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    Stryker Brigade Soldiers continue security operations in Adhamiyah

    Stryker Brigade Soldiers continue security operations in Adhamiyah

    Photo By Sgt. Kristin Kemplin | BAGHDAD -- Spc. Phillip Page, a human collections specialist with Tactical Human...... read more read more

    BAGHDAD, IRAQ

    09.07.2006

    Story by Sgt. Kristin Kemplin 

    363rd Public Affairs Detachment

    by Sgt. Kristin Kemplin
    363rd MPAD

    BAGHDAD – In the early morning hours of Aug. 29, Soldiers of Multi-National Division –Baghdad's 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team piled into heavily-armored vehicles and rolled into a cordoned section of Baghdad to continue clearing operations as part of Multi-National Division – Baghdad's Operation Together Forward.

    This was the third day in a row that Soldiers of 1st Platoon, Troop A, 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd SBCT and members of the Iraqi National Police had patrolled this neighborhood, located on the outskirts of an Iraqi National Police station, looking for weapons caches and other signs of possible terrorist activity.

    The platoon set out to clear a sector in northern Adhamiyah as part of the brigade's mission, "to quell sectarian violence in certain city hot spots," said Capt. Duane Waits, 1st platoon leader, Troop A, 4th Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt.

    The platoon, working with a dog team from 67th Specialized Search Dogs Detachment, 5th Engineer Battalion, 16th Engineer Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, was able to clear approximately 130 residences and businesses in three days of operating in the area.

    "Our mission today was to root out any weapons caches, find any foreign fighters and (eventually) bring some peace and normalcy to the area," said Waits, a native of Littlerock, Ark.

    The platoon's two-fold mission also involved collecting information from residents about trouble in the neighborhood as well as general information about the local populace.

    "We have been going more or less, house to house, getting a census of the community to see who lives where, what's going on and what problems they have been having in the neighborhoods," said Spc. Phillip Page, Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 4th Sqdn., 14th Cav. Regt.

    "For example, we are trying to gain information about terrorists groups in the area and how they are affecting the populace, and as a result, how the populace feels about Coalition Forces coming into this neighborhood," explained Page, who is aided in these efforts by an interpreter.

    "We want the local residents to feel comfortable enough to tell us what's going on and to lead us in the right direction to track down these terrorists," said Waits.

    Many agricultural businesses operate within Adhamiyah, growing everything from date palm trees to garden vegetables. "Most of the residents we have spoken with are farmers," said Page, a native of Alliance, Ohio. "They are good people who have been living in the area for quite a while and just trying to make a living for themselves," he said.

    The Soldiers also came across a kindergarten school that had recently come under fire from mortars launched by terrorists.

    The terrorists were aiming at the Iraqi National Police station nearby, explained the head security guard for an Adhamiyah kindergarten school through an interpreter. "If (these patrols) happen more times, maybe the terrorists would leave," he said.

    He said he has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, has observed the area change for the worse, he said, and feels the current security operations being conducted in Adhamiyah will be good for the neighborhood.

    "Even my babies, they see Americans and Iraqi (security) forces and they feel safe because they think this will give security to them," said the father of three.

    "A lot of the residents I have spoken with said as soon as we rolled in (three days ago), the terrorists, or whoever was taking over this area, rolled out. Violence has gone down and it seems pretty peaceful," said Page.

    "Our kids have only experienced war time," said Hussein. "We hope we never see another war. We hope our kids live in peace."

    No weapons caches or terrorists were discovered in the third day of operations within the neighborhood.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.07.2006
    Date Posted: 09.07.2006 09:12
    Story ID: 7646
    Location: BAGHDAD, IQ 

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