By Spc. Terence Ewings, 4th AAB PAO, 1st Cav. Div., USD-NFebruary 14, 2011
JOINT SECURITY STATION INDIA, Iraq -- Iraqi Security Forces led a joint patrol with U.S. troops through the city of Qara Qosh, Iraq, to assess security in the northern Iraqi town, Feb. 9.
Soldiers assigned to Company B, 2nd Battalion, "Ghost," 7th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, assisted the Iraqi soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division, as they walked the streets of northern Iraq together.
"We have learned a lot from the Americans and the training they have provided for us has allowed us to improve our military skills and relationships with the people here," said Sgt. Maj. Rasheed Soleman, an Iraqi infantryman from Dohk, Iraq.
Soleman, along with other Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers, work and live alongside the U.S. troops at a remote patrol base in northern Iraq.
Soleman said he has served in the military the past 20 years, and believes the U.S. forces and ISF partnership is one of the reasons the public opinion of the military is so positive in Qara Qosh.
"The people love to see us out here," said Soleman. "They know we are here to ensure their safety and they appreciate us.
"We have our U.S. partners to thank for our good checkpoint and patrolling skills that allow us to ensure safety for our people," he said.
The U.S. and ISF Soldiers took time out of their dismounted patrol to speak with local citizens of the heavily populated Christian city to make sure the neighboring areas and populace remain peaceful.
"I liked the way the Iraqis understood they were in charge of this mission," said Sgt. Sean Jones, a infantryman with Company B. "They really took control and displayed they are proficient in conducting a joint patrol."
U.S. Soldiers have conducted a mounted or dismounted patrol with the Iraqis every day since assuming responsibility for the patrol base last October.
"The ISF soldiers are really enthusiastic about learning, and it makes me feel good to train them and know I had a part in their overall success," said Staff Sgt. Antonio Cabrera, an infantryman assigned to Company B.
Working with their U.S. counterparts since October of 2010, the ISF have enhanced their military skills, now planning and leading every patrol with little assistance from the Ghost troopers.