Olmsted was determined to make a difference in Iraq. "The sooner the Iraqi government doesn't need U.S. support to provide security for its people, the sooner we will probably be asked to leave."
Technically, the job we do is one the Army has had troops doing for many years: Foreign Internal Defense, or FID, is a core task of the Special Forces and has been for decades. For a very long time, the SF has spent a great deal of its time and energy on training local security forces to make them capable of defending their own lands, and they are reputed to be quite good at it. However, there are not enough ODAs (Operational Detachment Alpha, an SF team of 10-12 men, formerly known as an A Team) to train an army the size of Iraq's, particularly as the Army has been relying on the SF to do many more kinetic operations during this war. Thus the MiTTs.
We are fortunate that the local ODA is very user-friendly and has worked very well with us thus far; we gone on three different missions with them, including yesterday's. A total of five ODAs launched a midnight raid into one of the worst parts of our AO, rolling up a pair of the AQI leadership in our area as well as a number of smaller fish. Because the raid went off at night, it was hard to find caches, so first thing the next morning we rolled out to our nearest company and asked if they could help us. They were more than willing, so we headed into enemy territory and started searching the areas for weapons caches.
We hit the jackpot, finding a store of IED-making materials, mortars, RPGs, huge artillery rounds, ammunition, fuzes...it was an incredible amount of stuff, and it took close to three hours to unearth it all, catalog it, and destroy it. (Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the explosion...most impressive.) That was the high point of the day, as we struck out at the other places we searched, even during a mildly stressful search of an Iraqi compound where the enemy was reputed to have a hiding place we had to find while being prepared to be engaged by defenders. As it turned out, it was abandoned and we couldn't find any hiding places, so after about ten hours we called it a day and headed back to the FOB.
And a good thing, too. Walking around fields wearing body armor, weapons, and more looking for signs of digging is an unpleasant task. I'm pleased to report that the Iraqis did a great job, though, finding several things we missed and demonstrating both initiative and determination to finish the job. It was a good operation, even if it feels as though I'm developing a hunchback, and we look forward to the IA stepping up their operations in the AO now that we've taken down two of the worst customers in the area.
Great job by you and your men. Hopefully, this will make your future a little less dangerous. I admire you and your unit immeasurably, being willing and able to do what amounts to a very dangerous and uncomfortable job for a country that doesn't always appreciate what you are accomplishing.
Glad to hear that the IA is beginning to be effective in your area at least. That information is in direct contrast to the gloom and doom that we hear on the 'unsightly' nightly news.
Keep up the good work.Posted by wes on October 1, 2007 06:51 AM
You must be doing a very great job getting the Iraqi's to be willing to undertake such a task. I'm so very proud of you and what you are accomplishing over there. Keep safe. I'm praying for you daily for God to send angels to protect you. God bless and Love.Posted by Aunt Allie on October 3, 2007 04:06 PM
Thank you for your postings. My husband has just received orders that he will take part of a Mitt team. He is an instructor for AC/RC here on Carson and will arrive to Riley the first of next year to receive training. He departs from Riley in April next year. I have searching any information to help me to understand what his assignment. I do appreciate your postings and the information that you are providing.
Well done!! Thank you for the good news of some great progress being made. That also had to feel good to the Iraqi Army involved with all of you in such a productive day. Score: Good guys 1, Bad guys 0 !Posted by W. Clark on October 5, 2007 04:39 PM
I find this website by accident and I am grateful that I did!! My husband just found out he is leaving for a Mitt team and I wanted to find any information so that I can understand what his job will be for the next year. He is currently at Carson working with AC/RC. I wanted to say "thank you" for your postings.
DsaylesPosted by DSayles on October 6, 2007 12:28 AM
Great job! I'm glad that you and your men are doing this and insuring that your future won be so dangerous.This is a great progress.Posted by Frankie on October 10, 2007 08:43 AM
Great job! I'm glad that you and your men are doing this and insuring that your future won be so dangerous.This is a great progress.Posted by Frankie on October 10, 2007 08:49 AM
I admire you and I think you must be doing a very great job.
I also think that Iraq should have its own military force and that it should defend its own territory. It is sad seeing how Iraq can not defend its own land and their habitants.
Great job! I'm very happy for you guy and I'm glad your making your future less dangerous and that your helping people from Iraq know that we are with them.Posted by Frankie on October 10, 2007 08:51 AM
Thank you and your men Major for the great work you are doing. Take good care of yourselves, and a special hello to our son-in-law SFC Will Beaver. God bless you all and may He keep you safe.