Col. Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., commander of the 3rd BCT, and Sheik Nori Zabar Khamiss, Support Council leader, cut a farewell cake during a support council meeting at FOB Hammer, Iraq, on April 30.
By Pfc. Michael Schuch
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq – According to Iraqi custom, it is common to meet seven times before establishing trust. For the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, that tradition began April 30 in the Mada’in Qada.
Col. Pat White, commander of 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div., met for the first time with the Mada’in Qada support council, Iraqi army, national police and Sons of Iraq during the support council security meeting at FOB Hammer.
The seven-meeting tradition is just the beginning. As their relationship and trust grows together, the 2nd BCT Soldiers will assume more control and support of the local area.
Col. Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, spoke during the meeting and reviewed several of his brigade’s successes on their tour.
Many of the council members introduced themselves to White and thanked Grigsby and his Soldiers for their work over the past year.
Sheik Abu Hatem, from the Mada’in Qada, said, “The number one recruiter for terrorism is unemployment, and therefore unemployment must continue to be addressed.”
The meeting came to a close with Sheik Nori Zabar Khamiss, Support Council leader, expressing feelings of trust and safety.
“I feel I can say that today, thanks to the Sons of Iraq, coalition forces, and Iraqi security forces, our area is now safe,” he said. “I look forward to continuing the success with the new leaders.”
The 3rd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div., from Fort Benning, Ga., has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March 2007. The 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div., from Baumholder, Germany, has been deployed in support of OIF since April.