Theodore's World: In Country With Our Warrior's

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August 14, 2007

In Country With Our Warrior's

An AH-64D Apache Longbow Aviator awaits clearance from the control tower to take off to begin a mission over the skies over northern Iraq supporting ground forces. The 1st of the 82nd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion uses Apache Attack Helicopters to engage enemy forces during operation Iraqi Freedom.

TIKRIT, Iraq – The 25th Combat Aviation Brigade continued its lethal fight against insurgent forces when attack helicopters engaged and killed eight insurgents Aug. 9 in Salah ad Din province.

An attack helicopter received a “troops in contact” call from Coalition ground forces. The group of insurgents broke contact by the time the attack helicopters arrived to the location of the engagement. Moments later, the team observed 12 gunmen moving tactically near their attack position.

“Our attack and scout weapons aircraft will continue to fly day and night in support of Coalition and Iraqi ground forces,” said Maj. John Herrman, Brigade Fires and Effects Officer, 25th CAB. “For the enemy’s part, he should know that the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade is always watching.”

After confirming positive identification of the enemy with ground forces, the attack team fired on the gunmen, killing eight.

“The use of attack helicopters provides great leverage in our fight against al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations trying to disrupt and harm the civilian population,” said Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of Coalition forces in Diyala. “Our ability to have lethal eyes in the sky is vital to our mission accomplishment and truly shows the enemy that they cannot and will not hide from our forces.”

Marne Soldier's re-enlistment holds special significance By Sgt. 1st Class Craig Zentkovich CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – Everybody has one.

It may be a family member, a teacher, or a coach – an extraordinary person who makes such an impact that one’s life is forever changed.

For Staff Sgt. Steven A. Holloway that one person was a friend, mentor and leader.

The story of Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith is known to the nation. His actions in combat on April 4, 2003, above and beyond the call of duty, led to him being posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

On Aug. 10, Holloway, on his third combat tour to Iraq, raised his right hand to indefinitely reaffirm his commitment to the Army in the exact location where Smith gave his life to preserve those of his Soldiers.

Holloway, a 12-year Army veteran, was in the fight on in 2003 with Company B, 11th Engineer Battalion, securing a breach in a wall 100 meters from Smith when Smith was killed. Smith was his platoon sergeant for 10 months, his friend for three years.

“It’s still kind of hard to go back there,” said Holloway, whose only other time back there was on April 4, 2005, when Smith’s son, David, was presented his father’s Medal of Honor in Washington. “I lost a friend that day … and a mentor who taught me what it means to take care of Soldiers.”

Now serving as the Task Force Marne Engineer Operations noncommissioned officer, Holloway said tjunior Soldiers are the primary reason he made the choice to re-enlist.

“When Smitty was my platoon sergeant, we trained a lot – he was big on training young Soldiers,” he said. “He was hard to work for; a perfectionist. But his Soldiers were always the best at what they did, and they knew it.”
“That’s how I am. I love to train Soldiers. That’s what I want to do,” he said, adding that there are still hundreds of future combat engineers who will need a competent leader capable of mentoring, training and teaching them. “I’ve still got a lot of work to do (in the Army), and I’ve got enough experience to provide that leadership.”

Holloway, who has been a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier for nine years, told his Soldiers after the ceremony that he re-enlisted for them and others like them. He said he hopes the lessons he’s learned in Soldiering and leading while serving as a sapper in the Marne Division will be passed on to young Soldiers for years to come – a lesson taught to him on that fateful day in 2003.

“That’s why I re-enlisted,” he said. “So the young Soldiers can carry on not only what I teach them, but what Smitty taught me.”

Coalition Forces Capture, Kill Insurgents in Iraq Department of Defense

Iraqi and coalition forces detained 66 insurgents, killed five others and discovered weapons in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.

Coalition forces detained 30 suspected terrorists yesterday around Iraq during operations aimed at dismantling bombing networks and senior al Qaeda leadership.

— Troops raided a series of buildings north of Karmah targeting terrorist operatives working for the al Qaeda in Iraq emir, or terrorist unit commander, in the area. The emir’s network is responsible for car bombings, including attacks involving chlorine. Ground forces detained 17 suspected terrorists with alleged ties to the network, military officials said.

— During an operation south of Tarmiyah, coalition forces detained five suspected terrorists allegedly connected to an explosives expert who worked in the Baghdad car-bombing network. In a nearby operation, troops detained one suspected terrorist involved in weapons trafficking for al Qaeda in Iraq, military officials said.

— Coalition forces targeted close associates of al Qaeda in Iraq’s senior leaders during operations in western Baghdad and Mosul. Ground forces detained two suspected terrorists in the two raids.

— Northeast of Samarra, ground forces raided several buildings associated with the al Qaeda in Iraq emir of Samarra. Troops detained two men outside the buildings. Coalition forces also targeted the al Qaeda in Iraq network in Tikrit, nabbing three suspects.

“Our operations continue to target those who associate with and work for al Qaeda in Iraq’s leaders,” said Army Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. “The pressure is on, and we are keeping them on the run.”

During operations in Iraq on Aug. 11:

— Iraqi security forces and U.S. Special Forces advisors nabbed 16 suspected al Qaeda in Iraq insurgents in the village of Subayat Hamash, near Sinjar. Four detainees are suspected cell leaders wanted by the Iraqi army for improvised-explosive-device and mortar attacks and for hijacking food shipments. Troops also seized six vehicles during the operation, including four passenger cars, a pick-up truck and a dump truck.

— Coalition forces killed two terrorists and detained 10 suspects during operations targeting senior al Qaeda leaders in central and northern Iraq. Intelligence reports indicate two detainees were members of a cell responsible for the July 16 suicide truck bombing that killed 80 Iraqis in Kirkuk.

— Coalition forces killed three terrorists and detained 10 suspects during raids targeting foreign terrorists in Salah ad Din and Tamim provinces. Military officials believe at least three suspects are linked to a network of terrorists who facilitate the movement of foreign terrorists into Iraq. During the raids, troops also discovered a cache of homemade bombs, machine gun ammunition and a cell phone rigged as an IED trigger.

Posted by Wild Thing at August 14, 2007 12:44 AM


I'm not a fan of Rap Music but this Marines says it pretty good.

Posted by: BobF at August 14, 2007 10:24 AM

SSG Holloway is the kind of soldier I always liked to serve with. Good Luck in the rest of your career Steven.

Posted by: TomR at August 14, 2007 12:03 PM

Bob that is so wonderful, thank you so much.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 15, 2007 12:09 AM

Tom, it is such a priviledge to read of those we have serving and be able to get to know them in some small way.
Thank you Tom for your comments about SSG Holloway.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 15, 2007 12:12 AM

I saw the rap video and can take it or leave it, but the silent Drill team is Awe inspireing.

Posted by: Mark at August 15, 2007 11:00 AM