After leaving the Green Zone and passing through COP Cleary, I'm now with Baker Company of the First Battalion (1-15) of the 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Inf Division in the area SE of Baghdad (just S of Diyala) that includes Salman Pak (former terror training ctr) and has a pretty sizeable AQI population in its southern regions.
The unit here is demonstrative of the flexibility of the US military. A "mechanized" infantry unit, used to rolling around in tanks and Bradleys, made a radical adjustment in order to get into a prohibitively dangerous al Qaeda area: it has become an air assault -- helicopter infil and exfil, light infantry on the objective -- unit. The flexibility needed to make such an adjustment is massive, and impressive.
I'm getting ready to head over to a meeting with a shiek in Salman Pak who is establishing a Concerned Citizens Brigade, a population-led "milita" of sorts which seeks to root out the AQI, JAM, etc. in the area and secure their own neighborhoods while al-Maliki's gov't sits on its backside. It's similar to the Anbar Awakening, which has already spread somewhat to Diyala, and is just the type of organized tribal uprising that is needed to help Iraq get secured and on its feet from the ground up.
In that vein, tonight I'll be shifting gears and shadowing the Iraqi National Police as they do a 100% Iraqi-Planned-and-Led operation to snatch a suspected IED maker in the town here.
Should be interesting.
- At 11:57 PM, said...
Was that meeting with the Sheik the one with Cpt Thompson by any chance?
He's a great guy from what my soldier tells me. I'm glad he is under great care and Baker Co 3rd platoon is the best out there :) i'm biased naturally.