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Forces Work Together to Eliminate Terrorist Inflow

American Forces Press Service

MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq, Feb. 13, 2006 – Soldiers from 2nd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, joined Iraqi troops here recently in a project designed to stop the flow of insurgents and to help prevent the emplacement of improvised explosive devices.

The forces built a joint traffic-control point, the second within the city.

"This road was previously known as an IED-intense road," said Capt. John Stroh, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Military Transition Team. "The first TCP reduced the number of IEDs greatly, and the second will close off the enemy's ability to place IEDs to the west of Mahmudiyah."

The undertaking required five different units working together. From engineers and transportation to the security surrounding the site, soldiers worked hand in hand with their Iraqi counterparts.

Despite the difficulties that come along with a project that has so many parts, the U.S. and Iraqi forces completed the project in less than two days. The Iraqi forces immediately took over manning the checkpoint.

One Iraqi officer called the new checkpoint a great opportunity for the Iraqi army and will help stop the inflow of terrorists and insurgents into Mahmudiyah.

"This area is famous for the terrorist attacks it gets," said Lt. Col. Nathom Khadhum, executive officer, 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army. "We are ready to patrol this area, and we're excited to fight the terrorists."

This will be the first time many of the Iraqi forces patrol this far outside the city, officials said. Soldiers on the ground said the control point's completion gave the Iraqi army presence in the area and shows what that force can do in a hostile area.

As the Iraqi army expands the territory it patrols and further increases the confidence of its soldiers, officials said the relationship between the U.S. and Iraq is becoming increasingly one of two allies working together toward the same goals.

"It's absolutely worth it," Stroh said. "The end state is that we teach them that they can be the security for Iraq and that they can keep their people free."

(Based on a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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