By Maj. William Mott, STT, 1st Bn., 12th Cav. Regt., 3rd AAB, 1st Cav. Div.May 12, 2011
BASRAH, Iraq-Basrah is a 19,000 square kilometer Southern Iraqi province with a growing population of three million people. The Basrah Operations Command is the command and control element headquarters for all Iraqi Security Forces operating in the Basrah Province.
The BaOC is located at the Shat Al Arab Hotel and is sustained by C Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division. This coalition enables Task Force Charger to meet with and advise ISF on a daily basis, and allows TFC to shape decision making of key Iraqi leaders creating a pathway for bilateral information flow.
At the heart of this operation representing U.S. Forces is the battalion tactical liaison officer in charge, Maj. Luis Cruz, a Stability Transition Team member from 1st Bn, 12th Cav. Regt. He runs the Battalion Tactical Center 24 hours a day with the assistance of two non commissioned officers and two O-9Ls.
The O9Ls are both linguists and translators who facilitate ISF operations order, briefing translation, situational awareness and Key Leader Engagements support.
Maj. Cruz employs C Co., Soldiers well versed in the areas of biometrics and sensitive site exploitation to assist with individuals arrested for terrorist and criminal acts against the government of Iraq and U.S. forces.
The BaOC is commanded by Staff Lt. Gen. Muhammad Juwad Al-Huwaidy.
It is a Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Oil Command Center in the Basrah Province that promotes the Rule of Law and economic development.
Some of the interagency offices at the BaOC are the Basrah Security Council, Joint Targeting Meeting and Counter Indirect Fire Working Group.
The BaOC has a Joint Operations Command and Control center that is manned 24 hours by senior officers and LNOs from MoI, MoO, MoD agencies and U.S. Forces. It consists of a morning and evening update brief and also crisis action monitoring.
On the Joint Operations Center floor, Maj. Cruz advises ISF daily on significant activities as they develop, and briefs the appropriate LNO, and senior staff members. He coordinates USF support in the form of Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, Quick Reaction Force, Explosive Ordnance Device, and Information Operations products.