By Army Pfc. Michael Schuch
Special to American Forces Press Service
July 11, 2008 - The commander of 9th Iraqi Army Division and leaders from the 1st Armored Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team met here July 8 to assess the security of the Madain Qada region. Iraqi Maj. Gen. Jassem Nazal Qassim shared concepts for further increasing the Iraqi security forces' capabilities in the region with Army Col. Pat White, commander of 2nd BCT.
"No matter the operation, [the Iraqi security forces] are capable of providing the necessary forces," Qassim said. "For any needs that arise, we are ready."
Qassim also discussed terrorism and extremist activity in the region and compared previous years to the current state of security.
"When coalition forces came to the Madain Qada, terrorism covered much of the qada," Qassim said. "Now, because of the joint efforts of coalition and ISF, it has dropped significantly."
White, of Apple Valley, Calif., told Qassim that he would like to implement weigh stations in the region, much like those on highways in the United States. "By doing this," he explained, "we will be able to monitor shipments entering the qada by creating a station the trucks must stop at to be weighed, scanned and possibly searched to ensure that nothing is entering that shouldn't."
The leaders said they see continuing success in the cooperative efforts between Iraqi and coalition forces.
"ISF performing and leading operations are becoming a common occurrence," Qassim said. "Nearly all planning and operations are being done by ISF with support from coalition forces. With our cooperation, we can continue to work toward our shared goal to get terrorism out of the Madain."
(Army Pfc. Michael Schuch serves with the 1st Armored Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)