News: With help from 'Blackhawks,' Iraqi Army delivers supplies
Story by Pfc. Jessica Luhrs-Stabile
Soldiers of 1st Company, 2nd Battalion, 15th Iraqi Army, along with their partners, the Blackhawk Soldiers of 1st Platoon, Bravo Troop, 6th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas, delivered much needed supplies to Doskushman near Kirkuk, Iraq, April 22.
Even though Iraqi and U.S. forces have been delivering aid to these cities for years this time was a little different, according to 1st Lt. Robert Cline, a Dallas native and platoon leader for 1st platoon.
After the Blackhawk Soldiers assisted their partners in unloading the two large trailers - full of water, food and clothing - they returned to their trucks to observe the IA interacting with the villagers and posting security.
This was a big step for the IA soldiers here they really took charge as the primary delivers of the aid, said Cline.
After unloading the trailers, the leader for the IA soldiers, Capt. Azad, along with the village Shiekh Maad al Asem, selected a group of the neediest families, and then began distributing the goods.
Today was a good day for the people of Doskushman, said Asem. Many of the people here do not have jobs or access to water--to have it brought here is what they need, he said.
Cline agreed that this was both good for the people living in Doskushman and for the IA soldiers.
Building a rapport with the villagers around Kirkuk will really help the IA during the upcoming drawdown of U.S. forces in the area, said Cline.
With the transition to stability in the next few months, the villages in Kirkuk will need to begin turning to and trusting their security forces.
The leadership already trusts them and now the villagers can begin to also, because they are keeping the promises they have made to them, continued Cline.
Building trust with the villagers will also assist the IA in gaining much needed information to hinder the insurgents.
People will talk if they trust you and when they talk the IA soldiers find out where the insurgents are hiding and detain them, said Azad.
During the drop a villager told the IA soldiers about a possible IED, in the Kirkuk area.
Azad and his soldiers plan on gaining the trust of many of the poverty-stricken villages around Kirkuk with the multiple HA drops of food and clothing that they have planned in the next few weeks.