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News | June 1, 2008

Iraqi, Coaliton troops work to improve aid

By None , 25th Inf. Div.

Iraqi army soldiers from the 6th Company, 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, set out boxes and bags of food during a humanitarian aid mission in Dehna Village, west of Baghdad May 29. The IA soldiers worked with Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division to collect and pass out aid. (U.S. Army photo/Spc Dustin Weidman)
Iraqi army soldiers from the 6th Company, 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, set out boxes and bags of food during a humanitarian aid mission in Dehna Village, west of Baghdad May 29. The IA soldiers worked with Multi-National Division - Baghdad Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division to collect and pass out aid. (U.S. Army photo/Spc Dustin Weidman)

BAGHDAD (June 1, 2008) – The line extended out the gate, around the corner and disappeared up the narrow street. The residents of Dehna Village, west of Baghdad, lined up waiting for aid May 29.

The mood was the same at any point in the line; excitement, relief and gratitude. Whether it was a woman, there for her family, or one of the scores of children waiting for a free toy and maybe some candy, all were very grateful to the soldiers who brought with them help and hope.

Commando soldiers of the 6th Company, 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division conducted a humanitarian assistance food distribution with Soldiers from their partnered unit, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment “Gimlets,” 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad.

Since taking control of the area in January, Soldiers of 1st Bn. 21st Inf. Regt. and those of the 24th Bde. have made great strides in partnering with one another to conduct combined operations to secure the population of Abu Ghraib.

This humanitarian aid mission is one example of both units working together.

“I was surprised how quickly the resources came together and at the capabilities of the Commando company,” said Capt. David Uthlaut, a native of Charleston, S.C., and commander, Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, attached to the Gimlets.

The combined effort was a result of the village sheik expressing his village’s need for food. Uthlaut said he immediately turned to the 24th Bde. for help

“They were eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible,” said Uthlaut.

The Commandos have proven themselves in several past operations with Gimlet Soldiers but this was the first mission of this kind the two units conducted together and it proved to be a big success.

“They already have a reputation for being tactically proficient,” said Spc Aaron Miller, a native of San Antonio, and infantryman with Co. C, “now the people also see a different side, one that cares and protects.”