Making non-lethal tasks "Easy"
July 28, 2009
MOSUL, Iraq - The Soldiers of "Easy" Forward Support Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division have assumed the responsibility of all governance and non-lethal tasks in the town of Al Hadr, Iraq.
Tucked away in this small desert town, approximately 80 kilometers south of Mosul, Easy Soldiers have been working diligently to submit, assess, and manage over 30 micro-grants, nine civil affairs projects, and serve as the U.S. forces representative to the mayor and city council meetings.
In the past E Company's mission was to conduct convoy logistic patrols to resupply U.S. bases in the Qayyarah region, but such is not always the case anymore in E company.
"This is a great opportunity for the Soldiers to get out and really see what Iraq is all about," said Capt. Joe Parker, a native of Gibson, N.C., and commander of E Company. "Not just that, but to form a long-lasting relationship with the people of Al Hadr and work together to benefit the community though projects that provide jobs, stability, and improve the infrastructure."
On a typical day the E Company Patrol will make the hour and a half drive from Forward Operating Base Q-West to Al Hadr and meet with Mayor Ali Salem or the City Council Leader, Mr. Shaker Ahmad Mohamad, to discuss day to day issues in Al Hadr as well as to assess ongoing projects and determine the focus of future ventures.
E Company is currently overseeing a road clearing project, a town-wide trash pick-up project, as well as projects on the way that will improve water distribution by renovating the three local water towers and provide the outlying villages with water trucks.
"The people have started to recognize us, and there is a sense of mutual respect and willingness to improve the town through the microgrant program and larger projects recommended by the city council," said Parker.
On the governance side, E Company is looking at renovating the local ID office and improving their record keeping capability and management of local land title data.
The company also has a secondary school refurbishment in Sad'diyah Shamaliah to provide the rural villages with much-needed classrooms prior to the start of the upcoming school year."
There are over $600,000 dedicated to upgrades, improvements, and the creation of over 400 short-term jobs, as well as 50 long-term jobs, all in an area where employment is at a premium, and the harsh landscape offers little forgiveness.
As far as the Soldiers are concerned, it's not just another mission.
"We're used to supporting the Soldiers of 1-12 Cavalry, so helping out the people of Al Hadr is almost second nature" said Sgt. Michael Askew, a native of Orlando, Fla. and platoon sergeant for E Company. "We come out here prepared to accomplish any task put before us."
"As the Forward Support Company, we're used to picking up any type of mission you can throw at us," said Askew.
All in a day's work for Easy Company.