News: Stryker unit ready for Diyala operations
Story by Sgt. Armando Monroig
By Sgt. Armando Monroig
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
BAQUBAH, Iraq – Members of 2nd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment searched the village of Qasirin, 10 miles southwest of Baqubah, Iraq, on May 21 in an effort to help bring security and stability to southern Diyala province.
The Soldiers, who arrived in Diyala in early May, are part of 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, from Fort Lewis, Wash.
They searched for signs of insurgent activities. Some places looked as though people had left hastily, but they did not find any weapons caches or insurgents amongst the rows of abandoned buildings, farmhouses and chicken coops.
Regardless, the Soldiers said that they still got something valuable out of the mission and they are determined to make an impact.
"This is about our fourth or fifth day. We're all still getting accustomed to the terrain. Everyday we go out there for a few hours, get a little experience, and come back safely, is a good day," said 1st Lt. Joseph Nalli, platoon leader for 2nd platoon, Troop A.
He and his unit, which officially took over responsibility for security in southern Diyala May 20, are working in one of the most volatile regions in Iraq. Nalli, who is on his first deployment to Iraq, said it did not matter which part of Iraq his unit worked in. He said his Soldiers have a job to do and are going to accomplish it regardless of where they operate.
"We have a lot of objectives to get our hands on and take control of. But the biggest thing is ridding the area of (terrorists) and making it a safer place for the people of Iraq to live and prosper," Nalli said.
To do that will take motivation, said Sgt. Jason Moreira, from Troop A. He said that will be a key part of a successful deployment.
Moreira added that missions like searching Qasirin, although uneventful, still serve their purpose.
"Every time you leave the wire, you accomplish something, whether you find something or you don't. You learn the routes and the environment, you see the people – they notice us," said Moreira.
He points to an earlier mission where they found a roadside bomb. They called in an explosives ordnance disposal unit, which eliminated the threat.
"I know there are a lot of (roadside bombs) in this area. Our enemy is very intelligent. They're going to test us to our fullest capabilities. But we're here for the long haul. We aren't going anywhere. We're going to give them everything we've got."