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    Rakkasans reassures Iraqi security forces stability

    Maj. Jenio Meeting the 13th SIB Commander

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Walter Van Ochten | Maj Frank Jenio of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division meets with the...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    Sgt. 1st Class Walter E. van Ochten 133rd MPAD

    BAYJI, Iraq (December 2, 2005)" Coalition and Iraqi forces continue to work towards a free and democratic Iraq as the 101st Airborne Division arrives in northern Iraq and begins to the important task of joint force operations.

    When a unit takes over responsibility for its part of Iraq, they often do meet-and-greets with local Iraqi security forces to discuss issues and get a feel for the local community's atmosphere.

    Identifying anti-Iraqi forces, dealing with equipment issues, and the up-coming Iraqi elections were just a few of the topics discussed recently when Maj. Frank Jenio, Operations Officer for the Rakkasans of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division and the leadership of the Iraqi 13th Security Infrastructure Battalion, met in Ashsharqat, Iraq.

    "We're going out to the Iraqi army and police in the area to set us up for successes in the future," said 1st Lt. Matthew Upperman, 3rd Special Troops Battalion, 3rd BCT.

    During the meeting, Jenio reiterated that the goal of Coalition Forces is to assist their Iraqi counterparts in the fight against anti-Iraqi forces in the Ashsharqat area.

    Assistance, such as supplies and equipment they need to effectively control Ashsharqat, was delivered as part of the visit today.

    "The way my boss sees it, is that you're on our team now, and he is committed to giving you the needed equipment," said Jenio to the 13th SIB leadership. "You are part of our team."

    Despite some equipment shortcomings, Jenio told 13th SIB leaders that Coalition Forces appreciate the good job they've been doing in maintaining order in Ashsharqat.

    According to13th SIB leaders, Ashsharqat is usually a quiet place with little anti-Iraqi forces activity in the city and the majority of citizens following security force rules.

    "The people here love this battalion â?¦if they know something is going on, they will let us know" said a 13th SIB Leader.

    The familiarity the 13th SIB has with the locals is useful in finding anti-Iraqi forces that try to infiltrate Ashsharqat "because every body knows everybody."

    The biggest threat is not from the citizens of Ashsharqat, according to Jenio, it is those who come from Baghdad, Mosul and up north that concern him.

    With the mid-December elections, Coalition Forces hope Iraqis can safely elect their own government leaders, without fear of reprisal. Coalition Forces are working together with the Iraqi security forces to create an atmosphere of calm for the voters and to secure polling places in the Ashsharqat area.

    "The referendum elections were very successful and we are hoping that these elections go as well as they did," said Jenio to the 13th SIB leaders. The Iraqi security forces will take the lead with Coalition Forces backing them up. "With the excellent job [they are] doing here we don't see that as a problem", said Jenio

    There is a growing confidence among Coalition and Iraqi leadership in the self-sufficient operational capabilities of the Iraqi security forces. The Iraqis want to do more of there own operations with out the help of Coalition Forces.

    "Yes, that's exactly what we want, but it's going to take time. The Iraqi Army is already taking the lead along with the police and the SIBs. That is what we want to happen. (Iraqis) need to see a lot less of us," said Jenio to the 13th SIB leaders. "More and more and more of the Iraqi Army. That so the Iraqis will forget that there are Americans in Iraq and eventually we'll be out of here."



    Date Taken: 12.09.2005
    Date Posted: 12.09.2005 13:05
    Story ID: 4016
    Location: BAYJI, IQ 

    Web Views: 298
    Downloads: 69