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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Face the Future
An Iraqi child watches U.S. Marines with Company K, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment patrol in Hadari Precinct, Fallujah, Iraq on June 3. The U.S. Marines patrol the area to help reduce violence in the area. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel Martin Moman.

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Soldiers Reflect on Year of Change

From Multi-National Force - Iraq:

Sergeant Jeremy Haycox monitors battlefield activities at Combat Outpost Murray June 6. Haycox, of Albuquerque, N.M., said his vantage point allowed him to see the positive changes taking place in the south Baghdad area in a unique way. Photo by Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky.

Monday, 09 June 2008
By Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

COMBAT OUTPOST MURRAY — As Spc. Robert Manchego sees the end of his deployment approaching, he reflects on a year of change. Most of the combat he now encounters is commanding virtual armies on his laptop computer during his downtime.

It wasn’t always so quiet for Machengo. When his unit, Company A, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, first arrived into the area of Arab Jabour south of Baghdad, the place was anything but calm.

For four years following the liberation of Baghdad, the area was largely unoccupied by coalition forces; insurgents used the area as a base of operations.

“When we first got here it was pretty much all al-Qaida,” said Spc. Eric Strazeri, a driver for the battalion’s operations officer. “We had to fight our way all around the sector.”

The fight itself wasn’t only against al-Qaida. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers also had to work to gain the local population’s trust, which was often the more difficult task.

“The people were very shy, wouldn’t come up to us,” Manchego recalled.

Sergeant Jeremy Haycox, a native of Albuquerque, N.M., had a different view of the battlefield from the battalion’s tactical operations center. He said although his job kept him from seeing the enemy or citizens face-to-face, the insurgents’ hostilities were evident on the screen of his work station.

“It was real bad, extremely hectic. I saw lots of red, enemy activities, on my screen,” he said. ”It was bad - lots of IEDs. We discovered some, set off others, had some guys hurt, had some guys die.”

As a veteran of several missions, Strazeri, a native of Miami, experienced some of the incidents on Haycox’s screen first-hand.

During one mission, Strazeri was accompanying the scout platoon and came under small-arms fire south of COP Murray.

“We took fire (and) returned fire,” he said, noting one Soldier was injured during the event.

Small-arms fire was always a concern, although not as big as the threat posed by IEDs, Manchego said. As the 1-30th Inf. Regt. pushed into the area, they performed a lot of missions – patrolling the streets, setting up observation points and going after targets such as insurgents, weapons caches or IEDs.

While putting a face on the insurgency, the Soldiers also tried to put the best face on themselves. To endear them to the local populace, the Soldiers worked to help improve the citizens’ quality of life.

“We did a lot of projects, getting the schools up and running, helping restore businesses through microgrants,” Strazeri said.

As they carted off weapons caches and removed IEDs from the streets, the Soldiers improved things in their place: water, humanitarian assistance and - most importantly - hope for a better tomorrow, Manchego said.

“It was cool to see little kids coming up to us for water,” he said, noting that with each good act, the fear and reservation of the citizens began to disappear. “I think once local nationals here saw we were here to help they were more receptive to us.”

Soon the citizens began to work with the Soldiers, pointing out insurgents and their weapons. Residents laid the foundation for the Sons of Iraq program in the area and began to take care of their communities.

That change, which Haycox attributes to the involvement of the SoI, came at a time when security gains began allowing the Baghdad-7 embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team to enter into the area.

The ePRT, which began working with the 2nd BCT in October, is a U.S. Department of State entity made up of experts in fields such as business, agriculture and governance. They worked hand-in-hand with 2nd BCT units to help rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure.

Through their help, and with funds from the Dept. of State and the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, things started to change.

“We did some very good projects here, opening shops and businesses; just working to improve the life of the people here,” Haycox said.

Although the 1-30th Inf. Regt. will soon depart, they leave behind their best wishes for the people they have come to win over, as well as the Iraqi army soldiers who will assume responsibility for the area.

“Hopefully the IA is able to sustain the fight against al-Qaida and maintain relationships with locals,” Strazeri said.

Haycox summarized his hopes in two words: “Maintain and improve. Maintain what we’ve done and help this place keep improving.”

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Smiling Eyes
An Iraqi soldier from 3rd Battalion, 42nd Brigade, 11th Division peers around a corner of his checkpoint to maintain a close watch on Iraqi contract workers that are cleaning a village outside of Joint Security Station Sadr City, May 31. U.S. Army photo.

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In Today's News - Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Quote of the Day
"There's no substitute for winning,
no substitute — period.
So why not spend the next two-and-a-half years
focused like a laser beam on winning in Iraq...
ramp up our troops, swarm the Sunni provinces
and really try to defeat this insurgency.
If we can't do that, nothing else matters."

-- Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)

News of Note
Operation Iraqi Freedom
South Baghdad economy booming again
Route Clearance Team Makes Iraq Safer
Iraqi Women Stop Sewing and Start Talking
Iraq Detention Centers Give Glimpse Into al-Qaida
Negotiations Continue on U.S.-Iraq Framework

Operation Enduring Freedom
US think tank: Pakistan helped Taliban insurgents

Homeland Security / War on Terror / Hamas-Hezbollah Happenings
Family of captured Israeli soldier receives letter

Wounded Warriors
Agency Solicits Proposals For ‘Fracture Putty’

Other Military News
Actor Rupert Everett Calls British Soldiers 'Whining Wimps'
Gates picks new leadership for Air Force

Worldwide Wackos
U.S. presence is Iraq's main problem: Iranian leader

Politics / Government
AEHQ: Obama Takes Page From Clinton Playbook
FEC Complaint Filed Against McCain
Dead Voters Still Showing Up On Election Records
Obama backs oil profits tax, attacks McCain - Video
Can Obama deliver on Africa? - Video
Kennedy returns home after brain surgery
Video: Campaign battlegrounds
Polls suggest mixed effects of Clinton on ticket
Surrounded by sea, sailors kept afloat with hope
Bush on farewell Europe tour seeks to pressure Iran - Video
Thousands of Bolivians protest at U.S. embassy
McClellan to Testify Before House in CIA Leak Case
Republicans on The Attack Against Michelle Obama
McCain: America Will Stand By Israel
Barack Obama and John McCain: The Young Turk vs.The Grouchy Old Warrior
Bhutto's Daughter, 17, Gets Top Post in Mom's Party

Illegal Immigration / Border Control
U.S. to erect more "virtual" border fences

In the Courts / Crime and Punishment / Law and Order
Tokyo Slasher Posted Chilling Warnings On Blog Before Rampage
Teacher Accused of Sex With Students Writes to Hulk Hogan's Son in Jail
Okla. Cops Hunt Killers of Two Young Girls

Adventures in Political Correctness
Anti-Semitic Speaker Sparks Outcry
Envoy: Britain 'Hotbed of Radical Anti-Israeli Views'

U.N. News
U.S., EU to call for U.N. monitors in Zimbabwe
U.N. had to work with Myanmar junta, aid chief says

Media in the Media / Bloggers in the News / Watching the Web
Severed Head, Note Found at Mexico Newspaper Office

Science / Medicine and Health / Technology
Rotten Tomatoes
Mars lander struggles to get dirt into onboard lab
Scientists Baffled by Phoenix Mars Lander Problems - PHOTOS
Ancient Christian Shrine Possibly Found in Jordan
Astronauts Flex Kibo Lab's Robotic Arm - PHOTOS
Apple Debuts Faster, Cheaper iPhone - PHOTOS
Blog: Here it comes...the 3G iPhone
Blog: iPhone rivals have news too
Grids see no power problems in MidAtlantic heat
Shuttle crew wraps up work at space station - Video
Drilling caused Indonesian mud volcano
Scientists figure out how rice absorbs arsenic
Gnarls Barkley rings in MySpace's 150th Secret Show
Nokia to bring new E-series phones to market
Singulus says Blu-ray take-up faster than DVD
Four nations fight Microsoft document-format standard
Miracle Baby Born...Twice

Mother Nature
Flooding Drowns Midwest - PHOTOS - uREPORT PHOTOS
Tornadoes, Lightning, Floods Kill 8 From Midwest to Atlantic
Dead Regatta Sailor Hailed a 'Hero' for Helping Save 5 Other Mates
Science academies urge 50 pct CO2 cuts by 2050
Celebrities join World Bank in saving tigers - Video
UK to give waterless washing machine a spin
Groups to sue over oil impacts to polar bears
China using up natural resources fast: report
Video: udapest searches for green solution
Koreans keen to export national dog: the Jindo
Drilling caused Indonesian mud volcano

Woman Struck, Killed by Car After Hitting Owl With Own Car
Man on Skydiving Trip Dies After Jumping Without Parachute
Police Rule Plane Jumper's Death a Suicide
Four-Year-Old Shoots Self at Sam's Club
Nonprofit Group Builds 79-year-old Ohio Man New Outhouse
Antarctica base gets 16,500 condoms before darkness
Thief buries 1.5 million euros in park
Cigarettes whisked out of sight
Players up half the night watching replays
Widow throws party to find place in heaven
Video: Cow urine: a diabetes cure?

Other News of Note
National Average Gas Price Climbs to $4
GAS FINDER: Check for Lowest Prices Near You- Saudi Arabia Calls for OPEC Summit Over Gas Prices
No pump relief in sight
Blog: Oil futures outpace consumption
Shrinking airlines mean higher fares
Small airlines unlikely to survive
Analyst Predicts $5.75 Gas and $200 Oil

Fox News
Griffey Hits 600th Career Home Run
Pop Tarts: Mena Suvari’s Bald Experiment: 'Hair Makes a Woman'
Amy Winehouse Sorry for Singing Racist Chant
Jessica Alba Gives Birth to Baby Girl

Lehman may face pressure to merge - Video
Lehman to survive but make little
Lehman to raise $6 bln, expects loss
"Green" job market bucks gloom
Reuters Summit: Investment Outlook
Analysts: Now priced for masses
Many carriers won't pay monthly fee
iPhone to cut into AT&T earnings
Subprime probes yet to catch big fish
Pending home sales up as prices fall
Fannie, Freddie funded through March
Amid housing crisis, pity the UK agent
Full Coverage: The housing market
Business lost for "years": S&P
Bernanke watchful of inflation risks from energy
GM raises incentives on some large SUVs, trucks
AIG chief under pressure as investor dissent grows
NY Fed's Geithner: substantial financial reforms needed
Discover seeks $6 bln in case vs Visa, MasterCard
Insurance broker Willis to buy rival for $1.7 billion
Icahn trashes Yahoo for failed growth plan - Video
Dow bounces back on McDonald's and home sales
'Husband of Winehouse pleads guilty
"Bromance" in air for "Hills" co-star Jenner
Led Zeppelin's Page, Jones join Foos in London
Chuck Berry won't sing for "Johnny" in election
Dylan swaps concerts for canvas with art show
Star Mexican tenor returns to mixed reviews
Red tape, bribes greet small business in Russia
London tops list of global financial centers
Video: The last straw for thatched roofs
Dutch light up Euro tournament
Giants' Michael Strahan announces retirement
Bears release running back Cedric Benson
Detroit goalie Hasek retires

Associated Press
Obama ramps up search for a running mate
Homes wash away in Wis. as Midwest rivers swell
Guilty plea in deaths of pregnant Ill. woman, kids
Charity run by Hathaway's boyfriend investigated
Tiger's knee fine after 9 holes at Torrey Pines
AP IMPACT: AP-AOL poll: Debt hurts your body, too
Guillen homers off Rivera, Royals beat Yankees 3-2

News Blaze
China's Olympic Torch Relay Set to Continue Through Tibet
PHOTOS: Leopards Set The Standards
PHOTOS: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Soldiers' Angels and Patriot Guard
Iraq News
Operations in Iraq
FOB Warhorse Memorial Photos

Al-Kut agricultural union headquarters reopen
U.S. Military and Iraqis complete Baghdadi Bridge
Medics provide health care to Kamaliyah citizens
Navy docs extend treatment to local village

Speaker slate for command leaders released
Task force assists Iraqis with municipal power
Task Force Ramadi helps free enterprise take hold in Iraq
USJFCOM teams with ACT to help develop NATO Training Federation
More about U.S. Joint Forces and Allied Command Transformation - podcast
Exercise ensures readiness, displays coordination of the USJFCOM joint enabling capabilities
USJFCOM, Microsoft Corp. extend agreement for one year - podcast
Command unveils new command and control vision - podcast
Command looks at future capabilities with DoD leadership - podcast
Joint Forces Reserve Officer Orientation Course begins

Multi-National Force - Iraq
Soldiers Coordinate Veterinarian Visit in Owesat
Baghdad’s AQI leaders under pressure; three wanted men captured
Baghdad Soldiers seized a number of weapons in Baghdad June 9.
Iraqi Army troops take lead in joint operation (Baghdad)
3rd ACR earns Army deployment award (Tikrit)
IED injures 6 women (Diyala)
IA soldiers uncover caches in Sadr City

Gates Cites Air Force’s Value in War on Terror
Gates Holds Candid Meeting With Airmen
Gates Says Nuclear Mission Shortcomings Caused Air Force Dismissals
Gates Announces Recommendations on Senior Air Force Leadership Positions
First Lady Visits Troops in Afghanistan - Photos
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Kabul Presidential Palace


Admiral Addresses Pakistan Navy College
Guard Responds to Indiana Flooding


Military Operations Reduce Roadside Bombs
Coalition Forces Kill Five Attackers, Detain Seven


Soldiers in Afghanistan Test Off-Road Prototypes
Coalition Builds Capacity, Relationships, Roads

Airman Extends Tour Twice


Jim Beam 'Toasts' Troops

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
1610 - The first Dutch settlers arrive to colonize Manhattan Island.
1639 - The first American log cabin is built at Fort Christina, DE.
1752 - Ben Franklin's kite is struck by lightning.
1772 - Rhode Islanders burn the Gaspe, a British revenue cutter.
1776 - The Continental Congress appoints a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.
1801 - Tripoli declares war on the U.S. for refusing to pay tribute (protection money).
1846 - Robert Thomson obtains an English patent on a rubber tire.
1863 - General Nathan Bedford Forrest and 3500 Confederates defeat 8,000 Union troops at the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, MS.
1898 - U.S. Marines land in Cuba during Spanish-American War.
1916 - The Great Arab Revolt begins.
1924 - The first political convention is broadcast on the radio (Republicans in Cleveland).
1935 - Alcoholics Anonymous is formed.
1940 - Italy declares war on France and Britain during.
1942 - The Gestapo kills 173 Czechoslovakians in the Massacre at Lidice.
1943 - FDR becomes the first U.S. President to visit a foreign country during wartime; he also signs the withholding tax bill (W-2 Day!)
1946 - The Italian Republic is established.
1955 - The first separation of virus into its component parts is reported.
1967 - The "6-day War" (Israel, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt) ends.
1973 - NASA launches the Radio Astronomy Explorer 49 into lunar orbit.
1975 - The Rockefeller panel reports on 300,000 illegal CIA files on Americans.
1977 - James Earl Ray (killed Martin Luther King) escapes from prison.
1981 - The IRA's Joseph Doherty escapes from the Crumlin Road Jail.
1982 - Israeli troops reach the outskirts of Beirut.
1984 - US missile shot down an incoming missile in space for 1st time.
1991 - In the "Mother of All Parades," NYC welcomes home Desert Storm veterans.

1735 - John Morgan, physician-in-chief of the Continental Army
1921 - Prince Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, Elizabeth II's husband
1922 - Rose Moffard, acting AZ Governor.
1929 - James McDivitt, Brigadier General, USAF / astronaut (Gemini 4, Apollo 9)

1839 - Nathaniel Pryor, Lewis & Clark Expedition
1903 - Serbian King Alexander I and Queen Dragia, assassinated
1924 - Giacomo Matteotti, Italian socialist deputy, assassinated
1985 - Bob Prince, sportscaster (Monday Night Baseball)
1988 - Louis L'Amour, western writer

Reported Missing in Action
The following US Army personnel reported MIA when their UH1B was shot down (all believed KIA / BNR):
Compa, Joseph J., Jr., US Army (OH)

Curlee, Robert L., Jr., US Army (NC)

Hagen, Craig L., US Army (CA)

Hall, Walter L., US Army (ME)

Johnson, Bruce G., US Army (MI)

Owens, Fred M., US Army (OK)

Saegaert, Donald R., US Army (CT)

Also reported MIA this day in 1965:
Doughtie, Carl Louis, USN (NC); A1H shot down, remains ID'd December, 1998 - buried in Arlington February, 1999

Everson, David, USAF (MN); F105 shot down, released by DRV March, 1973 - alive and well as of 1998

Hall, Thomas R., USAF (VA); F8E shot down, released by DRV March 1973 - alive as of 1998

Platt, Robert L., Jr., US Army (SC); last seen wounded during ambush

Sherman, Peter Woodbury, USN (OH); F105 shot down, remains returned January, 1991

Pierce, Walter M., US Army (PA); Killed, body not recovered

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