By Pfc. Dave PetersonJuly 8, 2010
JOINT SECURITY STATION JENKINS, Iraq - The Soldiers of Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division recently met with Iraqi citizens while supporting the United States Division-South Human Terrain Analysis Team in its mission of conducting assessments of local infrastructure and interviewing local population.
The "Bulldogs" of Battery B, alongside the Iraqi Ash Shatrah Police Department, provided security for the HTAT. The team consists of social scientists who conduct cultural data research and analysis that can assist the military in improving its strategy and operations.
"The information that the HTA Team is gathering will undoubtedly provide U.S. forces and Iraqi security forces with pertinent insight into our neighbors' concerns and further our working relationship," said Staff Sgt. Dustin Silvis, a Littleton, Colo. native who serves as the Battery B operations and intelligence support team chief.
The two Department of Defense civilians who are part of the HTAT are Julianne Ivany and Mohammed, an Iraqi-born United States citizen who asked not to give his last name.
The team conducted assessments in the villages of Al Sagban and Al O'wayad on the first day of their mission, and in the city of Al Gharraf on the second. Al Sagban and Al O'wayad are tribal villages located in the rural area near JSS Jenkins, while Al Gharraf is a city with improving infrastructure and active political and economic systems.
While conducting assessments, the HTAT interviewed local shop owners, clinic workers, and tribal leaders. At each location, Iraqis told the team they were pleased to see Iraqi Security Forces and American Soldiers working together in such harmony.
"Missions of this sort provide value at several levels. Commanders receive tangible, refined data about the operating environment, and it brings U.S. forces, Iraqi Security Forces, and the local citizens together," said Capt. Michael Scott, the Battery B commander and native of Manassas, Va. "It gives credibility to everything we do, as the Iraqi people are able to witness the partnership between American and Iraqi forces for themselves."