Skip to comments.Residents of Hababiyah welcome Cavalry troops
Posted on 08/14/2007 7:00:16 PM PDT by SandRat
FORWARD OPERATING BASE RUSTAMIYAH — Knowing the lay of the land is important for a successful operation, but just as important is knowing the local people and showing them that coalition forces are here to help, and not harm them.
Soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Company D, 1st Squadron, 8th Cavalry, attached to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, have been given the task of providing security and helping the people of Hababiyah, an eastern Baghdad neighborhood. The platoon recently went into the neighborhood for the first time to give humanitarian aid and other supplies to the residents.
Sgt. William A. Pulkinen, a tank commander, said his hasn’t had any problem in that area yet.
“If we continue to do this, we can prevent mass chaos,” he said. Pulkinen, of Raynham, Mass., said one goal is to get water and electricity problems in the area fixed.
Spc. Ronnie H. Page, a tank crewman, said it’s important to gain the trust of the people in that area, so they can help provide critical information and not attack coalition forces.
Page, of Camdenton, Mo., said they conducted a census to help get an overall makeup of the neighborhood.
“We want to establish a relationship with the people,” he said. “As far as we know, no one has been in that sector for a long time. We’re trying to establish relationships so they know we’re good.”
Pulkinen said everything is still new to the platoon since they recently moved into this area. He said another goal of the census and house-to-house calls is to establish which tribal leaders are in charge of the neighborhood. The houses they went to were chosen at random.
Some of the houses they came across were abandoned. These homes were continuously checked to ensure no one had stolen the home by moving in, Pulkinen said.
So far, Pulkinen said the platoon has not had any problems.
“From the times we’ve been up there, we’ve been well-received in that area,” he said. “At the same time, we try to ensure that we can mitigate any attacks.”
Page said most Iraqis act nice, but only time will tell if the neighborhood is truly friendly to coalition forces.
“It’s good to start getting on the ground and meeting these people and see how they are,” he said. “Just from the first impression, you get a good idea of how the (neighborhood) is going to work out.”
The left will not accept this good news from Iraq. It is only propaganda from the evil terrorist bush administration /sarc. Bush is murdering innocent civilians in Iraq, and killing the freedom fighters from the religion of peace. /sarc again