Year in Review: 2nd BCT meets challenges during first 100 days

| January 14, 2011 | 0 Comments
1st Lt. John Powell (third from right), 3rd Platoon leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, explains operating procedures for a combined security checkpoint in the Diyala province, Aug. 23, 2010.

1st Lt. John Powell (third from right), 3rd Platoon leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cav. Regt., 2nd BCT, 25th ID, explains operating procedures for a combined security checkpoint in the Diyala province, Aug. 23, 2010.

Story and Photo by
Spc. Robert M. England
2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

 

FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq — Despite the impending withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, projected for later this year, evidence is visible that American troops are still very much “here.”

Soldiers from all battalions in 2nd Brigade Combat Team, “Warriors,” 25th Infantry Division, transitioned from combat operations to a greater advisory role, Sept. 1, 2010, as the conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom ushered in the beginning of Operation New Dawn.

This new mission is symbolic of a new era in Iraq, in terms of security, governance and Iraq’s position as a strategic U.S. partner. The 2nd BCT has spent more than 100 days in OND, and Col. Malcolm Frost, commander, 2nd BCT, reflected on the progress made in this short time.

“Iraqi army and police forces continue to gain in confidence and capability, while enemy influence and impact diminishes,” he said. “Local and provincial governments continue to develop and hone effective political and economic systems to support the people.”

The main objective remains the same: Return Iraq to a state of sovereignty so that the Iraqi people may relinquish their fears of terrorism.

Since the beginning of OND, Warrior Brigade has been taking part in missions across northern Iraq, but its involvement has been much more reserved.

“Crime and insurgent attack rates are at eight-year lows and continue to trend downward as the police develop crime scene management and forensic capabilities, and sharpen their means to conduct counter-terror operations,” Frost said. “Nearly all of this is done routinely, each day, by the Iraqis, with only minor U.S. assistance.”

To adequately prepare Iraqis to assume complete responsibility for security in their provinces, Warrior Brigade Soldiers have conducted extensive training with IP and IA soldiers.

The 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment “Gimlets,” 2nd BCT, conducted 68 partnered training events with IA and IP in the southern Diyala province, focusing on infantry maneuvers at the platoon, squad and fire-team levels.

Gimlets provided training to IA soldiers on infantry tactics in a densely vegetated environment. In addition, Gimlets trained their Iraqi counterparts on battlefield first-responder tactics, to administer immediate medical treatment when necessary.

“During our first 100 days, the Gimlets rapidly adjusted to the unique demands of stability operations in the Diyala province,” said Lt. Col. Robert Molinari, commander, 1st Bn., 21st Inf. Regt, 2nd BCT. “The Soldiers successfully supported numerous Stability Transition Teams, while simultaneously partnering with IA and police units to improve efforts through training the Iraqi Commando Bn.

The 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., “Wolfhounds,” 2nd BCT, is responsible for assisting ISF in the Salah ad Din province. The ISF in Salah ad Din are independently conducting more than 80-percent of operations against violent extremists, clearly indicating a shift from operations led by U.S. forces throughout the majority of the OIF campaign.

“The ISF have made tremendous progress during that time,” said Lt. Col. Donald Brown, commander, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., noting changes from previous deployments during 2005-2007.

“It’s putting the mechanics in place for the various Iraqi ISF and the intelligence agencies to synchronize their efforts and share that intelligence in a transparent manner,” he said.

The Warrior Brigade has demonstrated its commitment to seeing its mission through to a successful completion, supporting Iraqi government and military goals through advice and training as requested.

“In the first 100 days of OND, we have seen tragedy and challenges overcome by incredible progress by Iraqis in the complex environments of Salah ad Din and Diyala provinces,” Frost said. “While … challenges remain, I am confident, … if we stay committed, … (in) the promise of a new dawn for Iraq.”

 

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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