BAGHDAD, Iraq, March 9, 2006 - MG J.D. Thurman, commanding
general, Multi-National Division - Baghdad, and CSM Ronald Riling,
were escorted by 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division
leaders, through a tour of eastern Baghdad, March 1st.
The tour provided Thurman and Riling an opportunity to visit
with local residents and gather their viewpoints on essential
services and quality of life in their neighborhoods.
They also met with Iraqi army and 4th BCT leaders during
on-site discussions in the brigade's sector, including Sadr
While visiting residents in Zafarania and the Muhallas, Thurman
took advantage of an opportunity to hand out toy animals to excited
neighborhood children. LTC Kevin Milton, commander, 4th
Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, introduced Thurman
to the residents, who shared their concerns about security and
During the visit, Thurman assured them the division would provide
assistance to help their local leaders resolve their issues.
The leaders accompanying him also listened to the concerns of
the residents, while translators kept the dialogue flowing.
On one of the main thoroughfares of east Baghdad, Thurman visited
one of the check points used by the Iraqi police to monitor traffic.
LTC Mark Bertolini, commander, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment
(attached to HHC, 506th RCT), described the build
up of the check points, using an M1 Abrams tank's front hull
as his desk.
He described combined operations with the Iraqi army and how
well the Iraqi police perform in screening traffic. Bertolini's
tankers patrol portions of the road and provide assistance to
the Iraqi Police when they request support.
After a quick lunch, LTC Scott Coy, commander, 801st Brigade
Support Battalion, described the mission his Soldiers perform
on a daily basis. He said his Soldiers make countless trips to
the major supply hubs in the city and that his Soldiers are among
the most experienced patrollers in the area.
During a tour through Sadr City, Thurman sat and talked to a
group of men near an auto mechanics shop. The men said they wanted
electricity supplied to their homes and businesses more consistently.
"We will help you have better security and see the projects
through to completion," responded Thurman. "We'll work
to improve the availability of electricity and continue working
to help finish the water distribution network."
During a tour of the R-3 Water Treatment Facility, located north
of Sadr City, engineers showed Thurman the tremendous progress
"This facility will provide million of gallons of clean
water to this portion of Baghdad daily," said LTC Chris
Hall, commander, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, in
talking about when the project is finished later this year. Hall
also described how the 19 completed water compact units, as well
as the 61 currently being worked on, will provide clean water
to Sadr City residents. The project is vital, since the hot summer
weather greatly increases demand for drinking water.
"It is important to get the best people to do this,"
said Thurman, "and I'll be back to check up on what you
Thurman also met with MG Jawad, commander of the 2nd Brigade,
6th Iraqi Army Division, and thanked him for his strong leadership
in protecting mosques following the bombing of the Samarra Golden
LTC Brian Winski, commander, 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment,
whose Soldiers assist with security in Adhamiyah, described
how Jawad's troops helped end a confrontation at a major Sunni
mosque and convinced the occupiers to leave without violence.
Winski showed the mosque to Thurman so he could see for himself
that all was well.
photos by CPT James F. Lowe, 506th
|CSM Ronald Riling (R),
Multinational Division-Baghdad, talks with MAJ Johnnie
Davis [HHC (S3), 506th RCT], while
conducting a patrol with the 506th RCT soldiers.
Riling accompanied MG J.D. Thurman, commanding general, Multinational
Baghdad, on a tour of eastern Baghdad to meet with the local
residents and view
progress of projects in their neighborhoods.
|(R): LTC Mark Bertolini,
commander, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment,
4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division (attached
to the 506th RCT), shows the layout
of an Iraqi police checkpoint to (C): MG
J.D. Thurman, commanding general,
Multinational Division-Baghdad, on the front deck of an M1 Abrams
tank on a
main thoroughfare of east Baghdad, as (L):
LTC Christopher Hall (CO, 4th
|(C): CSM Ronald Riling, Multinational
Division-Baghdad, talks with
(R): CSM Charles Lakin, Jr. (BN
CSM, 4-320th FA) while conducting
a patrol with 506th RCT soldiers, March 1, 2006.
MG J.D. Thurman, commanding general, Multinational Division-Baghdad,
on a tour of eastern Baghdad to meet with the local residents
and to view
progress of projects in their neighborhoods.