Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 25 Jun 2008

About two years ago, Jack Bauer was getting ready to head to one of the most dangerous places in Iraq, Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province. A lot has happened since then for the better. Here is just a little more evidence of that.

From MNF-I, Iraqi Police Lead the Way in Fallujah’s Khadairy District.

FALLUJAH — The Joint Security Station (JSS) in the Khadairy District of Fallujah is now home solely to Iraqi Police, as Company K, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, detached from the station in a step toward transitioning security to IPs.

IPs will continue their daily tasks here on their own as part of the transition of security from Coalition forces.

“We really didn’t ‘de-militarize’ it, we more or less unpartnered,” said 1st Lt. Cory Colistra, platoon commander, 3rd Platoon. “We left the station intact. It’s an IP station now instead of a joint security station. We continue to work with them every day. The mission is to transition provincial Iraqi control, and this is a physical example of us being one step closer to mission accomplishment. The idea is that the Iraqis are taking over and we’re there as a backstop to support their operations. Doing that allows the IPs to directly provide security and stability while the Marines indirectly influence that end state.”

The purpose of JSS Khadairy, which was in operation for more than a year, was for Coalition forces to transition security to Iraqi Police-led counterinsurgency operations while maintaining the security of the precinct. As the IPs have stepped up to conduct missions on their own, Colistra said the only change to daily tasks are the Marines’ responsibilities.

“The mission and operations don’t change, but our method has transitioned to more of a support role,” Colistra said. “The Marines will advise the IPs on certain tactical issues, but it is the IPs who are running their own show. We will be in that overwatch position and step up when needed. This builds confidence for both the [Iraqi Security Forces] and the local nationals, and that’s all they need. We’re slowly taking a step back, allowing the ISF to step up and they’re gaining control of their city one day at a time.” ...

Read the rest here.