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Iraqi Army Brigade Makes Positive Step Toward Indepent Operations

By 1stLt Nathan J. Braden

FALLUJAH, Iraq - Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division spearheaded their second independent security operation here today.

Iraqi soldiers searched and cleared three Fallujah neighborhoods with a history of insurgent activity in order to empty the area of insurgents, look for weapons caches, and continue to build and improve their relationships with the citizens.

Operation Eagle 2 resulted in the discovery of one improvised explosive device and enhanced relations between the residents of Fallujah and the Iraqi soldiers.

The operation was a success because it gave the soldiers more tactical experience, which increases their capabilities and boosts their confidence, said Iraqi Command Sgt. Maj. Abdulrazzaq Abdullah.

The senior enlisted soldier in 2nd Brigade added that the unit wants to do more of these operations in the future, because they show the people the soldiers are there for their protection.

The brigade was assisted in the operation by the Fallujah Police Department. Officers from the city supported the search by providing additional security in the three neighborhoods as the soldiers patrolled the streets and met with residents.

The operation was also supported by Marines from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, who manned an outer security cordon while Iraqi security forces conducted the search.

Marine military advisors to the brigade accompanied the brigade staff during the operation.

"Today's security operation did a good job disrupting the enemy, but another benefit was that the brigade staff's ability to command and control was greatly improved from the brigade's first operation a few weeks ago," said Maj. Brian D. Wirtz, operations advisor to 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division.

The brigade made a positive step toward independent operations today, added Wirtz, 32, from Carlsbad, Calif. They also identified key areas they will work to improve for their next operation, he said.

The 2nd Brigade, 1st Iraqi Army Division is partnered with Regimental Combat Team 5, under the I Marine Expeditionary Force (Fwd) in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Source: USMC

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