News: Operation lets insurgents know there is no safe place
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
The IA did not capture anyone or find anything illegal during the operation, known as Operation Enforce the Law IV, but they still impressed their 1st Brigade Combat Team, “Ready First” 1st Armored Division, partners who were observing the operation.
“During the operation, the IA demonstrated a good understanding of conducting offensive operations, without any U.S. involvement,” said Capt. Dennis Maher, an El Paso, Texas, native and commander of Company B, 1st Battalion, 37th Armor Regiment, “Ready First.” During the operation Capt. Maher had the responsibility of observing the U.S. enablers.
He continued in saying, “since we have been here the insurgents have been attempting to use the IA boundaries as safe havens.
“This operation sends a message to the insurgent networks that there is no safe place to conduct illegal activity in this operating environment,” said Maher.
Col. Larry Swift, commander of “Ready First,” conducted a battlefield circulation during the operation. He agreed this operation confirmed the abilities of the IA.
“I think the operation went very well,” he said. “It showed the ability of the IA to operate unilaterally and independently within their battle space.”
He continued in saying it also showed the cohesiveness of the different divisions within the area of operation.
“This operation showed a new skill because the different IA divisions worked together to search the villages,” said Swift.
Throughout the entire operation the IA soldiers communicated with the opposite division to check their status and traded officers to act as liaisons.
Iraqi Army leadership agreed working side-by-side with other divisions is the key to success.
If the IA does not work together the insurgents will not fear us and the IA will not have success, said Iraqi Lt. Col. Ahmed Mahmood, commander of the 46th IA Brigade, 12th Div.
The Iraqi Army and “Ready First” leadership both agreed more of these operations will be done until they capture everyone participating in insurgent activities.