News: Iraqi police, U.S. Soldiers deliver humanitarian aid in Babil
Story by 1st Lt. Matthew Pierce
CONVOY SUPPORT CENTER SCANIA, Iraq – The residents of a small village in rural Jawadia of the Babil province received an unexpected surprise recently.
In the early morning hours under a hazy, sand-induced overcast sky, local villagers awoke to find Iraqi police of the Al Furat Police Station and Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, pulling into their village with a railcar shipping container in tow.
When the smiling IP officers cracked open the container, a plethora of supplies ranging from blankets and pillows to water purifiers and generators, poured out to exclamations of astonished gratitude from the local citizens.
"They don't teach you this in Basic Training or Artillery School," said Staff Sgt. Travanti Andrews of 2nd Platoon, Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, and Greenwood, Miss. resident. "This type of mission is what we look forward to because we see a difference on the spot. The locals are extremely grateful and we are grateful to have the opportunity to help out. Everybody wins."
The field artillery battery has spent the past four months working jointly with the local IP to bring much-needed training to their security forces. In addition to this training, they have found time to provide humanitarian assistance to the surrounding communities.
Coordination between the battery commander and IP chief resulted in 340 people from 42 families in the area receiving provisions that greatly improved their quality of life.
"[Iraqi police chief] Maj. Rahman and his police team did an outstanding job ensuring every family got equal rations. Not one person went home empty handed today," said Maj. Scott Perry, the civil affairs team leader working with 3-16 FA Regt.
This humanitarian assistance mission is one of many that will continue to be a part of 3rd Bn., 16 FA Regt.'s battle rhythm as they conduct operations in the Babil province.
Many of the battalion's Soldiers said they attribute the ever-increasing stability in the communities throughout the area to the local IP and Iraqi army units. Improvements in the security environment have allowed the Iraqi security forces to focus on building trust within the communities they patrol.
These types of missions are building a foundation for a relationship between law enforcement and the citizens they protect.