TAJI, Iraq - Soldiers from the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team conducted a large-scale joint operation, May 24 with members of the Iraqi Army to clear a factory of possible enemy insurgent activity.

Independence Soldiers, along with elements of the 36th and 37th Battalions of the Iraqi Army, conducted a massive sweep of the Nassir factory and Kem village in order to upset enemy activity.

The Nassir factory, located about 2 miles north of Camp Taji, has historically been an area of insurgent action in the northern Baghdad belt. This was the first joint operation of this size the Pennsylvania National Guard troops had conducted with the Iraqi Army. It included two companies each from 56th SBCT and the Iraqi Army.

"This is an important mission to disrupt insurgent activities," said Col. Marc Ferraro, 56th SBCT commander. "We want to work with our Iraqi counterparts to make this a success."

Iraqi and American Soldiers worked their way through the Nassir factory, walking building to building to clear the massive complex. The premises were swept for weapon caches, bombs, and personnel with outstanding warrants. Soldiers also patrolled through the village of Kem, located directly north of the factory.

Second Lt. Dustin Wolfgang, of Company B, 1st Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, led his platoon through the area with a squad of Iraqi Soldiers. He worked with his Iraqi counterparts every step of the way, watching as both groups of Soldiers inspected the warehouses and facilities.

"I'm glad to see the Iraqi Army take the lead," Wolfgang said. "The Iraqi people see that the U.S. and Iraqi Soldiers are working hand-in-hand to make their country safer".

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