'Warm basing' operations improve relationships between Iraqis, Coalition
June 24, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE BERNSTEIN, Iraq -- Iraqi Security and Coalition Forces who have been conducting warm basing operations in the Tuz Qada took a break June 16, at the Amerli Police Station to celebrate weeks of successful maneuvers.
"These operations together have been greatly successful. We've done many things together," said Amerli Police Chief Col. Sabah Safar Khalif. Sabah and his forces have been actively affiliated with troops from Company A, Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team for months - and it was high time for festivities, including an outdoor barbeque and plenty of mingling between ISF and CF.
Warm basing includes partnership between Iraqi and Coalition forces in remote areas of the province to assure instant support by U.S. troops if ISF requests their presence.
Faras Abbas Shakour, a two-year veteran of the Amerli Police Department, was a teacher in his hometown; he gave it up when Coalition forces began working more closely than ever with the police because he wanted to serve Iraq.
"I love to work with Coalition forces," said Faras, "mainly because we do joint operations in my city. We walk through the market and these Soldiers give us candy they had sent from home which we give to the little children on the street. I like to know I'm giving something to Amerli; not only making them safe, but making little babies smile."
Pvt. 1st Class Stephanie Griffin, a combat medic assigned to Company A, has been getting to know the Amerli police officers over the last few months. "They're always so hospitable," said Griffin. "Through them, we get to know the locals and interact with kids."
"Working with Coalition [forces] has us doing so much more than we have done before. We visit other IP stations and we get to see the villages more, and I have seen myself that the power and water situations are getting better," said Officer Husayn Fatha Abbas, another two-year veteran of the Amerli force.
Conducting such close operations with ISF allows CF more freedom to interact with the local populace and find out what their needs and wants are. Market walks often prove lucrative for local shop owners, as Soldiers pick up a soccer ball or trinket for local kids who give them thumbs-up as they drive by.
The STB's commander, Lt. Col. Chris Stenman, expressed his gratitude to the police chief for his unceasing hospitality and constant readiness to partner with Coalition Soldiers. "I've been very impressed with all the operations you've been doing here," Stenman told Sabah, "and I know this partnership will continue for a long time."