Soldiers of 1st Armored Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team continue partnership with Iraqis for security of provincial elections
A soldier from the 17th Iraqi Army Division starts a fire in a stand of reeds to prevent the area from being used by insurgents to hide weapons caches, during a combined operation with U.S. troops of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment in Baghdad, Iraq, Jan. 21. The operation is one of several ways Soldiers with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division are helping to beef up security for upcoming provincial elections in their area of operations.

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division continued their support of upcoming Iraqi provincial elections by taking part in a regional security meeting at 9th Iraqi Army Division headquarters in Al Rasheed, Jan. 29.

During the meeting, which brigade officials described as an opportunity to discuss how to ensure safe, secure and legitimate elections, 2nd BCT leaders watched Iraqi army and police elements conduct a full dress rehearsal of their security plan for the Mada'in Qada.

"This centralized meeting helps coordinate the various components that will be working together to ensure the safety of the Iraqi citizens on election day," said Iraqi Staff Lt. Gen. Aboud Ganbar, commander of Iraqi Baghdad Operations.

Iraqi and Multi-National Division - Baghdad forces have been working together for the past few months to help Iraqis safe on election day, officials said. Their joint preparations have included several planning meetings, rehearsals, patrols to clear areas where improvised explosive devices might be hidden, and a census of areas known to harbor insurgents.

The commander of the Iraqi 1st Battalion, 3rd National Police Brigade said his officers are ready for their election day mission.

"We've done four complete rehearsals and numerous smaller ones," said Brig. Gen. Emad. "I feel my officers are prepared for the task and understand the magnitude of their responsibility."

Though 2nd BCT Soldiers will have only a support role in the actual election day operations, brigade officials said they are ready to help any way they can. In addition to planning and patrols, the brigade has helped beef up security around polling stations by providing equipment such as metal detectors and cement "T-walls."

Emad said protecting voters, and the vote itself, are positive signs of the Iraqis' partnership with coalition forces.

"It's a great thing to be able to help the Iraqi citizens be safe while they take an active role in the government by voting," said Emad.

The 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Division is based in Baumholder, Germany.

(This article was compiled from reports by Staff Sgt. Scott Wolfe, Spc. Kevin Holden and Pfc. Evan Loyd of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division Public Affairs Office.)

Page last updated Wed January 28th, 2009 at 09:19