News: Diplomacy takes precedence in East Rashid
Story by: Staff Sgt. Jeff Hansen
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Military operations are not always focused on combat; sometimes they are all about diplomacy.
Such was the case in the East Rashid district, Dec. 28, when members of 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team met with key government leaders to discuss matters of shared interest.
Capt. Christian Smith, commander of Company A, visited the District Area Council, here, to speak with local leaders about past successes, current issues and future projects.
Smith reestablished communications with Hashim Mahemoud Dahash, deputy councilman of the East Rashid district area council and a member of the Baghdad city council. Dahash has been a major contributor to improvements in living conditions and security in East Rashid.
Smith said Dahash has been a major asset in improving living conditions for the population there.
"He's like a father figure to everyone around here," said Smith, referencing Dahash's recent work with youth soccer leagues and kidnapping victims.
Smith, a native of Wake Forest, N.C., also wanted to ensure that his replacement would get a chance to meet up with key leaders during the trip to the council. Capt. Evan Davies, a company commander with the 3rd Infantry Division, got a chance to build rapport with Dahash and other local leaders, where he took the opportunity to discuss his plans for joint operations in the area.
"We are here to facilitate the Iraqi Federal Police in their mission to better secure [East Rashid] by conducting training, joint operations and the like. We've seen what the 252nd [Combined Arms Battalion] has done here and hope to keep up their traditions," said Davies.
Dahash agreed the 252nd did a great job keeping the area outside of Joint Security Station Doura safer for the people, calling the Soldiers his second family. He said he felt the Iraqi Federal Police and Iraqi Security Forces have greatly improved with their help and just hopes the incoming U.S. Soldiers will continue that kind of great work.
During Smith's trip to the council, Jaber akol Khamis al-Hadar, the manager of the East Rashid council, visited his American guests. He wanted to meet Davies and express his gratitude to the 252nd Soldiers for their hard work and achievements during their deployment.
Smith said his working relationship with the Iraqi government officials has been very positive in the past, and he hopes the coming year will remain the same.