Thursday, April 24, 2008

Leaders Meet at FOB Hammer to Discuss Security

Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr. (right), from Prince George's County, Md., commander of the 3rd BCT, listens as leaders from 3/1 NP Brigade; 35/9 IA Div.; the Mada'in Qada police force; and tribal leaders, discuss security issues during a meeting at FOB Hammer, on April 23.

By Spc. Ben Hutto
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – Leaders from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team met with the 3rd brigade, 1st national police division; the 35th brigade, 9th Iraqi army division; Iraqi police and civic leaders from the Mada’in Qada at FOB Hammer to discuss ways to improve the security of the qada.

In the month prior to the meeting, Soldiers from the 3rd BCT and Iraqi security forces seized several large caches and detained numerous criminals.

“We have worked very hard to maintain the security gains we made here,” said Col. Wayne W. Grigsby, Jr., from Prince George’s County, Md., commander of the 3rd BCT, addressing his ISF partners. “You are able to get better information than we ever could, and that has made a huge difference in tracking down these extremists.”

Grigsby discussed the transition between the 3rd BCT and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armor Division, from Smith Barracks, Germany. The 3rd BCT will transfer authority over to the 2nd BCT in May.

“We have worked very hard to ensure a smooth transition,” Grigsby said. “I am confident that all of the great leaders in this room will give the incoming unit the same support we received during our stay here in the Mada’in Qada.”

Grigsby emphasized that, during the 3rd BCT’s time in the area, he always encouraged his Iraqi partners to determine what was best for the qada.

“The coalition force solution is not the solution,” he said to his fellow leaders. “Your solutions are what are important. I have always tried to support your decisions to help make this area better. So far, we have been very successful because of your guidance and insight.”

The 3rd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, from Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 2007.

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