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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Balad Ruz safer four months after major operation

Soldiers from the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, from Fort Bragg, N.C., and soldiers from the 5th Iraqi Army Division conduct a search of a village near Balad Ruz, Iraq, April 28. The paratroopers, in conjunction with Iraqi Army soldiers, conduct patrols and village engagements to keep insurgent activity out of the area. Four months after a major operation called “Turki Bowl II,” the area has seen a dramatic decrease in insurgent activity. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Armando Monroig, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

SR# B280
May 5, 2007

By Sgt. Armando Monroig
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

BALAD RUZ, Iraq -- Four months after U.S. troops and their Iraqi Army counterparts launched a massive military operation in the villages Turki, Hamoud and 30 Tamuz, what was once an insurgent safe haven is now considered one of the quietest places in Diyala.

During the massive, nine-day assault dubbed “Turki Bowl II,” which concluded Jan. 13, about 100 insurgents were killed and 54 were detained for suspected involvement in terrorist activities in the area.

The operation, led by the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, from Fort Bragg, N.C., yielded weapons caches containing more than 1,100 Katyusha rockets, 1,500 rocket-propelled grenades, 500 mortars and a variety of materials used to make roadside bombs, called Improvised Explosive Devises.

The area is now considered under control by Iraqi and Coalition Forces, which has established a joint patrol base in Turki to maintain a constant presence there.
“It’s quiet. Four months before the operation, I saw the shooting of (local leaders), many IEDs, the road was dangerous,” said 1st Lt. Ali, a company commander in 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division.

“Now, it is safe. No terrorists are in this area, because the Iraqi Army and U.S. Army always patrol together.”

Ali and his soldiers share the responsibility of running the patrol base with their U.S. counterparts, who confirm a decrease in the level of violence in the area.
“Since we’ve been out here after Turki Bowl II, things have been pretty quiet,” said Sgt. Brandon Herron, from Troop B, 5-73 Cav. Regt. “With all the IA check points in the area, the incidences of IEDs have cut down dramatically.

“We’ve pretty much rooted out all of the enemy in the area. They’ve either fled, been captured or are lying low. I think having the IA and our presence out here has made a huge difference in the security of this area,” Herron said.

Despite the improved security in the Balad Ruz area, Staff Sgt. Donald McElroy said there’s still a possibility that his unit will find more insurgents while patrolling the canals and villages assaulted by coalition forces in January.

“I believe that those who weren’t killed, detained, and were lucky enough to get out of here, still come back,” said McElroy, also from Troop B. “That’s why we continue to patrol, because you never know.”

“Before Turki Bowl, (local residents) did not trust the coalition forces in the area,” said 2nd Lt. Jeremy Dionida, platoon leader for Recon Platoon, 5-73rd Cav. “Now with them telling us where the IEDs and (anti-tank) mines are, that’s a good indication that they put a lot of trust in us.”

A Soldier from the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, from Fort Bragg, N.C., stands guard at the entrance of a home in Turki village, near Balad Ruz, Iraq, April 28. The paratroopers, in conjunction with Iraqi Army soldiers, conduct patrols and village engagements to keep insurgent activity out of the area. Four months after a major operation called “Turki Bowl II,” the area has seen a dramatic decrease in insurgent activity. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Armando Monroig, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

An Iraqi soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, pulls security April 28 at a patrol base near Balad Ruz, Iraq. The Iraqi soldiers, in conjunction with the 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, conduct patrols and village engagements to keep insurgent activity out of the area. Four months after a major operation called “Turki Bowl II,” the area has seen a dramatic decrease in insurgent activity. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Armando Monroig, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)

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Lance Cpl. Alfredo Castro, an assistant vehicle commander for Alpha Battery, 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, looks for suspicious activity while on a patrol, April 12. Alpha Battery is the Provost Marshal’s Office aboard Al Asad and is responsible for all internal security.
Photo by: Sgt. Anthony Guas, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (FWD)

Read the story associated with this photo

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“Yeah, breaker one-nine, this here’s the Rubber Duck, you got a copy on me Big Ben? C’mon.”
“Ah yeah, ten-four Big Ben, for sure, for sure. By golly it’s clean clear to Flagtown. C’mon.”
“Yeah, it’s a big ten-four there Big Ben. Yeah, we definitely got the front door good buddy. Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy.”

A young British soldier named Simon expected to be driving logistics trucks into Iraq, and so adopted the dusty old hit “Convoy” as his fight-song and personal anthem. A man doesn’t have to wait long to hear Simon play it again, yet instead of barreling up Iraqi highways, Simon finds himself at Basra Air Station, shuttling occasional journalists, and performing base duties, including escorting Iraqis hired for manual labor. Asked for his take on that task, Simon opined with tones of befuddlement and wonder, as when a person sees what appears to be intensely conflicting signals....

So starts Michael Yon's latest dispatch, Rattlesnake. If you haven't checked it out yet, make the time. Lots of great pictures, and a rare look at British forces in Basra. Well worth the stop.

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DOWNTIME — U.S. Army Sgt. Tierney P. Nowland with 982nd Combat Camera, takes a break in an abandoned restaurant in Mansour, Iraq, during a cordon and search with soldiers from Apache Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division on April 21, 2007. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Elisha Dawkins

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In Today's News - Thursday, May 10, 2007

Quote of the Day
"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal,
or no weapon in the arsenals of the world,
is so formidable as the will and moral courage
of free men and women.
It is a weapon our adversaries
in today's world do not have."

-- Ronald Reagan

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom

Moderate Republicans warn Bush Iraq must improve
House pushes new war funds bill Bush would veto
Cheney presses Iraq, bomb kills 14
U.S. Embassy: wear flak jackets, helmets

Operation Enduring Freedom
DoD Announces New Afghan Deployments

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Illegal Terror Suspects Bit The Hand That Fed Them
Neighbors Stunned That These Guys Could Be Terrorists
Fort Dix Terror Suspects' Lives Gave Few Clues About Alleged Plot
Doctor in NY terrorism case denies al Qaeda link
Germany launches anti-militant raids before summit
Militant 'Mickey Mouse' pulled off air
British police make 4 terror arrests

Troops on Trial
Marine says urinated on dead Iraqi at Haditha

Other Military News
General Waging Ad War vs. Bush
Gates rejects emergency command proposal

Worldwide Wackos
U.S. ruling on accused bomber enrages Cuba
UN panel said close to finishing N.Korea audit

Politics / Government
Gas Station That Gave Discounts to Elderly Ordered to Raise Prices
Sharpton Denies Questioning Romney's Belief in God During Debate
Agreement Scarce on War Funding Bill
Obama: '10,000 People Died' in Kansas Tornado
Democrats, White House clash on homeland security
Britain's Blair to announce plans to leave office
Abbas, Haniyeh deploy Palestinian police in Gaza
Romney assails Sharpton's Mormon comment

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
Senate Tussle Looms on Immigration Reform

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Did Pedophiles Nab Missing Brit Girl?
Two Soccer Stars Make Plea for Missing British Toddler
Court: Sperm Donor Must Pay Child Support
Husband of Missing Ill. Mom: I Know Nothing
Cops: Mom Lied About Son's Kidnapping

U.N. News
UN's Ban urges Sudan to stop Darfur bombings

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Yahoo to end North American auctions
Some profit off Va. Tech domain names

Science / Medicine / Technology
Worst Case Scenario - Pentagon: Flu pandemic in U.S. would kill 3 million
Hottest Planet Ever
Study Backs Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Parent interviews may prevent child obesity
Experts warn of global gulf in cancer treatment
Study: Take Baby Aspirin to Avoid Heart Attacks
Humble opossum's genetic map sheds light on humans
2,700-year-old fabric found in Greece

Mother Nature
First Named Storm of Hurricane Season Forms in Atlantic
Bush Tours Tornado Devastation - PHOTOS
Levee Breaks Flood Areas in Central Missouri
L.A. Wildfire Evacuees Return - PHOTOS
Wildfire blazes behind LA observatory
L.A. fire controlled but landmark park charred
Minn. man has close run-in with a wolf

California Man Cuts Off Mom's Head With Saw, Dies Trying to Cut Off His Own
Man Dies in Parking Lot Dance Competition
South Korea county cans award for drinking workers
Men go for luxury when choosing handbags: survey
Welsh Hindus fight to save "Shambo" the sacred bull

Other News of Note
Lightning caused deadly Sago mine accident

Fox News
Tammy Faye's Cancer Treatments Stop
News in Pictures: The Day in Photos
Pope in Latin America Talks Tough on Abortion
Akon Apologizes for Sexually Explicit Dance
George Lucas Calls 'Spider-Man 3' Silly; Cate Blanchett Looks Great
Pop Tarts: Jessica Biel Too Sexy for Hollywood
Reality Check: Underwhelming Final 4 on 'American Idol'

Reuters: Top News
Anti-Sarkozy protests in Paris, students strike
National Amusement brings live gaming to theater
Motorola plans movie-playing mobile phone
Smithsonian adds Dell computer relics to collection
Tom Jones and P. Diddy join Diana concert line-up
Stones to relocate Belgrade concert to spare horses
Shares, dollar gain after Fed keeps rates steady
Rio Tinto shares slip back after record
Oil steady after fall on huge U.S. inventory build
Dollar holds post-Fed gains, Aussie jumps on data
No-surprises Fed meeting propels stocks higher - Video
NYSE, Nasdaq strategies clash
Video: PHLX sees ''3 to 5'' exchanges
Microsoft CEO says large deals "conceivable"
U.S. economy most competitive, China gaining: study
Fed holds rates steady
Trading scandal puts Hong Kong family in spotlight
HBO chief ousted by Time Warner
Sears aims to lift appliance sales with branding

AP World News
Earnhardt set to disclose future plans
Hilton: 'Ready to face the consequences'
Hail, Flutie! QB enters college hall
Tom Selleck back to TV in `Las Vegas'
Parade in May? Not for Brewers
Comcast CEO shows off super quick modem
GI Bill Update
Op-ed: Forcing Factions
New Must-Have Benefits Guide
Fitness: SEAL Career Training
SpouseBUZZ Going Back to Cali
Blog: Feeling Appreciated Yet?

CENTCOM: News Releases

U.S. Joint Forces Command modeling and simulation division wins award
Liveblogging: Department of Defense Modeling and Simulation Conference 2007

Evaluation Won't Lead to Precipitous Withdrawal - Story
Transcript: Pentagon Briefing with Gates and Pace
‘Greater Sense of Urgency’ Among Iraqi Leaders - Story
Withdrawal Would Have ‘Dire’ Consequences - Story
Secretary Urges Approval of Defense Budget - Story
VA Chief Outlines Panel's Recommendations - Story
Guard Responds to Domestic Crises Nationwide - Story
Kansas Guard Troops Respond to Tornado Disaster
DoD, Agencies Prepare for Pandemic Flu Outbreak - Story
Information Key in Stemming Pandemic Flu
Web Site: Pandemic Influenza Watchboard

More Headline News
Six Arrested for Plotting to Kill U.S. Soldiers
Officials Announce Next Iraq Troop Rotation

Military News
Case Managers Work to Navigate 'Medical Maze'
Pacific Partners Kick Off 'Cobra Gold 2007'
U.S. Navy Seahawk Helicopter Crashes in Nevada

War on Terror
General Discusses Milestones - Story
Defense Officials Announce Newest Rotation for Afghanistan
Two Insurgents Killed, 34 Nabbed
Four Servicemembers Killed

America Supports You
Packages ‘Packed With Pride’ - Story
Gordon’s Car Sports Program Logo
Former Marine Helps Heroes
Group Helps Families in Crisis

Pentagon Channel Documentary Focuses on Military Technology - Story
Unmanned Aircraft Wing Debuts
New Concept Ensures Latest Technologies Reach Warfighters
Technology Leaves No Place to Hide

Face of Defense
Father, Son Serve on Stennis - Story
Deployed Soldier Will Rely on ‘Ohana’
Specialist Sews for Others
Airman Dedicates Work to Fallen
Army Scientist Studies Soldiers

Iraqi Troops Train for Catastrophic Event - Story
Task Force Members Donate Time, Supplies - Story
Vanguard Engineers Pave Way for Victory - Story
Iraqi Special Ops Forces Show off Capabilities - Story

Soldiers Continue To Build Schools Amid Attacks
Iraqi Soldiers Say They Serve for Country, Family
Wolfhounds Secure Economic Success in Iraq
Bombed-out Baghdad Building Has New Mission

Army Reserve Chief Visits Troops in Africa
Marines Donate Fitness Equipment to Villagers

Mental Health Care Moves to Military Front Lines
Spartan Sappers Secure Area of Operation
Troop Commander Delivers Aid, Mentorship

Renewal In Iraq
Iraq: Security, Stability
Fact Sheet: Progress and Work Ahead
Report: Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Iraq Daily Update
This Week in Iraq
Multinational Force Iraq
State Dept. Weekly Iraq Report
'Boots on the Ground' Audio Archive
Weekly Reconstruction Report (PDF)
Iraq Reconstruction

Afghanistan Update

Fact Sheet: Budget Request
Fact Sheet: Terror Plots Disrupted
Waging and Winning the War on Terror
Terrorism Timeline
Terrorism Knowledge Base

Bost/Laskar Ghurian Herat Kabul Qandahar

Ansbach Aschaffenburg Berlin Berlin-Tempelhof Berlin/Schonefeld Bremerhaven
Darmstadt Frankfurt Frankfurt/Main Freiburg/Breisgau Garmisch
Garmisch-Partenkirchen Geilenkirchen Gelnhausen Giessen Kitzingen
Hanau Am Main Heidelberg Mainz Mannheim Nurnberg Stuttgart Trier
Wiesbaden Wurzburg


Agana Agana Heights Agat Andersen AFB Asan Barrigada

Al Azamiyah Al Basrah Al Hillah Al Karkh Al Kazimiyah Al Kut
An Nasiriyah Baghdad Baqubah Mosul Najaf Nineveh Tall Kayf

Kadena Air Base Okinawa Tokyo Yokohama

Today in History
1267 - Vienna's church orders all Jews to wear distinctive garb.
1278 - Jews in England are imprisoned on charges of coining.
1291 - Scottish nobles recognize English King Edward I as sovereign.
1427 - Jews are expelled from Berne Switzerland.
1497 - Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci sets sail on his first voyage to the New World.
1503 - Columbus discovers the Cayman Islands.
1655 - Jamaica captured by English.
1676 - Frontiersmen begin Bacon's Rebellion, against the government of Virginia.
1752 - Benjamin Franklins tests the lightning rod for the first time.
1774 - Louis XVI ascends to throne of France.
1775 - 2nd Continental Congress convenes in Pennsylvania, issuing paper currency for the first time, and naming George Washington as supreme commander.
- Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys capture Fort Ticonderoga, NY.
1796 - Napoleon defeats Austria in the Battle of Lodi Bridge.
1797 - The first Navy ship, the "United States" is launched.
1823 - The first steamboat to navigate the Mississippi River arrives at Fort Snelling.
1861 - Union troops march on the state militia in St. Louis, MO.
1864 - Battle at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia
1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis is captured by Union Cavalry in Irwinsville, GA; Major General 'Sam' Jones (CSA) surrenders to Union Brigadier General Edward M. McCook.
1869 - A golden spike is driven to mark the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
1872 - Victoria Woodhull becomes the first American woman to be nominated for president.
1915 - A German Zeppelin drops hundred of bombs on Southend-on-Sea.
1917 - Atlantic ships are given destroyer escorts to stop German attacks.
1918 - The HMS Vindictive is scuttled to block the entrance of Ostend Harbor.
1924 - J. Edgar Hoover appointed head of the FBI.
1933 - Nazis stage public book burnings in Germany
1940 - Nazi armies invade the Netherlands, Belgium & Luxembourg.
- Winston Churchill succeeds Neville Chamberlain as British Prime Minister.
1941 - Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland.
- German bombs destroy England's House of Commons and the Holborn Theater.
1944 - Chinese launch an offensive in West-Yunnan.
1945 - The Allies capture Rangoon from the Japanese .
- Russian troops occupy Prague
1956 - French Government sends 50,000 reservists to Algeria
1959 - Soviet forces arrive in Afghanistan.
1960 - USS Triton (atomic sub) completes the first underswater circumnavigation of the globe.
1968 - Peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam begin in Paris.
1969 - Apollo 10 transmits the first color pictures of Earth from space.
- U.S. troops begin their attack on Hill 937 (Hamburger Hill).
1984 - The International Court of Justice rules on the U.S. blockade of Nicaragua.
1989 - General Manuel Noriega's government nullifies the country's elections, in which the opposition had won by a margin of 3-1.
1994 - Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa's first black president.
- Silvio Berlusconi forms the Italian Government with 5 neo-fascists.
1995 - Britain lifts a 23-year ban on talks with Sinn Fein.
1996 - 2 US Marine helicopters collided during joint U.S. and British war games.

1730 - George Ross, U.S. judge / signer of Declaration of Independence
1810 - James Shields, Union Brigadier General
1824 - Charles Henry Van Wyck, Union Brigadier General
1837 - Pinckney B.S. Pinchback, Lt. Governor (Louisiana)
1838 - John Wilkes Booth, assassin of Abraham Lincoln
1878 - Gustav Stresemann, German chancellor
1908 - Carl Albert (D), speaker of the House
1919 - Ella Grasso, Governor (CT)
1943 - James Earl Chaney, U.S. civil rights activist
1951 - Steve Gunderson (Representative-WI)
1958 - Ellen Ochoa, Ph.D / Astronaut (STS 56, 66)
1958 - Rick Santorum (Representative-PA)
1963 - Lisa M. Nowak, Lt. Commander, USN / astronaut

0238 - Gaius Julius Verus Maximinus the Thracian, Roman Emperor, murdered
1774 - Louis XV, King of France (1715-74), dies at 64
1794 - Elisabeth, Princess of France, beheaded at 30
1798 - George Vancouver, British explorer, (Voyage of Discovery), dies at 40
1818 - Paul Revere, American patriot
1863 - Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, Confederate General (Civil War), dies from wounds received at Chancellorsville
1864 - James Clay Rice, lawyer/Union Brigadier-General, dies in battle at 34; Thomas Greeley Stevenson, Union Brigadier-General, dies at about 27
1904 - Henry M. Stanley [John Rowlands], British explorer
1910 - William Huggins, discoverer of stellar nature of Andromeda, dies
1915 - Albert Weisgerber, German painter/graphic artist, dies in battle
1920 - John Wesley Hyatt, inventor/plastics pioneer, dies
1923 - Vaslav Vorovsky, Russian delegate, assassinated
1943 - André Bertulot, Arnaud/Armand Fraiteur, Maurice-Albert Raskin Belgian resistance fighters, hanged
1965 - Hubertus J. van Mook, Dutch minister of Colonization (1942-45), dies at 70

Reported Missing in Action

Bailey, John Edward, USAF (MN); F105D crashed - remains ID'd March, 1999

Eckes, Walter W., USMC (NY); escaped June, 1966 - alive and well as of 1998

Ahlmeyer, Heinz, Jr., USMC (NY); KIA/BNR

Miller, Malcom T., USN (FL); KIA/BNR

Netherland, Roger M., USN (PA); A4C shot down - remains ID'd June, 2000

Sharp, Samuel A., Jr., USMC (CA); KIA/BNR

Tycz, James N., USMC (WI); KIA/BNR

The following USMC personnel reported MIA following heavy action at FOB Ngok Tavak. (despite heavy casualties, the defenders stopped the main assault and killed their attackers):
Blackman, Thomas J. (WI); KIA/BNR

Czerwonka, Paul S. (MA); KIA/BNR

Cook, Joseph F. (MA); KIA/BNR

Fleming, Horace H. III (FL); fell from a CH46A

Fritsch, Thomas W. (CT); KIA/BNR

Hempel, Barry L. (CA); KIA/BNR

Heyne, Raymond T. (WI); KIA/BNR

King, Gerald E. (TN); KIA/BNR

Lopez, Robert C. (NM); KIA/BNR

McGonigle, William D. (KS); KIA/BNR

Mitchell, Donald W. (KY); KIA/BNR

Sargent, James R. (WV); KIA/BNR

The following US Army SF personnel also reported MIA at Ngok Tavak:
Miller, Glenn E. (CA); KIA/BNR

Perry, Thomas H. (CT); medic

Walters, William, US Army (PA); Killed when construction crane he was working on fell into the water, BNR

Bingham, Klaus Y., US Army SF (HI)

Luttrell, James M., US Army SF (NC)

Walton, Lewis C., US Army SF (RI)

Blackburn, Harry L., Jr., USN (VA); F4J shot down (pilot, w/Rudloff) - remains returned April, 1986

Harris, Jeffrey L., USAF (MD); F4E shot down (w/Wilkinson) - remains returned May, 1997

Lodge, Robert A., USAF (NY); F4D shot down - remains returned by SRV Sepetember, 1977

Rudloff, Stephen A., USN (NY); F4J shot down (w/Blackburn) - released by DRV March, 1973 - alive as of 1998

Wilkinson, Dennis E., USAF (FL); F4E shot down (w/Harris) - remains returned August, 1978

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