by Pfc. Bryanna Poulin
25th ID Div PAO
BAYJI, Iraq (October 03, 2006)--Aggressively working to boost standards of living for the Iraqi people, Iraqi Security Forces conducted a joint convoy escort mission Oct. 3.
As part of Operation Nozzle, escort convoys support the Iraqi government's goal of prohibiting the black-market sale of fuel. Security convoys insure that fuel trucks arrive at their destinations on time, to instill confidence in local residents that their government is actively pursuing economic growth and stability.
Initially, Iraqi Security Forces escorted trucks to their required destination, but there were instances when fuel trucks were diverted from authorized routes, which resulted in Coalition Forces having to assist with the escort missions.
"Although Iraq is refining enough fuel it still continues to have a fuel shortage," said Capt. Michael Englis, assistant effects coordinator, 3-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Lewis, Wash, and a native of Bridgeport, Ct. "The problem is either the trucks are not making it to the destination or they aren't arriving with the required amount of fuel."
Although, still in the beginning stages; Operation Nozzle has increased the supply of fuel to the population and keeps the IA as lead in this initiative. The IA has taken an active interest and have proactively sought to enhance this operation, noted Capt. Joseph Katz, 3rd Squadron, 4th Armored Cavalry Regiment, from Bettendorf, Iowa.
Once the fuel is received at fuel depots, it is inventoried, secured, and then disseminated to distribution points throughout the area.
"ISF guide all escort operations leading to increased confidence in Provincial Government, fuel distribution and reduction of black marketing in the area" remarked Englis.