Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cavalry Soldiers help make Al Dhour a safer place

Spc. Christopher Tucker
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)
Multi-National Division – Center

AL DHOUR, Iraq — The village of Al Dhour, Iraq has come a long way since the initial arrival of a small troop of Soldiers.
Since the arrival of Soldiers from C Troop, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., the village, originally a safe haven for Al Qaeda forces in the area, had no true town leadership.
Recently, the citizens of Al Ahour have been taking control of their own future.
During the latter part of July 2007, concerned citizens established volunteer check points in order to provide their own security. Soon after, leadership began with several citizens moving forward desiring to establish a security council.
The leadership of C Trp. met with the concerned citizens and aided them in establishing the council, even providing office furniture, supplies and generators for the newly established town hall.
Rapport between coalition forces and the Al Dhour citizens continued to build culminating in a resident discovering a cache and immediately turning it over to 1-89 Soldiers.
On Aug. 30 an Iraqi citizen, who had recently moved into an abandoned house, noticed the room dimensions did not match those of identical houses in his part of town. After further investigation he discovered an opening in a wall large enough to crawl through. In this hidden room he found materials to construct several improvised explosive devices. Immediately he contacted 1-89 Soldiers.
The Squadron Mortar Platoon, which is currently attached to C Troop, responded to investigate the report and confirmed the cache which consisted of a 105mm artillery round, fifty pounds of homemade explosives, fifteen 57mm mortar rounds, six bars of explosives, one suicide vest, three grenades, two machine gun barrels, five rolls of IED command detonation wire, one roll of IED crush detonation wire, sixteen rocket propelled grenade fuses, eight RPG accelerators, 40 12-gauge shotgun shells, a high power rifle scope, small arms ammo, 15 long range communications transceivers and communication equipment.
“This is just another example of Iraqis taking charge of their area and making it a safer place,” said Capt. John Breslin, the mortar platoon leader.
Just one week later the local concerned citizens found additional munitions which they turned in to coalition forces.
With both coalition forces and concerned citizens working together, the town of Al Dhour will continue to move forward and become an even better community, one that will become a model for other communities within the 1-89’s area of operations.

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