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Thursday, August 03, 2006

8th Sqdn., 10th Cav. Regt. takes on mission in Al Jihad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE By Multi-National Corps Iraq
RELEASE No. 20060801-01
August 1, 2006

Written by Spc. Jason Dangel
4th BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div
.

BAGHDAD – In what was perhaps a sobering start of their mission in the Jihad neighborhood in western Baghdad, the Soldiers of Troop B, 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, began their operations in the area where earlier that day local residents had witnessed the killing of at least 40 Sunni Iraqis July 9 in a series of violent attacks.

Earlier that day a group of terrorists set up makeshift checkpoints, stopped cars and buses to check each person's identification and murdered them in the streets.

That afternoon, 1st Lt. Frank Toomey, platoon leader, and the Soldiers of Troop B, began security operations in Al Jihad and have since been working hard with the Iraqi Security Forces to defend the area.

The 23 year-old platoon leader from Waldwick, N.J., and his team of Soldiers, assumed responsibility of Al-Jihad three weeks ago as the 10th Mountain Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team began redeploying to Fort Drum, N.Y., after completing their yearlong tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“In this area of operations, my unit’s primary mission is to support the ISF while they take control of the situation,” Toomey explained. “So far it’s been a slow process, but it is one that is moving forward.”

The platoon leader said his Soldiers have made a smooth transition from conducting infrastructure assessments and atmospherics with local Iraqi citizens into a role supporting Iraqi Security Forces operating in south and central Baghdad.

“Success in Jihad falls upon the ability of the ISF,” Toomey said. “They have to take the lead, and we’re pushing them to take that lead.

“We’re giving them the ball and blocking for them; they just have to run with it.”
Even though the troop’s mission has changed, attitudes among the cavalry scout Soldiers remain the same.

The Iraqi National Police is gradually stepping up its security operations in the area, and U.S. Soldiers will continue to support Iraq in its efforts to restore peace to Jihad, Toomey explained.

“Right now, we are encouraging the Iraqi National Police to put in more check points while we provide tactical over watch for the checkpoints to help eliminate the violence in the neighborhood,” he said.

Toomey expects the Iraqi National Police to take a lead role in defeating the terrorists in Jihad.

At first glance, the residents seemed to welcome the Soldiers as they routinely patrolled the neighborhood streets, said Pvt. Loudon Garvey, a 1st Platoon cavalry scout and humvee driver from Nashville, Tenn.

“Most of the people generally seem happy when they see us – especially the kids, that’s the biggest thing for me,” Garvey said.

Despite all the smiles and waves the Soldiers receive, Garvey said he and his fellow Soldiers are well aware of the dangers lurking in the streets of Jihad. There is never a time when the Soldiers of 8th Sqdn, 10th Cav., are not on the streets of Jihad rooting out terrorists and providing security for the Iraqi people and ISF.

Attacks on the Soldiers, said Toomey, have decreased as the terrorists have increasingly targeted Iraqi National Police working checkpoints in the area.
“We’ve seen a lot of attacks focusing specifically on ISF patrols and checkpoints,” Toomey explained. “In response to that, we have picked up patrols in the neighborhood, adding a security presence 24 hours-a-day,” he added.

Despite the scouts’ rigorous patrol schedule everyday, the Soldiers feel they are already making an impact in Al Jihad.

“It gets hard out here sometimes,” said Spc. Charles Johnson, a cavalry scout from Grayson, Ky., during a joint patrol with the Iraqi National Police, “but it feels good to know I’m contributing to the mission and helping these guys out.”

Toomey assesses INPs.
BAGHDAD – 1st Lt. Frank Toomey, platoon leader, Troop B, 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, meets with an Iraqi National Police captain during a mission in the Jihad neighborhood of western Baghdad July 20.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jason Dangel, 4th BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div.)


Dismounted patrol.
BAGHDAD – Spc. Charles Johnson, cavalry scout, Troop B, 8th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, patrols the streets of Al Jihad, a neighborhood in western Baghdad July 20.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Jason Dangel, 4th BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div.)

-30-

1LT Anthony Deiss
Public Affairs Officer
US Central Command

For additional information concerning this release, contact the Multi-National Division - Baghdad Public Affairs Deputy PAO Major Steven Stover, Steven.Stover AT mnd-army DOT mil

Category: Press Release.
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