CentCom Electronic Newsletter – Week of 29 January 2007

Petraeus Supports Troop Increase in Confirmation Hearing
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2007 – President Bush’s pick for command of Multinational Force Iraq today supported the new strategy for Iraq, emphasizing that additional U.S. forces are essential in accomplishing the mission there.

“If we are to carry out the Multinational Force Iraq mission in accordance with the new strategy, the additional forces that have been directed to move to Iraq will be essential, as will greatly increased support by our government’s other agencies, additional resources for reconstruction and economic initiatives, and a number of other actions critical to what must be a broad, comprehensive, multifaceted approach to the challenges in Iraq,” Army Lt. Gen. David Petraeus said at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

| Full Story|

Mahmudiyah project boosts economy

By Norris Jones
Gulf Region Central District

BAGHDAD — Mahmudiyah’s mayor wants to chart a new course and believes a signature project for his community would be welcome news.

Mayor Muayid Fadil Hussein Habib is viewing several possibilities including a Vocational Technical College, a soccer stadium, and a vegetable and fruit processing factory.

“My hope is that we can convince Iraqi and American officials to invest here in a facility that will have a meaningful impact for decades to come,” Muayid said. “These projects would employ local people not only in the construction phase, but would benefit our area and help the local economy as a lasting legacy,” he noted.

He was also hopeful that a facility like a Vocational Technical College would encourage other small industries to open in his community, such as a new cement plant or metal fabrication shop. | Full Story |

Transition Team Braves Attacks to Train Iraqi Police
By Spc. Daniel Bearl
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs

TAL AFAR, Iraq — The morning is chilly as Sgt. Alexis Medina briefs his squad on its mission.Medina and his soldiers, from Company D, 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment from the Florida Army National Guard, are one of several squads that make up the police transition team working in Tal Afar. Their mission is to see that the Iraqi police are properly trained so that they can operate on their own.

As they prepare to go to a meeting with local Iraqi police leaders, Medina updates his squad on route conditions and recent enemy activity.

Once he’s done, the soldiers don their protective armor and climb into their vehicles. It’s a short drive to the police station, but recent suicide bomb attacks give reason for extra caution and vigilance as they roll out.
| Full Story |

Iraq’s ESU leads cordon and search
Story and photo by Sgt. Michael Tuttle
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

KIRKUK, Iraq — The Emergency Services Unit here, with support from 25th Infantry Division Soldiers, conducted an early morning cordon and search operation Saturday outside the city.

The ESU searched three villages for contraband with 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment Soldiers, while an American civil affairs team spoke with locals to gauge living conditions in the area.

“The villages were thoroughly searched,” said 1st Lt. John Byler., A Company platoon leader, 2-35. “These guys are allowed to have one AK and one magazine. A couple guys tried to get away with five so we’d take the extra four.” | Full Story |

Iraqis celebrate school reopening
Courtesy of American Forces Press Service

BAGHDAD — A neighborhood north of Ramadi celebrated the reopening of a school Tuesday. Also this week, U.S. and Iraqi forces provided aid to citizens in Adhamiyah, and Iraqi Forces distributed winter clothes and blankets to students in Tal Afar Monday.

Iraqi Soldiers and Coalition troops joined the celebration in Ramadi, and community leaders asked Maj. Derek Horst, civil affairs team leader, 4th Civil Affairs Group, to cut the ribbon for al Haitham School. The school provides classes for the children of Abu Jassim tribe.

The school temporarily closed in November for renovations. Tribal leader Sheik Taher, who oversaw the renovations, led the group of military and community leaders on a brief tour of the building after the ribbon cutting.
| Full Story |

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