By Spc. Stephen Rayleigh, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.March 28, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HUNTER, Iraq - Iraqi and American Soldiers went door-to-door to speak with community leaders about information concerning operational security and illegal weapons smuggling along the roadways that line the banks of the Al Kahla River in southern Iraq March 23.
The 3rd Battalion, 41st Iraqi Army Brigade, and 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted the joint patrol, designed to clear known smuggling routes that pass through the Maysan Province.
"This was not just another foot patrol for us; this gave us another chance to work hand-in-hand with our American partners," said 2nd Lt. Ahmad At'a Sulayman, of the 41st IA Bde. "My men always look forward to working with the Americans to share the things that make both of our armies great."
The Iraqi Security Forces led the way as the American troops, also known as the 'Black Dragons,' assisted by providing added security and guidance when necessary.
"We learned a lot about this area, and we would have never gained (this information) from our normal check point operations," said Ahmad.
Sgt. Michael Dean, a Black Dragon troop from Ravenna, Ohio, said, "The mission couldn't have gone any better once we were outside the wire; the Iraqi scout platoon showed great flexibility and adaptability with the mission."
The information and intelligence gathered will be used to paint a better picture of the area and will help the IA and the U.S. forces better assess the needs of local Iraqi citizens.