Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

New Patrol Base Under Construction Near Sayifiyah
Multi-National Force - Iraq ^ | Sgt. Jason Stadel, USA

Posted on 03/11/2008 4:35:52 PM PDT by SandRat

A Soldier with the 535th Engineer Company operates a front-end loader to fill Hesco barriers at Patrol Base Vanderhorn March 6. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Stadel, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.
A Soldier with the 535th Engineer Company operates a front-end loader to fill Hesco barriers at Patrol Base Vanderhorn March 6. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jason Stadel, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — Construction of Patrol Base Vanderhorn began in early March near Sayifiyah, a region formerly controlled by insurgents.

The patrol base will be home to a company from 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).

PB Vanderhorn is named after Staff Sgt. Christopher Vanderhorn, a 1-187th Inf. Regt. Soldier killed in an improvised explosive device attack Jan. 1, 2006, during the battalion’s previous deployment to Iraq.

Building supplies were transported by the 26th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. The 535th Engineer Company, from Grafenwoehr, Germany, was tasked with building the base.

Food, water, base defense systems and living quarters were transported to the base by Companies A and B, 26th BSB. The battalion has helped build numerous patrol bases in the 2nd BCT’s area of operations since their deployment began last May. Building patrol bases is a much different mission than what the company tackled on their last deployment.

“Last time we were here we supported three FOBs,” said Staff Sgt. Carl Beasley, Co. A, 26th BSB operations sergeant, from Pensacola, Fla. “This time we’ve helped to build 11 patrol bases.”            

Building patrol bases that allow Soldiers to live among local residents is a main counterinsurgency strategy set forth by Gen. David Petraeus, commander of Multi-National Forces – Iraq.

Once supplies were delivered, the engineers went to work.

“We’re horizontal engineers,” said 1st Lt. Derek Benz, 3rd platoon leader, 535th Engineer Co. “We build from the ground up.”

PB Meade, another 1-187th Inf. Regt. patrol base, was also built by the 535th Engineer Co. They are normally a quick-reaction engineer unit that does rapid road repair. For example, if an IED were to explode and create a large crater in the road, they would be called to fix the hole to prevent another IED emplacement there, Benz said. However, with recent work, he said his Soldiers are becoming proficient at building patrol bases.

“We’ve learned from success,” Benz said, referring to PB Meade, which was fully operational in less than 30 days from the day construction started.

Most of the work is done by Coalition forces, but there is some Iraqi involvement.

A local crane operator, known simply as “Sammy,” was hired to move T-walls and large metal containers into place around the patrol base. Sammy worked at PB Meade and is now working at PB Vanderhorn. Benz said he is an asset to Coalition forces.

“He works and works and works,” Benz said. “He never complains; he goes until the job is done. I think he understands that we’re here to help so he works as hard as he can for us.”

In most cases, U.S. troops train Iraqis at various skills and trades, however, with Sammy the tables have turned. “This guy has even trained a couple of my Soldiers on how to run the crane,” Benz said. “He is helping our Soldiers get on-the-job experience.” 

Since liberating Sayifiyah from extremists, Coalition forces have started a Sons of Iraq program and held two coordinated medical engagements. The construction of PB Vanderhorn will put Coalition forces amongst Sayifiyah residents to help rebuild their community.

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; base; frwn; iraq

Press Releases

1 posted on 03/11/2008 4:35:54 PM PDT by SandRat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: 91B; HiJinx; Spiff; MJY1288; xzins; Calpernia; clintonh8r; TEXOKIE; windchime; Grampa Dave; ...
If you would like to be added to / removed from FRWN,
please FReepmail Sandrat.


2 posted on 03/11/2008 4:36:19 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SandRat

New 9010 report out.

3 posted on 03/11/2008 4:52:55 PM PDT by DJ Elliott
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: SandRat
Pro: God bless Sammy

Con: Sammy must be a Republican.

4 posted on 03/11/2008 5:35:16 PM PDT by PROCON (Dems=You can Fool Some of the People all of the Time--Abraham Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson