Mullen talks security at Ninewa Combined Coordination Center
August 7, 2011
By Capt. Philip Crabtree 4th Advise and Assist Brigade Public Affairs 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Division-North
During what is expected to be his final trip to visit troops in Iraq, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, met with Iraqi Security Forces leaders to discuss progress in northern Iraq, August 1.
Mullen led a roundtable discussion with local police, army, and Kurdish Security Forces leaders, as well as U.S. commanders from 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, and U.S. Division " North at the Ninewa Combined Coordination Center and heard firsthand about efforts the ISF have made in improving security in Mosul and Ninewa province.
“I’ve watched this from afar and have been very impressed in the process,” said Mullen after hearing about the effectiveness of the NCCC. “This takes bold leadership.”
The NCCC serves as a hub to coordinate security efforts between the Iraqi Army and police, as well as the Kurdish Security Forces in areas of mutual concern in northern Iraq. The center facilitates all parties having a common concept of security issues throughout northern Iraq and serves as a catalyst for coordination between them.
“One of the benefits is this is a way to bring all security forces together to assess situations together,” said Maj. Gen. David Perkins, commanding general of 4th Infantry Division and U.S. Division " North. “It’s more coordination to prevent misunderstandings rather than anything else.”
Mullen also met with commanding general of the Ninewa Operations Command, staff Lt. Gen. Hassan.
Mullen and Hassan spoke about improvements the Iraqi Army has made in targeting and defeating extremist threats in northern Iraq.
The Iraqi army worked in concert with the Iraqi police and Kurdish security forces to provide a mutual solution to securing Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city.
“Throughout the last few years, and with the help of U.S. generals, we were able to establish a good relationship with the police,” said Hassan.
Hassan expressed his satisfaction with the leadership and focus Col. Brian Winski, commander of 4th AAB, took during Operation New Dawn, which is oriented toward advising, training and assisting ISF units.
“Colonel Winski has helped us with training, allowing us to focus on external threats, defending our borders and protecting our national sovereignty,” Hassan said.
Encouraged by the efforts of both the 4th AAB and the ISF in Ninewa, Mullen reiterated the United States’ commitment to a lasting alliance and partnership with Iraq before departing.
“We value the strategic relationship between our two countries and are very committed to it,” he said.
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