Thursday, June 28, 2007

Iraq: Arrowhead 'Ripper' and 2 Compassionate Soldiers

These are two great articles. First, we have the ISF (Iraq Security Forces) working along side the Coalition Forces (CF) to put pressure on any al Qaida still left in the neighborhood.

Arrowhead Ripper’ Continues to Pressure al Qaeda.
24 Jun 07
By Multi-National Division – North
Public Affairs Office

BAQOUBA, Iraq - Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) teamed with Task Force Lightning units, Thursday, to clear Baqouba and surrounding areas as Operation Arrowhead Ripper continued.

“We are shoulder-to-shoulder with Iraqi Security Forces in this fight,” said Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek, deputy commanding general, operations, and commander of Operation Arrowhead Ripper. “Specifically the 5th Iraqi Army Division led by Maj. Gen. Saleem Kariem Ali Alotbei, along with the provincial director of police, Maj. Gen. Ganim, have provided the Iraqi security forces to the fight.

The weeks ahead are absolutely key in not only holding and retaining the ground that is cleared in partnership with Coalition Forces (CF), but also in building trust and confidence with the citizens of Diyala.”

In support of the operation, attack helicopters from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Squadron, 82nd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion provided assistance to Iraqi and Coalition ground forces, killing at least 13 al-Qaida operatives and destroying an al Qaeda compound during the second day of the operation.

“Over the last three days, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade has provided Iraqi Security Forces and Coalition infantry brigade combat teams, attack, scout and transportation helicopters. These assets give Coalition and Iraqi ground forces the added support they need to eliminate or contain al Qaeda during operation Arrowhead Ripper in Baqouba,” said Lt. Col. Gregory Baker, deputy commanding officer, 25th CAB.

In a separate engagement, CF soldiers discovered an empty school complex rigged with explosives in Baqouba, the capital city of Diyala province, Thursday, during Operation Arrowhead Ripper.

Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment discovered the booby-trapped school complex. An investigation of the area determined the school and surrounding buildings had been abandoned.

CF had to destroy the school due to risk to the community. CF were unable to disable the explosives because of instability. Ground forces effectively coordinated a precisions guided munitions strike and successfully destroyed the school-borne IED.

There were no civilian injuries or deaths as a result of this action.

“Jointly with ISF, and the citizens of Baqouba, we are beginning to root out al- Qaida operatives and safely neutralize their traps,” said Bednarek.

As Arrowhead Ripper continued through June 21, at least 51 al Qaeda operatives have been killed, with 20 al Qaeda operatives detained, seven weapons caches discovered, 21 improvised explosive devices destroyed and nine booby-trapped structures destroyed.

Photo - A Stryker soldier with Company B, 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, pulls security during the clearing of a village in the outskirts of Baqouba, Iraq, as part of Operation Arrowhead Ripper, June 19. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Antonieta Rico.

Source: Asymmetric Military.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.

There is also a picture that comes with both of these articles. Well, all of them today, actually. Wait until you read how many AQ they killed! :)

This next article is very moving. Two soldiers who were only doing their job turned the mind of one man (who could in turn change the minds of others) when they took notice of the needs of his son.

Two Compassionate Soldiers Give Iraqi Child Hope.
25 Jun 07
By Spc. Mike Alberts
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs.

KIRKUK, Iraq - The nine-year old boy would most certainly lose his leg. Given the prohibitive cost of medical care and his family’s lack of resources, amputation and a life of pain and dependence seemed inevitable. The Iraqi boy’s father was resigned to that conclusion. Then two soldiers got involved and hope arrived along with them.

Campbell, of Athens, Ga., is a team leader with 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The infantryman is on his third combat deployment, currently stationed at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq. At 26 years old, Campbell’s a seasoned combat veteran who turned a chance encounter into a crusade to help.

Campbell’s unit works to train and mentor Iraqi police in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk. During a routine patrol at an Iraqi police station, his unit spotted what appeared to be someone conducting surveillance on the platoon’s activities. They investigated and found a boy with a severely injured leg.

“During the search of a house I noticed a little boy,” said Campbell. “His leg was all bent up and it looked like he had a pipe wrapped to it,” he continued. “My immediate instinct was to rewrap it and change the splint for him because it looked uncomfortable. When I removed the wrap, I noticed that the pipe was actually a metal bar that was screwed into the lower part of the boy’s leg below the knee. What concerned me most though was the obvious infection.”

Campbell learned that the family was at a wedding some months ago when at least two bullets from celebratory gunfire impacted the young boy’s leg below the knee and exited the bottom of his foot. For a variety of reasons, local doctors simply screwed an exterior metal brace into the young boy’s bone at four locations.

“I cleaned the leg the best I could, gave the family extra field dressings, iodine, alcohol and instructions on how to take care of the infection,” said Campbell who would meet with the family on more than two dozen future occasions to check on the boy’s status.

“The family appeared to be doing everything correctly, but the leg seemed more infected each time I saw him. I knew we had assets in the brigade that could provide more help,” he said.

Campbell went to brigade civil affairs.

“Based on what Sgt. Campbell told me and from what I saw of the photos and X-rays my biggest concern was that the infection was systemic, which could be a life-threatening situation,” said Capt. Geoffrey Dutton, a civil affairs officer with the 425th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 3IBCT. “This child had no antibiotics, no pain killers and no aftercare other than what Sgt. Campbell was providing.”

Dutton, a reserve officer from Aiken, S.C., is also a licensed practical nurse who worked at the Augusta, Ga., Veterans Administration prior to being called up to serve in Iraq. The 21-year Army veteran and father of three served in medical units during the majority of his military career and recently switched career fields to civil affairs. Dutton explained his role.

“As civil affairs, we interact with the local populace on a day to day basis,” he said. “Among other things, we compile information about local communities’ ethnic and religious make-up, as well as their economic and social needs to enable the brigade to identify and coordinate assistance projects.”

Locating assistance for the boy presented challenges, but Dutton welcomed the opportunity to help. Based on his medical experience, he understood the urgency of the situation and quickly explored possibilities.

“As civil affairs we are all about developing relationships. I have only been here for a couple months, but I spoke with several people and eventually got contact information for a non-governmental organization (NGO). They agreed to help,” he said.

Dutton put the boy’s family and the NGO into contact. Since then, arrangements have been made to transport the child together with other children with extraordinary medical needs to doctors and experts in locations beyond Kirkuk.

Dutton identified the obvious tactical impact in rendering aid to the local population in terms of affecting public perception of coalition forces and their mission here in Iraq. However, both he and Campbell were quick to explain that they helped the boy simply because it’s what soldiers do.

“A large segment of the American public thinks its military just breaks and destroys things,” said Dutton. “I’ve consistently seen that it’s our compassion that separates us. Sgt. Campbell and his efforts here represent that and show what’s best about the American soldier.”

Campbell downplayed his role.

“Of course, we’re here to capture bad guys, but it’s also our job to help the people,” said Campbell. “It’s not about me. It’s about Americans. This is what American people are all about, and I’m going to help everyone I can, because that’s what an American soldier is about.”

As for the boy’s father, he’s no longer resigned to the inevitable. As importantly, his distrust of coalition forces has been replaced by gratitude.

“Sgt. Campbell and the others were always by me and always helped me,” said the boy’s father through an interpreter. “They came to my house to treat and clean the leg and help when no one else would,” he said. “This is all to get my son help. For that, I’m grateful.”

Photo - U.S. Army Sgt. Donald R. Campbell (center), team leader, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receives a medical update from the father of a young child as he hands Campbell a recent X-ray of the boy’s injured leg, at a police station in Kirkuk, Iraq, June 14, 2007. Campbell and Capt. Geoffrey Dutton found the boy in a house search and arranged for him to receive critical medical help to save his limb. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Mike Alberts.Campbell, of Athens, Ga., is a team leader with 1st Platoon, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team. The infantryman is on his third combat deployment, currently stationed at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq. At 26 years old, Campbell’s a seasoned combat veteran who turned a chance encounter into a crusade to help.

Campbell’s unit works to train and mentor Iraqi police in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk. During a routine patrol at an Iraqi police station, his unit spotted what appeared to be someone conducting surveillance on the platoon’s activities. They investigated and found a boy with a severely injured leg.

“During the search of a house I noticed a little boy,” said Campbell. “His leg was all bent up and it looked like he had a pipe wrapped to it,” he continued. “My immediate instinct was to rewrap it and change the splint for him because it looked uncomfortable. When I removed the wrap, I noticed that the pipe was actually a metal bar that was screwed into the lower part of the boy’s leg below the knee. What concerned me most though was the obvious infection.”

Campbell learned that the family was at a wedding some months ago when at least two bullets from celebratory gunfire impacted the young boy’s leg below the knee and exited the bottom of his foot. For a variety of reasons, local doctors simply screwed an exterior metal brace into the young boy’s bone at four locations.

“I cleaned the leg the best I could, gave the family extra field dressings, iodine, alcohol and instructions on how to take care of the infection,” said Campbell who would meet with the family on more than two dozen future occasions to check on the boy’s status.

“The family appeared to be doing everything correctly, but the leg seemed more infected each time I saw him. I knew we had assets in the brigade that could provide more help,” he said.

Campbell went to brigade civil affairs.

“Based on what Sgt. Campbell told me and from what I saw of the photos and X-rays my biggest concern was that the infection was systemic, which could be a life-threatening situation,” said Capt. Geoffrey Dutton, a civil affairs officer with the 425th Civil Affairs Battalion, attached to 3IBCT. “This child had no antibiotics, no pain killers and no aftercare other than what Sgt. Campbell was providing.”

Dutton, a reserve officer from Aiken, S.C., is also a licensed practical nurse who worked at the Augusta, Ga., Veterans Administration prior to being called up to serve in Iraq. The 21-year Army veteran and father of three served in medical units during the majority of his military career and recently switched career fields to civil affairs. Dutton explained his role.

“As civil affairs, we interact with the local populace on a day to day basis,” he said. “Among other things, we compile information about local communities’ ethnic and religious make-up, as well as their economic and social needs to enable the brigade to identify and coordinate assistance projects.”

Locating assistance for the boy presented challenges, but Dutton welcomed the opportunity to help. Based on his medical experience, he understood the urgency of the situation and quickly explored possibilities.

“As civil affairs we are all about developing relationships. I have only been here for a couple months, but I spoke with several people and eventually got contact information for a non-governmental organization (NGO). They agreed to help,” he said.

Dutton put the boy’s family and the NGO into contact. Since then, arrangements have been made to transport the child together with other children with extraordinary medical needs to doctors and experts in locations beyond Kirkuk.

Dutton identified the obvious tactical impact in rendering aid to the local population in terms of affecting public perception of coalition forces and their mission here in Iraq. However, both he and Campbell were quick to explain that they helped the boy simply because it’s what soldiers do.

“A large segment of the American public thinks its military just breaks and destroys things,” said Dutton. “I’ve consistently seen that it’s our compassion that separates us. Sgt. Campbell and his efforts here represent that and show what’s best about the American soldier.”

Campbell downplayed his role.

“Of course, we’re here to capture bad guys, but it’s also our job to help the people,” said Campbell. “It’s not about me. It’s about Americans. This is what American people are all about, and I’m going to help everyone I can, because that’s what an American soldier is about.”

As for the boy’s father, he’s no longer resigned to the inevitable. As importantly, his distrust of coalition forces has been replaced by gratitude.

“Sgt. Campbell and the others were always by me and always helped me,” said the boy’s father through an interpreter. “They came to my house to treat and clean the leg and help when no one else would,” he said. “This is all to get my son help. For that, I’m grateful.”

Photo - U.S. Army Sgt. Donald R. Campbell (center), team leader, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, receives a medical update from the father of a young child as he hands Campbell a recent X-ray of the boy’s injured leg, at a police station in Kirkuk, Iraq, June 14, 2007. Campbell and Capt. Geoffrey Dutton found the boy in a house search and arranged for him to receive critical medical help to save his limb. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Mike Alberts.

These guys are very special. It makes me so proud to be an American. Thank you for your service, stay safe, and God bless you.

Source: Defend America.

Originally posted @ DoD Daily News-2.

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