Dagger security detail hits Iraq streets
November 7, 2008
The streets of Baghdad are crawling with pedestrians. Among them, Soldiers on security detail from the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
The purpose of their mission is to get familiar with the routes they will be navigating over the next year. The Dagger Brigade will work to provide security in the streets and transition that job to their Iraqi counterparts.
"Situational awareness is one of the most basic, fundamental assets Soldiers can have to keep themselves safe," said Staff Sgt. Galo Roman, a Soldier with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd HBCT and native of New York City. "We need this time to learn these routes to ensure we don't make a mistake, which could cause Soldiers undue harm."
A typical day for the Soldiers consists of early morning briefings followed by a full schedule of convoys throughout the brigade's area of responsibility.
"It is a lot different now than the last time I was here, that is for sure," said Sgt. Dustin Lerch, HHC, 2nd HBCT, of Farmersberg, Iowa. "Even with the added security it is still a war zone, and you have to be prepared for anything at any time."
Providing personal security for leaders is another mission the Soldiers will fulfill in the coming year. The 2nd HBCT leaders will engage with local leaders throughout the community as part of the rebuilding process.
"We will definitely get to see Baghdad up close and personal during this deployment," Roman said. "But for me, I think there will be more handshakes than firefights this time around."
The Dagger Brigade will assume full responsibility in a matter of weeks from the 2nd Strike Brigade, 101st Airborne Division.
"This is actually the unit I served with during my last tour," Lerch said. "They are top notch, and we consider ourselves to be just as good, so I expect no problems as we take over the area."