• BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Joel Oravitz from Beaver Falls, Pa., and Spc. Mark Laird from Phoenix, Ariz., both of the 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, "Paxton Rangers", 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad load bags of food onto an Iraqi Army truck. The food was distributed to residents of the "1st of June" area of Abu Ghraib during a joint foot patrol on June 25. The joint patrols are designed to improve the relationships between the Iraqi Army and the residents of the areas they secure.

    BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Joel Oravitz from Beaver...

    BAGHDAD - Staff Sgt. Joel Oravitz from Beaver Falls, Pa., and Spc. Mark Laird from Phoenix, Ariz., both of the 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, "Paxton Rangers", 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National...

  • BAGHDAD - Sgt. Andrew Fox from Reedsville, Pa., of the 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, "Paxton Rangers", 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad shows the contents of one of the food bags being distributed by the joint Coalition force and Iraqi Army foot patrol June 25 to a newly discovered orphanage.

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. Andrew Fox from Reedsville, Pa...

    BAGHDAD - Sgt. Andrew Fox from Reedsville, Pa., of the 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, "Paxton Rangers", 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad shows the contents of one of the food bags being...

  • BAGHDAD - An Iraqi soldier from the 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division distributes the contents of a food bag to residents of the "1st of June" area of Abu Ghraib during a joint Coalition Forces foot patrol on June 25. The joint patrols are designed to improve relations and trust between the Iraqi Army and the residents whom they secure.

    BAGHDAD - An Iraqi soldier from the 24th...

    BAGHDAD - An Iraqi soldier from the 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division distributes the contents of a food bag to residents of the "1st of June" area of Abu Ghraib during a joint Coalition Forces foot patrol on June 25. The joint patrols are designed...

BAGHDAD - Soldiers of Company C of the 2nd Battalion, 112th Infantry Regiment, "Paxton Rangers", 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Multi-National Division-Baghdad conducted a combined patrol through Abu Ghraib June 25 to disrupt insurgents in the area and improve their relationship with their Iraqi counterparts.

The area they patrolled is called the "1st of June" as Iraqis often name areas after significant dates in their history.

Leading the patrol was a platoon from the 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division. As a result of the agreement between Coalition forces and the nation of Iraq all combat operations are now conducted jointly.

One of the goals of these joint operations is training, another is to show the people that there is a transition happening as Coalition forces begin pulling back.

Part of today's mission was to take a small step in attempting to improve those relationships.

Under the guidance of Co C of the 2-112 "Paxton Rangers" dozens of bags of beans, rice, canned meat, bottled water and other supplies were given to the Iraqi Army Soldiers. As they began their patrol, they stopped at a number of houses handing out these bags and holding brief conversations with the residents.

They were surprised as they came to an unofficial orphanage and were surrounded by kids.

"Finding an orphanage right away was really good," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Fox from Reedsville, Pa., 2-112th. "We were really able to help some needy people."

Medical issues were discussed and the location was marked in order to bring back supplies and a medic.

As is often the case, once word starts getting around that things are being given away, a crowd starts to develop as the Soldiers came upon a medical clinic, little more than a small drug store next to a shop selling automotive fluids.

Stryker's and Iraqi Army trucks were setup around the area to provide security as Soldiers were sent in all directions in order to keep an eye out for possible attack.

Dozens of bags of food were unloaded as people started coming from all directions. The Iraqi Army soldiers kept order and quickly formed the people into a line. The residents thanked the soldiers as they left. Within just a few minutes the food was gone.

"Well, it's important to help get the community back on its feet. We work with the Iraqi Army in joint patrols," said Sgt. Sean Rawlings from Clearfield, Pa. "We're kind of like role models. Seeing the kids is the best part. They're a lot of fun."

Page last updated Wed July 1st, 2009 at 12:05