader and his top lieutenants who were part of a network that is responsible for car bomb attacks and weapons smuggling in the province, as well as surrounding areas in northern Iraq. (READ MORE)

Ministry of Interior opens 7 new warehouses to meet growing demand for equipment - Baghdad – With the opening of seven new warehouses Thursday, the Ministry of Interior took another step forward in meeting the logistical demands of supplying its growing police forces. The new warehouses for the Ministry of Interior Logistics Directorate provide 12,000 square meters of additional space for storage of uniforms, body armor, boots, automotive parts, computers and other equipment needs of the Iraqi Police. Iraqi Police Maj. Gen. Dr. Jassim, director of training and qualifications, spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new warehouses Thursday. (READ MORE)

Special Groups criminals surrender to Coalition forces near al-Kut - BAGHDAD – An Iranian-trained Special Groups leader surrendered to Coalition forces Friday during operations in al-Hayy, about 190 miles southeast of Baghdad. Acting on intelligence information, Coalition forces raided the presumed residence of an Iranian-trained Special Groups leader suspected of directing and ordering attacks against Coalition forces in Wasit Province, as well as attacks and kidnappings against civil authorities there. (READ MORE)

10 wanted men, 22 other al-Qaeda suspects detained - BAGHDAD – Coalition forces struck al-Qaeda in Iraq’s bombing networks in Mosul, Baghdad and the Tigris River Valley Thursday and Friday, capturing 10 wanted men and detaining 22 additional suspected terrorists. In Mosul, Coalition forces further degraded AQI leadership when they detained 14 suspected terrorists, including two wanted men. (READ MORE)

Iraqi Army Soldiers take weapons off streets in Sadr City - BAGHDAD – Iraqi Army Soldiers uncovered weapons caches in the Sadr City district of Baghdad June 4, as they continued conducting operations to increase the area’s safety. Iraqi Army Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 1st IA Division, discovered a weapons cache at approximately 6:30 a.m. The weapons included an RPK light machine gun, 11 AK-47 rifles, six AK-47 magazines, four of which were full, 40 PKC light machine gun rounds, 100 AK-47 rounds, two ski masks and assorted Special Groups propaganda. (READ MORE)

Construction starts on Iraqi Army command site in Basrah - BASRAH, Iraq – Construction has started on the Iraqi Army’s new Shaiba Location Command in Basrah. The $42.7 million project will include dozens of structures providing office space, warehouses, fuel and ammunition supply, a dining facility for 1,000 people, barracks, laundry, barber shop, medical clinic and fire station. The facilities are to be sited on a military installation 15 kilometers south of the Basrah Air Base. Lt. Col. John Burgess and project engineer Fred Guese are overseeing the work for the Gulf Region Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. (READ MORE)

'String of Miracles' Benefits Iraqi Children - BAGHDAD — Playing outside her Baghdad home in January 2007, 6-year-old Shams couldn't have imagined that destiny was about to drastically change her life, along with the lives of many other Iraqi children. Mortars don't discriminate between women or men, rich or poor, adults or children. One found Shams. It was a miracle Shams' father managed to flag down a passing U.S. military Humvee; it became the first in a string of miracles that love and generosity continue to facilitate. (READ MORE)

General Credits Lull in Iraq Violence to Better Security, Citizen Help - WASHINGTON — Last month marked the fewest attacks in Iraq in four years, a reduction one military official attributed to improved security tactics and personnel and an increase in tips from Iraqi citizens. The number of bombing attacks involving deadly, armor-piercing charges and homemade explosives decreased in May and continues to fall, Army Brig. Gen. John Campbell, deputy director for regional operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a Pentagon news conference. (READ MORE)

Marines Participate in Operation Gravel Dump - KARMA — Along the road nicknamed Chicago, vehicles lined up for miles, each vehicle getting ready to be searched. But they are not going to be searched by Marines, but by local Iraqi security forces. Marines with Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, supported Iraqis with the Karma Iraqi Police and Iraqi Soldiers of 1st Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, participated in Operation Gravel Dump. (READ MORE)

MP Soldiers Build Rapport With Iraqi Citizens - FORWARD OPERATING BASE LOYALTY — Patriot Brigade Soldiers of 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, exuded a genuine, vested interest for the community as they patrolled neighborhoods surrounding Forward Operating Base Loyalty, May 31. Soldiers assigned to Military Police Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, took time to speak to and play with children as Iraqis reciprocated the kindness, showing their support for U.S. Soldiers patrolling the area. (READ MORE)

Militants killed, detained in Helmand province - BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (June 5, 2008) – Several militants were killed and five were detained Wednesday during a Coalition forces operation to disrupt anti-government operations in Helmand province. Coalition forces searched several compounds in Kajaki District targeting a Taliban leader associated with the murder of several Afghan government officials. (READ MORE)

New road brings prosperity to Afghan province - PANJSHIR PROVINCE, Afghanistan (June 3, 2008) -- More than 1,000 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a new $6 million road in Barak, Bazarak District, Panjshir, May 28. During the ceremony, Afghan officials from the highest levels of government discussed the critical importance of the road, which will extend from Barak to Khenj, to Panjshir and to all of Afghanistan. (READ MORE)

ANA, ISAF stop insurgent attack in Kunar province - JALALABAD AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (June 4, 2008) – Afghan National Army soldiers, assisted by International Security Assistance Force soldiers, successfully prevented an insurgent attack Tuesday in Kunar province. Late Tuesday afternoon, ANA soldiers patrolling in the Korengal Valley identified and engaged insurgents as they were preparing to attack an ANA convoy from multiple positions. (READ MORE)

No comments: