May 11, 2008 —
An IA soldier and U.S. Army Pfc. Timothy Wohlfert pull security during a joint patrol in Iraq on April 29. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Marshall Tucker)
FOB ISKAN, Iraq (May 11, 2008) – Coalition forces are conducting joint patrols with the Iraqi army throughout the fish farm areas of North Babil, approximately 50 kilometers south of Baghdad.
On one joint patrol, April 29, Soldiers of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3th Infantry Division, evaluated the progress of fish farmers cleaning their farms preparing to receive economic aid from organizations such as the U.S. Agency for International Development.
A year ago, the fish farms were not operational due to al-Qaida influence. However, with improved security, the fish farms are quickly becoming the major source of local income they once were.
“We are surprised, but happy, to see the Soldiers in this neighborhood so often,” said Mahmud Khudair Abbas, a local fish farmer. “It has helped my family sleep without worry.”
Patrolling alongside American Soldiers allows their Iraqi counterparts to see how the U.S. Army operates, helping them become part of the team, said Spc. Salvador Diaz, of 3rd Platoon, Co. B., 3-7th Inf. Regt.
The U.S. Soldiers also benefit as Iraqis can point out details about people or places they wouldn’t necessarily notice on their own, Diaz said.
“We’ve definitely seen an improvement in how the IA prepares and executes these patrols,” he said.