Sunday, September 09, 2007
Before missions, commanders will sometimes communicate the planned course of action using a rock drill. A rock drill normally involves a map on the ground (sometimes using what raw materials that can be gathered, sticks, rocks, sand, etc.). Recently, Captain McCreary conducted such a briefing for his fellow company commanders and Iraqi Security Force personnel at JSS Warrior--home to Captain Ralls, and some of his Alpha Company Soldiers. (CPT McCreary is holding a stick he's using to point to different points on the map laid out on the floor.) Like this one, most of the missions recently conducted have been clearing missions. Clearing roads of IEDs and other obstacles was mentioned in a recent post below. These clearing missions include searching for weapons caches and other threats, but also include introductions and exchanges with locals to increase the sense of confidence and security. As with many of our missions, this was a joint exercise. Iraqi Army and Police can help spot when something is out of the ordinary. Many of our Soldiers have the opportunity to work closely with Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Some of our Soldiers, such as those at JSSs Arcala, Faraj, Lewis, and Youngblood sleep in the same compounds with ISF. Such interaction can be stressful at first, but after a while they come to better understand one another's differences. Sometimes this is manifest as respect, other times it is mere tolerance. In either case, it's worth considering that many of these working, living, and sleeping next to our Soldiers on a daily basis may very well have been the ones shooting at them only a year ago. The type of success most everyone wants to see in Iraq demands this level of vulnerability. We continue to pray for the stabilization of this country, the support of its leaders, and the success of this mission.