CentCom Electronic Newsletter – Week of 8 January 2007

Recent Iraqi Police Graduates Begin Working in Baqubah
By Maj. Raul E. Marquez
3rd Brigade Combat Team
1st Cavalry Division Pubic Affairs Office

BAQUBAH, Iraq — About 125 Iraqi police officers, assigned to various units in the Baqubah area, graduated from the first Iraqi Police Training Academy in Baqubah, Dec. 24, 2006.

“Officers from the Emergency Ready Forces, the Quick Reaction Forces, and Baqubah Iraqi police participated in this two-week long training academy,” said Maj. John J. Herrman, Task Force Blue operations officer. “Those officers are now ready to assume their duties as the rule of law enforcers here in Baqubah.”

The training for the IP officers was provided by their own Iraqi instructors and special weapons and tactics team, otherwise known as SWAT, said Herrman. | Full Story |

Caldwell: Iraqi Government Will Control Its Ground Forces by Year’s End
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – The Iraqi government will have command-and-control of all of its ground forces by the end of 2007, a senior U.S. military officer based in Baghdad predicted today.

The year 2007 “is truly the year of transition and adaptation” for Iraq, Army Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, told reporters at a news conference in Baghdad.

All Iraqi army divisions will be under Iraqi Ground Forces Command by summertime, Caldwell said. And, all Iraqi provinces, he said, will go back to Iraqi provincial control by the fall. | Full Story |

Engineers partner with Yemenis to improve water availability
Story by Marian Popescu, USMC

AL-DHUBAB, Yemen – Before engineers of Combined Task Force – Horn of Africa arrived Dec. 17 in Al-Dhubab, Yemen, to install solar-powered pumps to fresh-water wells in the town, local women had to lower buckets 30 meters by hand one bucket at a time, in order to get needed water. The process was slow and tedious and the line of people waiting to get water was long.

United States Army Maj. Richard Cote, a civil affairs team leader from CJTF – HOA, saw the problem and decided to take action with the help from U.S. military engineers.

Partnering with local citizens, U.S. military engineers from Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, installed a solar-powered electric pump at the well. The increased pumping capacity reduced waiting times for people at the well. The well supplies water to about 20,000 people living in a five-kilometer radius. | Full Story |

Yusufiyah Animals Benefit From Visit
Spc. Chris McCann
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) Public Affairs

FORWARD OPERATING BASE YUSUFIYAH, Iraq — In the rural areas south of Baghdad, homes are often made of mud and roofed with sheet metal or mats made of beaten reeds. A cow or two and a flock of sheep in the yard complete the scene. But animals can get sick, and due to terrorism – whether sect-against-sect or against coalition forces – travel is dangerous for veterinarians, too.

To begin addressing this issue, the Multi-National Division – Baghdad veterinarian, Lt. Col. Neil Ahle, and several Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) conducted a veterinary operation in a schoolyard in Al-Taraq, Iraq Dec. 22.

“One problem of the country at large is the infrastructure,” Ahle said, noting that while schools are opening and water treatment plants are coming back on line, medical and veterinary care in rural areas is still floundering. | Full Story |

CCCI convicts 48 insurgents
Multi-National Force-Iraq
Combined Press Information Center

BAGHDAD – The Central Criminal Court of Iraq convicted 48 security detainees from December 8 to 28, for various crimes including murder, kidnapping, illegal possession of special category weapons, violation of the terrorist laws, failure to renew resident identification, possessing and using a fake ID, use or attempted use of explosives, and illegal border crossing.

The trial court found a Syrian man and a Saudi Arabian man guilty of violating Article 4/1 of the Terrorist Law. The defendants were captured June 19 in a targeted raid on Al-Qaeda members. The defendants were found guarding a house containing a hostage and both admitted that they were responsible for guarding the hostage. On Dec. 26 the trial panel considered all the evidence and sentenced the men to death. | Full Story |

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