Momentum in Mosul

Aggressive effort in Mosul has fostered security and marked improvements in essential living conditions, governmental infrastructure and services. One particular battalion in Task Force Olympia, the 2nd Battalion 3rd Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team (Stryker) of the 2nd Infantry Division, continues to execute its campaign of targeting terrorist, training and partnering with the new Iraqi National Guard, and facilitating the rebuilding of needed infrastructure projects.

 Security operations directed at the insurgency are now executed together by U.S. forces and the Iraqi National Guard. A comprehensive, U.S. directed combined and individual training program has allowed U.S. forces to perform supporting operations in order to allow the Iraqi's to execute final assault operations on the selected target or objective area. Combat multiplier assets such as attack aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are integrated into the operation in order to provide continuous over watch of the objective and target area.

Earlier this morning, I witnessed a joint operation raid that was directed at a "high value" insurgency target that had been linked to mortar and direct fire attacks against Coalition forces. Iraqi National Guard forces executed the raid with determination and precision. The net result was the capture of three insurgents directly linked to a network of terrorists focused at disrupting current stability operations in Iraq.

Successful combat operations are the result of a cohort training strategy resourced and executed by the 2nd Battalion 3rd Infantry. This program of instruction, built from the ground up, has produced a fighting force that is ready to take over the insurgency fight completely. Contrary to prevailing media reports, the training and actual combat operations are highly successful. The Iraqis' success is due to a completely rebuilt training center at the once decimated Al Kindi Iraqi Military Base. The training center, which now houses the new Iraqi Battalion, is complete with "coalition standard" living conditions, dinning facility, ranges, unit areas and offices.

Within the city of Mosul, the 2nd Battalion 3rd Infantry has resourced a critical infrastructure project program designed to refurbish and build essential facilities for the residents of Mosul. Funds are provided from the Overseas Humanitarian Disaster Assistance and Civic Actions Fund (OHDACA). Within an eight-month period the Iraqis have seen 39 projects come to fruition of which 18 are schools, 13 sewer projects and 3 water projects. 61 more projects await final completion. Total funds requested are in excess of $5.5 million. Over 55 projects to include 19 schools, 7 health care facilities and other essential needs have also been expediently resourced from the local commanders Emergency Relief Program Projects totaling over $1.5 million.

The overwhelming success in the Mosul area of operations is due to a committed and dedicated fighting force that continues to attack the insurgency via three avenues: security; training the Iraqi National Guard; and rebuilding Iraq's critical infrastructure for future generations. When I traveled throughout Mosul, Iraqi Police and National Guard members were executing their missions. Checkpoints were manned and Iraqi citizens were going about their everyday business.

Throughout my stay with the 2nd Battalion 3rd Infantry, it was apparent that morale was high. The reenlistment rate exceeded its goals by 150%. These dedicated soldiers and leaders are committed to finishing what they started. I asked one soldier what was his measurement of success. He stated it was the complete upgrade and refurbishment of needy schools and seeing children going to school. Iraqi children begin school in two weeks.

Read Scott's last report here.