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ON POINT II: Transition to the New Campaign

The United States Army in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM May 2003-January 2005


The completion of a project as vast in scope as On Point II is the work of hundreds of people, each of whom deserves individual recognition but which are too many to single out. The Contemporary Operations Study Team (COST) in the Combat Studies Institute (CSI) was formed in late 2005 within the US Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to begin the project. General (Retired) Kevin Byrnes, then the Commander, US Army Training and Doctrine Command, and General William Wallace, then the Commander, US Army Combined Arms Center, had the vision to initiate and resource the project and the team. When General George W. Casey Jr. became Chief of Staff of the Army in 2007, he made himself available for an interview. General David Petraeus, during his tenure as CAC commander, also assisted the On Point II team in many ways, to include a thorough review of the entire first draft. The Director of the Army Staff, Lieutenant General (Retired) James Campbell, helped us greatly with the Department of the Army review process. The Chief of Army Public Affairs, Major General Anthony Cucolo, also shepherded the study through the review and public release processes.

The individual members of the COST accomplished the hard work of visualizing the project, finding documents, traveling, scheduling and conducting interviews, and writing first drafts of each chapter. Major James Tenpenny deserves special recognition for being the temporary chief of the COST in 2005 and early 2006 and overseeing the creation of the team and the first months of its work. Staff Sergeant Ernst J. Amelang’s initiative and technical skill provided the team with its office and information technology (IT) equipment and support. Ms. Catherine Shadid Small served as the team manager and skillfully orchestrated thousands of details while conceptualizing the overall structure of the study. Mr. Dennis Van Wey, a US Army Reserve Civil Affairs officer who served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, brought his expertise and experience to the chapter on reconstruction operations. Mr. James Bird, a retired Army officer, worked on the chapters concerned with combined arms operations and Soldier well-being. Dr. Peter Connors, also a retired Army officer, concentrated on the study’s analysis of Army governance operations. Ms. Lynne Chandler Garcia focused her efforts on understanding and explaining the Coalition’s program to establish new Iraqi security forces. Ms. Christine Curtin, Ms. Angela Bowman, and Ms. Angela McClain all contributed to the heavy editorial work on various versions of the manuscript, and transcriptionist Ms. Kim Sanborn expertly transcribed the hundreds of interviews conducted with participants in the campaign. Archivist Ray Barker imposed order on the vast amount of documents and interviews that were gathered and made them accessible to the researchers and writers. Ms. Robin Kern, assisted by Major Channing Greene, collected or created all the visual images in this book. Major Chad Quayle and Major Jeffrey Holmes reviewed drafts of the study and provided research assistance while working at CSI.

Many organizations and individuals helped us gather primary materials and provided us with invaluable feedback after reviewing early drafts of the study. Mr. Frank Shirer and Ms. Chris Koontz at the US Army Center of Military History (CMH) helped us collect a large amount of documentary material from their voluminous archive. Mr. Kevin McKedy provided excellent access to the records of US Army-Europe and V Corps. Mr. Hamric Ellis, the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment historian, provided a large number of documents about the regiment’s operations in 2003 and 2004. We also owe a debt of gratitude to many others who assisted with the scheduling of interviews with participants in OIF. Brigadier General Michael Linnington, former brigade commander in the 101st Airborne Division, not only sat for two interviews but helped us coordinate interviews with many other Soldiers who served in Iraq.

Dr. Alexander Cochran, Historical Advisor to General Casey, offered critical insights that greatly improved the study. Dr. Richard Stewart, Lieutenant Colonel Shane Story, and other reviewers at the CMH provided excellent advice for revisions. Colonel Marc Warren (Retired) and other officers at the Department of the Army Office of the Judge Advocate General took the time to carefully review chapters 5 and 6, focusing us closely on doctrinal and legal issues. Major General Barbara Fast, former commander of the US Army Intelligence Center, also provided critical input on these important chapters. Colonel William Darley, Chief of Military Review, and Colonel (Retired) Paul Tiberi helped us sort out the conceptual and doctrinal issues in chapter 7. CSI historian Mr. Matt Matthews provided valuable input to chapter 8 about Operation AL FAJR based on his book about the battle. CSI historian Mr. John McGrath reviewed chapter 8 and provided outstanding support with the order of battle, chronology, and analysis about the Iraqi Armed Forces in support of chapter 11. Armor Branch Historian Dr. Robert Cameron and Transportation Branch Historian Mr. Richard Kilblane each assisted with issues concerning armor and transportation operations. Major General Charles Fletcher provided very useful comments on chapter 12. Dr. Sanders Marble, Major Richard Prior, and Major Lewis Barger at the Office of Medical History in the Office of the Surgeon General provided invaluable input and reviews of chapter 13. Dr. Brian Linn, Professor of History at Texas A&M, and Dr. Adrian Lewis, Professor of History at North Texas State University, also provided important comments on the study.

Many Department of Defense (DOD) organizations and unit historians provided input and reviewed portions of the manuscript in their areas of expertise, including National Guard historian Ms. Renee Hylton; US Army Reserve Command historian Dr. Lee Harford; US Central Command historian Dr. John Q. Smith; US Special Operations Command historian Dr. John Partin; US Army V Corps historian Dr. Harold Raugh; Major Frank Gilbertson from the 1st Armored Division; Captain James Page from the 101st Airborne Division; Mr. Adam Elia, historian with the 25th Infantry Division; and Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Bogart from the 4th Infantry Division. Special thanks to Major Scott Znamenacek, the 1st Infantry Division historian, for providing extraordinary assistance with his unit’s archive and in reviewing this study.

Dr. William Glenn Robertson, CSI Deputy and CAC Command Historian, mentored the COST, ensuring that the team stayed on course during the long periods of research and chapter revisions. CSI editor Ms. Elizabeth Weigand deserves special recognition for her extraordinary efforts to turn the manuscript and visual materials into printable form.

We are indebted to all those who agreed to be interviewed for the book about their roles in OIF. From Soldier to Sergeant to General to senior civilian, each one gave their time in support of the project. Finally, for every Soldier and civilian who has served in Iraq or supported OIF, this is their story and we have tried to honor their hard work and sacrifice by telling it accurately and honestly.

In spite of all the assistance and support, we are well aware that readers will find errors of fact and judgment in this project, for which the lead authors take full responsibility.

Dr. Donald Wright Colonel Timothy Reese
Chief, COST Director, Combat Studies Institute

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