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Streets Return to Life As Iraqi Market Gears Up

By Spc. Elvyn Nieves, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

ADHAMIYAH, Iraq, March 24, 2008 – Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers here witnessed the changes and progress in the area and its bustling market during a joint dismounted patrol with the Iraqi army on Chem Street.

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Iraqi army and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers head toward Chem Street in Adhamiyah, Iraq, during a dismounted patrol, March 20, 2008. Soldiers of 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, which is attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, regularly patrol the streets with their Iraqi counterparts from 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division. Photo by Spc. Elvyn Nieves, USA
  

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The 3rd Infantry Division soldiers of 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, attached to the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, along with Iraqi army soldiers of 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division, and members of the “Sons of Iraq” citizens security group have been working hand in hand to provide Adhamiyah residents with enough security for them to feel safe walking the streets.

The U.S. soldiers are working with their Iraqi counterparts and putting them in the lead so the people can see their country’s army “is out there to help security as much as we are,” said Army Capt. Erik Kjonnerod, commander of Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment.

“We wanted to show them their Iraqi security forces are out there as much we are. They’re not sitting on checkpoints doing nothing. They go out on patrols, just like the Americans do,” he said.

Security in the area has led to the awakening of the market on Chem Street.

“When we first got here, we could see an average of 15 to 20 shops open,” said Army Staff Sgt. Germaine Seabrook, a cavalry scout in Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment. “With the help of Iraqi forces, we helped keep the security tight. Most of the Iraqi people started coming back, opening up shops, and the economy started rolling better. The people from Adhamiyah can see how safe it is now.”

The joint dismounted patrols allow soldiers to talk to people and assure them they are there for security and that they do care about their concerns.

“In the beginning of our work here, the streets were pretty much desolated,” said Army 1st Lt. Matthew Jensen, a platoon leader in Troop A. “We didn’t see many people walking around. People were scared to get out of their homes. Through civil affairs, micro-grants, the Sons of Iraq and our presence, people started coming out. Most of the stores on Chem Street are opened now.”

(Army Spc. Elvyn Nieves serves in Multinational Division Baghdad with the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

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Multinational Corps Iraq

Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy Staff Sgt. Germaine Seabrook gets ready for a dismounted patrol with the Iraqi army on Chem Street in Adhamiyah, Iraq, March 20, 2008. Seabrook is a cavalry scout with 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, which is attached to Multinational Division Baghdad’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. Photo by Spc. Elvyn Nieves, USA  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageArmy 1st Lt. Matthew Jensen, a platoon leader in 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, which is attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multinational Division Baghdad, patrols Chem Street in Adhamiyah, Iraq, during a dismounted patrol with the Iraqi army, March 20, 2008. Photo by Spc. Elvyn Nieves, USA  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMultinational Division Baghdad soldiers and Iraqi army soldiers talk with people on Chem Street in Adhamiyah, Iraq, March 20, 2008. Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, which is attached to 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, along with their Iraqi counterparts from the 1st Battalion, 1st Brigade, 11th Iraqi Army Division, regularly patrol the streets of Adhamiyah together. Photo by Spc. Elvyn Nieves, USA  
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