• BAGHDAD - Iraqi Soldiers of the Commando Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Brigade, move to a new position after an air-assault insertion in Owesat, during Operation Al Sakar April 12. The IA Soldiers with the assistance of Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad, conducted a combined counter insurgency operation in search of insurgents, weapons and explosives caches.

    BAGHDAD - Iraqi Soldiers of the Commando...

    BAGHDAD - Iraqi Soldiers of the Commando Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Brigade, move to a new position after an air-assault insertion in Owesat, during Operation Al Sakar April 12. The IA Soldiers with the assistance of Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 6th...

  • BAGHDAD - Spc. Robert Cooper (kneeling), of Glouster, Ohio, and Maj. Kurt Thompson, of New Jersey, members of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, assist in searching the Owesat area for insurgents, weapons and explosive caches during Operation Al Sakar, April 12.

    BAGHDAD - Spc. Robert Cooper (kneeling), of...

    BAGHDAD - Spc. Robert Cooper (kneeling), of Glouster, Ohio, and Maj. Kurt Thompson, of New Jersey, members of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, assist in searching the Owesat area for insurgents, weapons and explosive caches during Operation Al...

  • BAGHDAD - The Iraqi headmaster (left) of the local school in Owesat greets Detroit native Lt. Col. Brian Eifler (right), commander, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, during Operation  Al Sakar April 12. The Iraqi Army and 'Iron' Brigade conducted a combined counter insurgency operation in the Owesat area to clear the area of insurgents, weapons and explosives caches. Both forces' goal was to hold and secure the Owesat area and deny insurgents the ability to use the area to launch attacks in the streets of Baghdad.

    BAGHDAD - The Iraqi headmaster (left) of the...

    BAGHDAD - The Iraqi headmaster (left) of the local school in Owesat greets Detroit native Lt. Col. Brian Eifler (right), commander, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, during Operation Al Sakar April 12. The Iraqi Army and 'Iron' Brigade conducted a...

  • BAGHDAD - Local Sons of Iraq (left) greet Lt. Col. Ayoob, commander, Commando Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Brigade, during Operation Al Sakar in the Owesat area April 12. The Iraqi Army and Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment conducted a counter insurgency operation in the Owesat area to clear the area of insurgents, weapons and explosives caches. Both forces goal was to hold and secure the Owesat area and deny insurgents the ability to use the area to launch attacks in the streets of Baghdad.

    BAGHDAD - Local Sons of Iraq (left) greet Lt...

    BAGHDAD - Local Sons of Iraq (left) greet Lt. Col. Ayoob, commander, Commando Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Brigade, during Operation Al Sakar in the Owesat area April 12. The Iraqi Army and Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment conducted...

BAGHDAD - Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers and Iraqi Soldiers of the Commando Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Brigade, conducted Operation Al-Sakar, a combined counter insurgency operation in support of the Security Agreement, in the Owesat area southwest of Baghdad April 12.

The purpose of the counter insurgency operation was to clear weapons and explosives caches and capture insurgents in the Owesat area. The IA with support from Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd 'Iron' Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, also sought to establish security in the area for the people of Owesat in order to implement permanent reforms in security and quality of life.

"The Owesat area is void of a Coalition forces presence and is a potential location to move accelerants into the Baghdad area," said Lt. Col. Brian Eifler, of Detroit, commander, 1-6 Inf., 2nd BCT, 1st Armd. Div. "The objective of this mission was to destabilize any AQI and other terrorist organization operations in the Owesat area."

The cornerstone of any counter insurgency effort is establishing security for the local population and controlling the area. Once security is stable, a long-term presence can be implemented to facilitate the basic needs of the people.

The joint task forces began the operation in the early morning hours of April 12 with an air-assault insertion to secure and defend the objective in the Owesat area.

"We wanted to surprise any insurgents and show them that nowhere is safe from the combined ISF and Coalition Forces," said Eifler. "We can surround an area in minutes with little to no warning and that we can do it anytime."

During the mission the joint task forces cleared a total of six square kilometers and found one cache consisting of five 152mm rounds and detained several individuals.

A successful counter insurgency operation depends on thoroughly understanding the society and culture within which the operation is being conducted and building support of the local population. The 17th IA Bde., made a point in engaging the local population.

"Today's mission was a success not only in what we found but in our building relationships with the local citizens of Owesat," said Lt. Col. Ayoob, commander, Commando Battalion, 17th Iraqi Army Brigade. "It's important that the people of the area can see the Iraqi Army as a positive influence they can trust to keep them safe."

Beyond securing weapons, explosives and detaining insurgents the goal was also to show the local Iraqi citizens that the Iraqi Army and MND-B Forces were there to meet their needs and improve the quality of life in the area. One of the goodwill projects carried out during the operation was the handing out of backpacks and school supplies to the local children.

"The local populace didn't feel threatened by us, instead they felt secure against an AQI presence being built up in their area," said Eifler."We showed the local Iraqis that the Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces still care about them."

Leaders in both Task Force 1-6 Infantry and the Commando Battalion trained their troops for the joint air assault and ground mission through joint rehearsals and simulations since Task Force 1-6 Infantry's arrival at Forward Operating Base Falcon from Sadr City in early March.

The operation enabled the IA and MND-B forces to achieve security and stability in the area and deny insurgents freedom of movement in Owesat. It demonstrates to the people of Owesat the commitment the two forces have in building positive relationships with the people and the ability of the IA to successfully conduct counter insurgency operations.

"I've ridden in helicopters before, but the Coalition's attention to detail is something different," said Ayoob. "I hope that the Iraqi Army will continue to improve in all areas until we are equal to the Coalition Forces."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16