News: Briefing discusses IA assuming more authority
Story by Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret
By Staff Sgt. Michel Sauret
BAGHDAD, Iraq – The 17th Iraqi army division commanding general met with the Multi-National Division – Center commanding general in Mahmudiyah, July 31, 2008, to discuss IA authority increasing in southern Baghdad.
During the meeting, Iraqi Maj. Gen. Ali Jassim Muhammad Hassen Al Frejee briefed Maj. Gen. Michael Oates on plans that would allow the 17th IA Div. to assume control over forward operating bases currently occupied by 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).
"We will look to you for whatever assistance you request of us," Oates said.
Ali said the plans set in place will allow for coalition forces to decrease the influence in southern Baghdad, and it will give more missions to IA troops to counter terrorism.
The main mission for his division, Ali said, is to put together a combat unit to attack any remaining terrorist groups and stop them from interfering with the Iraqi government's progress. This will help establish grounds for the government of Iraq to work more openly in the area.
Ali also plans on exercising control as the sons of Iraq supervise and secure checkpoints along key roads. He will continue to work with the citizens of Baghdad to cooperate with Iraqi security forces and the Iraqi government.
Furthermore, Ali would like to establish reserve components ready to support missions when in need, as well as an extra battalion of commanders. This will require approval from the ministry of defense.
Eventually, the 17th IA Div. will take over 18 bases, most of which are patrol-sized structures. Some of these bases will help support Iraqi units specializing in equipment, maintenance and transportation. During this process, the Iraqi forces will continue to work with Military Transition Teams to continue improving the capabilities of the IA.