Battle Blog 27 June - 3 July 2004

Since the handover to Iraqi officials earlier this week, terrorist attacks have apparently fallen off sharply.  Problems still remain with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and roadside bombs, but there have been no reports of coordinated assaults against Coalition forces or Iraqi government and police facilities.

Meanwhile, in Fallujah, things are quiet after a series of Coalition air attacks targeted the Jordanian—born terrorist leader Zarqawi and his lieutenants.  It seems Iraqi intelligence services, working in conjunction with the Coalition, are pinpointing terrorist cells with greater precision.  Hopefully, this is a byproduct of the establishment of joint Iraqi—Coalition regional headquarters which stood up shortly after the handover of authority to the Iraqi government.

This Independence Day weekend, remember our service men and women who, because of their sacrifices past and present, gave us our freedom, and courageously fight for it today.  Without them, our God—given rights and our country would have ceased to exist a long time ago.

A CENTCOM news release describes our Special Operations Forces (SOF) in action in Afghanistan.  Coalition SOF raided two terrorist compounds and captured two Taliban leaders in the process.  Surprise was so complete that the terrorists decided to surrender rather than fight it out.  In addition, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force—A is heavily involved in reconstruction efforts, including building schools, roads, and mosques.  Medical care is also a critical element.  As the article explains, 'More than 1,000 Afghan patients receive weekly medical care from Coalition SOF medics and attached SOF personnel, including Civil Affairs doctors and physician assistants, based in remote village areas in Afghanistan.'

Anyone who reads Iron Horse Brigade aids Iraqi boy's recovery  and still believes US forces are made up of bloodthirsty warmongers needs to have his head examined.  In a moving story by Specialist Andy Miller, we learn that, thanks to the efforts of medical personnel from 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, a young Iraqi boy has a second chance at life.  Young Shimir was found with a bullet in his brain by a 1st Cavalry Division medic, Specialist Jeffrey Ward.  The boy was also suffering from left—side paralysis.  After the boy was released from an Iraqi hospital, the battalion surgeon, Lt. Col. Bob Gerhardt, examined Shimir, and arranged for him to see a physical therapist with the 118th Medical Support Battalion.  After more than two months, the prognosis for the boy is good and he is on his way to recovery.  According to Dr. Gerhardt, 'Here is a kid who could be potentially a lawyer, could be an engineer.  He could be a businessman or a politician,' Gerhardt said. 'Here is a kid who could be a professional some day.  So in that sense [his future] is fairly bright.'

In a previous Battle Blog, we learned of a stunning victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan by the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).  In Army infantry battalion joins Marines in Afghanistan we learn that Army Infantrymen from the 2d Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment have joined the Marines in the Oruzgan and northern Kandahar Provinces of Afghanistan.  Previously, the Marines had scored a great victory over the Taliban, killing or capturing over 100 of the enemy.  However, the Marines were stretched thin, and could not provide a consistent presence in an area long dominated by the Taliban.  The Army battalion comes from the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, and has been training in the Ghazni area prior to joining the Marines.  Lt. Col. Terry L. Sellers, the battalion commander of the 2nd Bn., 5th Infantry Regiment, said "Our guys have been wanting a piece of the action."  Now that they are part of Task Force Linebacker, they will probably get their wish.

Typhoon, Sirocco Join Gulf Maritime Security Operations Task Force describes the deployment of two US Navy patrol craft to the Northern Arabian (Persian) Gulf in order to protect Iraqi oil terminals off the coast of the Al—Faw peninsula.  One of these terminals was the target of an attempted small boat suicide attack in late April of this year.  The two patrol craft, whose homeport is Little Creek, Virginia, secure a 2000 meter exclusion zone around the off—shore oil terminals.  The Typhoon and Sirocco were supposed to relieve the Firebolt and Chinook, but because of the increased threat to Iraq's oil distribution facilities, all four patrol craft will remain on station until further notice.  Besides their crews, the craft also carry U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs) to carry out high—risk boardings.  'The PC/LEDET team provides a higher endurance platform, more firepower and full capability boarding,' said Firebolt Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Olson. 'Equipped with 25mm cannons, .50 caliber guns and M60s, we are a complete maritime security asset.'

Link to Battle Blog 20 — 26 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 13 June —19 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 6 June to 13 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 30 May — 5 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 23 — 29 May, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 16 — 22 May, 2004

Since the handover to Iraqi officials earlier this week, terrorist attacks have apparently fallen off sharply.  Problems still remain with Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) and roadside bombs, but there have been no reports of coordinated assaults against Coalition forces or Iraqi government and police facilities.

Meanwhile, in Fallujah, things are quiet after a series of Coalition air attacks targeted the Jordanian—born terrorist leader Zarqawi and his lieutenants.  It seems Iraqi intelligence services, working in conjunction with the Coalition, are pinpointing terrorist cells with greater precision.  Hopefully, this is a byproduct of the establishment of joint Iraqi—Coalition regional headquarters which stood up shortly after the handover of authority to the Iraqi government.

This Independence Day weekend, remember our service men and women who, because of their sacrifices past and present, gave us our freedom, and courageously fight for it today.  Without them, our God—given rights and our country would have ceased to exist a long time ago.

A CENTCOM news release describes our Special Operations Forces (SOF) in action in Afghanistan.  Coalition SOF raided two terrorist compounds and captured two Taliban leaders in the process.  Surprise was so complete that the terrorists decided to surrender rather than fight it out.  In addition, the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force—A is heavily involved in reconstruction efforts, including building schools, roads, and mosques.  Medical care is also a critical element.  As the article explains, 'More than 1,000 Afghan patients receive weekly medical care from Coalition SOF medics and attached SOF personnel, including Civil Affairs doctors and physician assistants, based in remote village areas in Afghanistan.'

Anyone who reads Iron Horse Brigade aids Iraqi boy's recovery  and still believes US forces are made up of bloodthirsty warmongers needs to have his head examined.  In a moving story by Specialist Andy Miller, we learn that, thanks to the efforts of medical personnel from 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, a young Iraqi boy has a second chance at life.  Young Shimir was found with a bullet in his brain by a 1st Cavalry Division medic, Specialist Jeffrey Ward.  The boy was also suffering from left—side paralysis.  After the boy was released from an Iraqi hospital, the battalion surgeon, Lt. Col. Bob Gerhardt, examined Shimir, and arranged for him to see a physical therapist with the 118th Medical Support Battalion.  After more than two months, the prognosis for the boy is good and he is on his way to recovery.  According to Dr. Gerhardt, 'Here is a kid who could be potentially a lawyer, could be an engineer.  He could be a businessman or a politician,' Gerhardt said. 'Here is a kid who could be a professional some day.  So in that sense [his future] is fairly bright.'

In a previous Battle Blog, we learned of a stunning victory over the Taliban in Afghanistan by the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).  In Army infantry battalion joins Marines in Afghanistan we learn that Army Infantrymen from the 2d Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment have joined the Marines in the Oruzgan and northern Kandahar Provinces of Afghanistan.  Previously, the Marines had scored a great victory over the Taliban, killing or capturing over 100 of the enemy.  However, the Marines were stretched thin, and could not provide a consistent presence in an area long dominated by the Taliban.  The Army battalion comes from the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii, and has been training in the Ghazni area prior to joining the Marines.  Lt. Col. Terry L. Sellers, the battalion commander of the 2nd Bn., 5th Infantry Regiment, said "Our guys have been wanting a piece of the action."  Now that they are part of Task Force Linebacker, they will probably get their wish.

Typhoon, Sirocco Join Gulf Maritime Security Operations Task Force describes the deployment of two US Navy patrol craft to the Northern Arabian (Persian) Gulf in order to protect Iraqi oil terminals off the coast of the Al—Faw peninsula.  One of these terminals was the target of an attempted small boat suicide attack in late April of this year.  The two patrol craft, whose homeport is Little Creek, Virginia, secure a 2000 meter exclusion zone around the off—shore oil terminals.  The Typhoon and Sirocco were supposed to relieve the Firebolt and Chinook, but because of the increased threat to Iraq's oil distribution facilities, all four patrol craft will remain on station until further notice.  Besides their crews, the craft also carry U.S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachments (LEDETs) to carry out high—risk boardings.  'The PC/LEDET team provides a higher endurance platform, more firepower and full capability boarding,' said Firebolt Commanding Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Mark Olson. 'Equipped with 25mm cannons, .50 caliber guns and M60s, we are a complete maritime security asset.'

Link to Battle Blog 20 — 26 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 13 June —19 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 6 June to 13 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 30 May — 5 June, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 23 — 29 May, 2004

Link to Battle Blog 16 — 22 May, 2004