Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Iraq Updates From CENTCOM

With vital stories like NBC's marathon three-month Katrina coverage and Paris Hilton's antics crowding busy network newscast schedules, The Dread Pundit Bluto is picking up the slack by bringing you some of the Iraq War stories that the mainstream media just don't have time to cover, i.e., everything other than terrorist attacks and US casualties.

From a CENTCOM press release:
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Task Force Baghdad Soldiers teamed up with Iraqi security forces to conduct Operation Thunder Blitz in southern Baghdad Nov. 29, resulting in the capture of 33 terror suspects.

Moving rapidly into the area, hundreds of U.S. Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and Iraqi forces from the 1st Battalion, 2nd Commando Brigade (Wolf Battalion) took the enemy by surprise by securing seven different objective areas along the Tigris River.

Operation Thunder Blitz focused on removing weapons and terrorists from the streets prior to the Dec. 15 elections.
CAMP ECHO, Iraq – Multinational Division Central South Soldiers completed three civil-military cooperation projects this week in the Diwaniyah province.

In al Shamiyah, 30 kilometers south of ad Diwaniyah, MNDCS soldiers provided a new sewage system for 60 houses. The new system will improve the problem of flooding during the rainy season.

Another project involved upgrading the central fuel station with a 500 kilowatt generator to improve the efficiency of the station.

The third project completed this week was a new 3.5 kilometer road built in the northern part of al Diwaniya city.

All three projects were prepared by Polish Soldiers.
TIKRIT, Iraq – Iraqi and U.S. forces have removed more than 4,200 mortar rounds from a major weapons cache found outside of an abandoned military base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Sunday.

The buried rounds were discovered by Iraqi Soldiers Sunday morning. The Soldiers removed about 800 mortar rounds before realizing that the cache was much larger than they originally thought. U.S. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team were called in to help excavate the munitions and secure the area.

The ammunition was buried under concrete blocks with dirt mounded on top. All of the ammunition removed so far has come from one mound located in a field full of similar mounds. The explosives ordnance disposal team at the site expects to find more rounds as the search expands throughout the field.
AL HILLAH, Iraq -- On Nov. 29 the 2nd Iraqi Army Brigade from al Hillah successfully accomplished its certification process. From Nov. 24 – 27, military instructors from Multi-National Division Central-South tested the combat readiness of 2nd Brigade Headquarters and subunits.

The exam confirmed that the 2nd Brigade is ready to plan and conduct military activities independently. It opens the way to hand over the responsibility for a safe and secure environment in Babil Province from Coalition Forces to Iraqi Army units.

From now on 2nd Brigade will plan and conduct independent operations within its area of responsibility. MNDCS support will be given only in emergency situations by providing a quick reaction force, MEDEVAC or air support. However, MNDCS military advisors and trainers will still monitor 2nd Brigade activities.

The 2nd Brigade certification is a two stage process of IA training within MNDCS AOR. After battalion level certification had been achieved in mid-July, the higher brigade level has now also been accomplished.

The 2nd Brigade consists of two battalions located in different places within Babil province. It numbers about 1,800 Soldiers equipped in light armored vehicles with a variety of weapons.

The brigade has taken part in five combat operations so far.
I'm reprinting these stories on the off chance that our loyal, unbiased, non-partisan mainstream media completely ignore them due to the crush of celebrity events and holiday shopping news.