FORWARD OPERATING BASE HUNTER, Iraq - Iraqi and American forces work together to make Iraq a safer place. A joint operation recently was held for that purpose.

Supporting 4th Battalion, 41st Iraqi Army Brigade's mission to prevent criminal operations in the Maysan Province, Soldiers assigned to 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, traveled through areas of southern Iraq to deter suspected smuggling of lethal munitions near the operating base here, April 2.

"I really enjoy doing these missions with the Americans," said an Iraqi soldier.

Along the route, the Iraqi and U.S. Soldiers stopped in several villages where they handed out toys and school supplies to Iraqi children.

"The looks we get from the Iraqis are priceless," said Spc. Jesse Martin, a Soldier from Daytona Beach, Fla.

The Soldiers also distributed flyers with contact information for citizens to report criminal activities.

The following day, the members of the joint patrol positioned themselves on busy streets to conduct random vehicle inspections.

The Soldiers didn't discover any contraband or lethal munitions, but their solidarity of purpose to end the illegal smuggling continues to provide peace of mind to the citizens in the Maysan Province.