RAMADI, Iraq – Great hulking beasts, or mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles are lined up outside the platoon area. They look like giant mechanical rhinoceros with their heads lowered, ready to charge. Their backs are open revealing a soft green light illuminating the night. Paratroopers mill about, waiting for the convoy brief and conducting their last minute personal checks.
BAGHDAD—The olfactory capabilities of man’s best friend, canis familiaris—dogs, that is—are well-known and have been used by law enforcement to detect illicit drugs for decades. Soldiers with the 2nd “Dagger” Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center are hoping to impress upon Iraqi Security Forces the utility of working dogs to fulfill that function, but more importantly to become the first line in the detection of explosive materials.
BAGHDAD – Changing light bulbs, repairing floors and other routine maintenance are things a Military Maintenance Team are used to. A MMT is responsible for making sure all facilities are mission-ready for the unit they are assigned.
A part of being in a MMT is being ready at a moment’s notice to fix any maintenance problems that occur throughout a unit.
BAGHDAD— Members of Alpha Troop, 2nd Squadron, 116th Cavalry Regiment, are reflecting on their tour as they prepare to re-deploy back to their home state of Idaho in the fall. The unit has spent nine months providing security for two camps at Victory Base Complex in Baghdad as one of the force protection units under the 116th Cavalry Brigade, United States Division – Center, in support of Operation New Dawn.
BAGHDAD—Soldiers with Company B, “Griffin” Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division – Center conducted a thorough cleaning of their assigned theater-provided equipment July 28 at Camp Liberty, Iraq in preparation for turn in.
The end of the mission for the remaining American Soldiers in Iraq also marks the end of mission for some of the greatest workhorses of the conflict—the TPE that has been handed down from unit to unit since their arrival to the country in 2003. With the 2nd AAB currently scheduled to be one of the final U.S. units in Iraq, all the accumulated gear must be dealt with.