By Spc. Chastity Boykin, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div. Public AffairsAugust 17, 2010
COB ADDER, Iraq - Spanning the length of Iraq, Main Supply Route Tampa goes through the heart of Iraq toward the Kuwaiti border, serving as the main highway to move equipment and personnel in and out of Iraq.
Soldiers of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, United States Division-South and their Iraqi Security Forces partners held a combined safety conference with the route's safety in mind.
Representatives of the Iraqi Army, Police, Highway Patrol, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal met with U.S. forces on Contingency Operating Base Adder to discuss rules of the road, ways to reduce vehicle accidents, and to thwart improvised explosive devices.
The conference opened with an overview of events from the last six months. The most common events were IEDs and traffic accidents. Leaders also discussed the enforcement of proper speed limits and traffic laws, and maintaining a highway free of debris.
Keeping the highways free of debris helps prevent insurgents from placing IEDs among trash, broken down vehicles, and other objects along the highway.
"Each side was able to express its concerns of current and shared ideas in terms of how to share the road, not only to protect the U.S. forces, but the ISF and the local population as we execute a responsible drawdown out of Iraq," said Maj. Robert Newbauer, an Allegan, Mich., native serving as plans officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
As the ISF continues to take the lead, the U.S. forces will coordinate closely with ISF operation centers in regards to convoy movements and checkpoints.
"It is important that as we retrograde and draw vehicles responsibly out of Iraq we have the full support of our Iraqi partners as they not only set up check points along the road," Newbauer said. "They continue to build upon the gains that they have made in terms of security and are able to do things themselves."