Deployed Forces: Operation ‘Bright Eagle’ leads air assault

| April 2, 2010 | 0 Comments

Task Force Wings Public Affairs
News Release

CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — U.S. Soldiers from Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, recently conducted an air assault with the Iraqi Police Emergency Response Unit and Rapid Deployment Unit from Contingency Operating Location Danger, near Tikrit, Iraq.

The Operation Bright Eagle mission was to deny the enemy networks’ ability to disrupt Provincial elections by confiscating unauthorized weapons and interdicting suspected terrorists.

Iraqi Police and Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, rehearse exiting from a helicopter at Contingency Operating Location Danger. (Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone Marshall | 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)Troopers from 3rd Battalion, 25th General Support Aviation Battalion, Task Force Hammerhead, led the air assault with aircraft from Company Alpha and Bravo, 3-25th GSAB, and Alpha Troop, 2nd Battalion, 6th Cavalry Regiment, Task Force Diamond Head.

The partnered air assault inserted ISF and U.S. forces into three objectives in Salah ad-Din province.

“The Iraqi Police captured 22 individuals,” said Lt. Col. Robert Cain, 2-32nd FA Regt. commander. “Iraqi Police worked together to develop their own plan and execute quite a large-scale operation, successfully.”

Soldiers arrived in theater last year and have taught advanced policing techniques to improve ISF planning and execution processes.

“The Iraqi Security Forces conducted the operation well,” said Cain. “They performed good rehearsals in preparation for the air assault and quickly cleared each objective. They showed that the ISF can reach outlying areas and conduct large joint operations.”

“We (also received) excellent aviation support for our ground units,” he said.

Task Forces Hammerhead and Diamond Head employed multiple aircraft and unmanned aerial systems and provided lift support and aerial reconnaissance for ground forces.

Chief Warrant Officer Owen Connors, a CH-47D Chinook helicopter pilot with Company B, 3-25th GSAB, was one of several pilots who inserted troops into the objectives.

“It’s extremely important for the Iraqis to provide their own security,” Connors said. “Any support we can give them absolutely helps; it helps for these elections and, in a broader sense, it helps to give them a sense of ownership.

“We’re setting conditions for the Iraq military and Iraq police to provide their own security and enable them to further establish and develop their own democracy,” said Capt. Robert Beale, commander, Company B, 3-25th GSAB, TF Hammerhead. “They’re definitely moving in the right direction, not only with our assistance but also with help other coalition forces have provided the past couple of years. The ISF is right on the right track.

“They definitely made it look like they’ve been doing it for a while,” Beale said.

Another testament to the improved capability of the Iraqi Police was how quickly they learned to safely enter and exit aircraft.

Cold load training is often conducted with less experienced passengers when aircraft are shut down and before missions, to ensure all passengers understand the elements of loading and unloading a helicopter.

According to the pilots involved, passengers should be able to exit the aircraft and safely position themselves within 15 seconds of touching-down on an objective.

“During the cold load training portion of the mission, comparing the Iraqi Army units and the U.S. Army, they were all on and off the aircraft quickly,” said Beale.  

Category: Deployed Forces, News

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