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Operation River Falcon: 'We're taking the fight to these guys'

By Staff Sgt. Kevin Lovel
363rd MPAD

ARAB JABUR, Iraq (Army News Service, Aug. 3, 2006) – In an effort to provide safety for local residents, reduce the number of IEDs and deny safe havens and supply routes for terrorists, Soldiers from Multi-National Division – Baghdad’s Troop B, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, worked alongside Iraqi soldiers from 5th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division to conduct dismounted cordon and knock missions in support of Operation River Falcon.

“This is the first time we’ve had a lot of troopers out here (Arab Jabur) in force,” said 1st Lt. Patrick Rice, scout platoon leader, Troop B, 1-10 Cav. Regt.

The Soldiers worked their way from one set of targets to another to rid the region of terrorist suspects who have endangered the area’s residents with multiple IEDs, small-arms fire and mortar attacks, added Rice.

“The mission went pretty well. We detained a suspected terrorist without coming under attack or getting anyone hurt,” said Rice, commenting on his platoon’s early-morning to midday mission in late July.

Intelligence reports indicated the suspect had been involved in a network that manufactured and emplaced IEDs in the roads and farmland around Arab Jabur, said Rice adding that the Iraqi army has been an able team player in these types of missions.

“The biggest help we’ve received from the IA is that they know the culture, can tell if someone is lying, and they can interpret the emotions,” said Rice.

Rice said the biggest key in gaining the trust of the local residents was in providing a continued presence in the area.

“You have to expose yourself long-term in order for the residents to feel comfortable providing information,” said Rice.

Terrorists have been using routes along the Tigris River in towns such as Arab Jabur to bring supplies and bomb-making materials into Baghdad, said Rice.

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