• An Iraqi army soldier looks over the identification of a Quds Camp resident during a kerosene heater and blanket distribution to residents in the central Baghdad Janeen neighborhood, Nov. 29."

    An Iraqi army soldier looks over the...

    An Iraqi army soldier looks over the identification of a Quds Camp resident during a kerosene heater and blanket distribution to residents in the central Baghdad Janeen neighborhood, Nov. 29."

  • Udai Ra'ed, the chairman of the Janeen Neighborhood Advisory Council, hands a kerosene heater to a resident of the Quds Camp in his central Baghdad neighborhood during a humanitarian aid mission, Nov. 29. "

    Udai Ra'ed, the chairman of the Janeen...

    Udai Ra'ed, the chairman of the Janeen Neighborhood Advisory Council, hands a kerosene heater to a resident of the Quds Camp in his central Baghdad neighborhood during a humanitarian aid mission, Nov. 29. "

  • An Iraqi Army soldier checks the identification of a man before he enters the distribution site at the Quds Camp in central Baghdad's Janeen neighborhood during a kerosene heater and blanket distribution conducted by Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Iraqi Army troops and members of the local neighborhood advisory council, Nov. 29."

    An Iraqi Army soldier checks the identification...

    An Iraqi Army soldier checks the identification of a man before he enters the distribution site at the Quds Camp in central Baghdad's Janeen neighborhood during a kerosene heater and blanket distribution conducted by Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 82nd...

  • Spc. Gregory Clarke, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stacks boxes of kerosene heaters for distribution during a humanitarian aid mission at the Quds Camp in central Baghdad's Janeen neighborhood, Nov. 29. "

    Spc. Gregory Clarke, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field...

    Spc. Gregory Clarke, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, stacks boxes of kerosene heaters for distribution during a humanitarian aid mission at the Quds Camp in central Baghdad's Janeen...

  • A resident of the Quds Camp in central Baghdad receives a heater from Janeen Neighborhood Advisory Council chairman Udai Ra'ed, during a humanitarian aid mission conducted by Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Iraqi Army troops and the local NAC, Nov. 29.

    A resident of the Quds Camp in central Baghdad...

    A resident of the Quds Camp in central Baghdad receives a heater from Janeen Neighborhood Advisory Council chairman Udai Ra'ed, during a humanitarian aid mission conducted by Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade...

  • Capt. Todd Martin, Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hands a wool blanket to Janeen Neighborhood Advisory Council chairman Udai Ra'ed, for distribution to a resident of the Quds Camp during a humanitarian aid mission in the central Baghdad neighborhood, Nov. 29.

    Capt. Todd Martin, Battery A, 3rd Battalion...

    Capt. Todd Martin, Battery A, 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, hands a wool blanket to Janeen Neighborhood Advisory Council chairman Udai Ra'ed, for distribution to a resident of the Quds Camp...

  • A resident of the Quds Camp in the central Baghdad Janeen neighborhood receives a wool blanket from an Iraqi Army soldier during a blanket and kerosene heater distribution mission conducted by Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, the Iraqi Army and the local NAC.

    A resident of the Quds Camp in the central...

    A resident of the Quds Camp in the central Baghdad Janeen neighborhood receives a wool blanket from an Iraqi Army soldier during a blanket and kerosene heater distribution mission conducted by Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment...

BAGHDAD - A small and severely underprivileged area in the Janeen neighborhood in the center of the Iraqi capital known as the "Quds Camp," has been overlooked by the local government in Qadisiyah, and achieving recognition and assistance for these people from the local neighborhood advisory council has been a major goal for the Soldiers of Battery A, 3rd "Red Dragons" Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division for several months.

The farming community is made up primarily of displaced citizens who have come from outside the area and taken up residence on land that was unoccupied.
They have put up shacks for their families and established a small community; however, local leaders consider them squatters and haven't been willing to provide support.

"The neighborhood council didn't really want to go into that area and didn't really feel like they should support those people," explained Capt. Jesse Wood, the projects manager for Battery A. "In their eyes, they don't deem them as legitimate residents of the neighborhood and trying to get them to become more and more involved with these people is something we have been working on about the last six months."

The Red Dragons made some major strides toward that goal during a heater and blanket distribution, which was conducted in conjunction with the Iraqi Army and the Janeen NAC, Nov. 29.

"I think we started to build that tie today between the neighborhood council and some of those people, which is good because they're the ones who really need help," the Blackwell, Okla. native added.

Seventy-seven heaters and nearly 100 wool blankets were passed out to the residents of the Quds Camp to help them cope with the upcoming winter.

While the humanitarian items were provided by 3-82 FA, the distribution was conducted entirely by Iraqi Army soldiers and Udai Ra'ed, the chairman of the Janeen NAC.

Maj. Wes Stewart of the 422nd Civil Affairs Battalion called the NAC's involvement in the mission "very significant."

"Transition is one of the major events for the Coalition Forces and to have the Iraqi Army come out and help us distribute these items was very important to us," said Stewart, who calls Virginia Beach, Va. home.

Wood said he was pleased with how the Iraqi soldiers and the NAC interacted with the people, and said he believes this will be a stepping stone toward improving relations between the residents of the Quds Camp and the government.

"It went really smoothly," he said. "The Iraqi Army and NAC worked pretty impressively. They took charge. Most importantly, though, it puts their face out there and it helps build that partnership between the people and the ISF, so they can eventually take over the security job and earn the trust of the people."

Page last updated Mon December 3rd, 2007 at 15:05