By Pfc. Bailey Anne Jester , 1st BCT PAO, 1st Cav. Div., MND-BJanuary 11, 2010
JSS ISTIQLAAL, Iraq - About a year ago, 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division prepared to move to Joint Security Station Istiqlaal.
Today, they are preparing to redeploy back to Fort Hood.
"We are working on filling the holes in our continuity book for the unit following us," said Huntsville, Ala. native, 2nd Lt. John Wilson, platoon leader assigned to 1st Sqdn., 7th Cav. Regt. "We are putting the information we have gathered during our stay together so the following unit doesn't have to start from scratch."
The book being formulated since their arrival contains basic contact information for key sources and Iraqi Security Forces leaders, including pictures, names, numbers and locations.
Although the 1st Sqdn., 7th Cav. Regt. Soldiers are leaving the area, the work they put into building relationships with the local residents will not be lost, said Wilson.
"We plan on pushing the next unit and introducing them to our [friends]," Wilson explained.
"We want to start them where we left off."
One of the lessons Sqdn., 7th Cav. Regt., Soldiers hope to impart to their replacements are the importance of building friendships with the Iraqis to gain their trust and assistance in bringing peace back to the nation.
"We have built a relationship with these people. We have sat down and talked to them," explained Birmingham, Ala., native Sgt. Charles Ray, an intelligence support team representative for Troop A, 1st Sqdn., 7th Cav. Regt. "These men and women are our eyes and ears. They pay attention to things and can tell when things are out of place."
Along with the many important and helpful relationships the "Garryowen" Soldiers have formed in the community, they also improved a partnership with their federal police counterparts.
"The FPs go where we go to show the local populace that they are trying to take charge," said Ray. "Working together sends a good message to the people."
The federal policemen and Soldiers from 1st Sqdn., 7th Cav. Regt., regularly conducted combined patrols to collect photographs, phone numbers, names or locations. They plan to capture all of this and more in their book.
"Finishing this book will greatly help the incoming unit continue where we left off," said Wilson. "We don't want them to waste their time on something that has already been started."