Long Knives, Iraqis go North during Greenville
October 24, 2008
TALLIL, Iraq - The 1st Calvary Division, 4th Brigade Combat Team's 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment and 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery units set out on Operation Greenville, a 4-day mission to partner with units from the Iraqi department of border enforcement, and the 2nd Iraqi Commando element that operates in the northern Maysan province Sept. 24.
The mission was unique for everyone because it was the first time the groups had worked together, and ventured into the most northern portion of Maysan since the Long knife brigade arrived to Iraq in late June.
"A hugely successful first encounter with great potential to further develop our relationship with some outstanding Iraqi Soldiers" said Lt. Col. Daryle Hernandez, the Squadron Commander from Muscatine, Iowa.
The Soldiers departed Forward Operating Base Hunter before sunrise, and quickly set up their headquarters in the sandy northern desert where the Head Hunter and 5-82 Bulldog Soldiers could perform area reconnaissance. This was an important step, as the Long Knife Soldier and Iraqi elements searched houses and buildings as one team to build partnerships in the area.
The terrain was quite diverse in the desert, with mountains to the south, reminding the Soldiers of their mission readiness exercise last winter at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The major difference being the fact that along many roads in northern Mayson, you can see the Iranian soldiers guarding their territory on the other side of the Iraq-Iran border.
The population of the area was extremely sparse, with the majority of the local nationals being oil field workers, who perform the tasks required to bring the vast natural resource to market, which helps the country become stable economically.
Though Operation Greenville was mainly designed to locate improvised explosives in the area, the Long Knife and Iraqi soldiers were also expecting to uncover bombs and land mines left over from the Iran-Iraq war.
"We wanted to make sure we were looking not just for IED's but also other unexploded ordinances, which is just as dangerous" said Staff Sergeant Jessie Sample, the platoon sergeant of the squadron commander's personal security detachment and cavalry scout from San Antonio, Texas.
The Coalition Forces patrolled more than 1000 miles, visited 12 Iraqi Border towns and acquired loads of valuable information that should be useful in future joint missions.