By Army Staff Sgt. Rodney Foliente
Special to American Forces Press Service
June 23, 2009 - Soldiers with the 4th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team say they are seeing big improvements in the Iraqis' ability to secure their country's borders.
The soldiers of "Crazy Troop", 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, are currently working with Iraqi border security forces near Forward Operating Base Minden.
The troop has been providing additional security at a border entry point, monitoring the steady flow of people leaving and entering Iraq and working with the civilian and military teams to professionalize Iraq's border security forces.
"We're working by, with and through the Iraqi border security forces to get them up to speed," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Maloy, 2nd Platoon sergeant, C Troop. "I think our mission is one of the best missions the brigade currently has."
"Our soldiers are more than up to the task. They are motivated, put in long hours, don't complain, get the job done, and I think they are some of the best soldiers in the Army," he said proudly.
The cavalry soldiers and the Iraqi border security forces have been working well together, said Maloy, of St. Johns, Ariz. He said the Iraqis have been working hard and show their determination to protect their fellow citizens.
"We work together for the people of Iraq," said Ali, a border security forces member, as he smiled and pointed to himself and U.S. soldiers.
"I love working with these guys. We're getting to know each other pretty well and are building good working relationships," said Army Spc. Adam Sugg, a cavalry scout with C Troop.
"It makes me feel like we're doing something really important here. If not for us, Iraqis and Americans, there'd be a greater chance that more threats would get past the border to hurt more people," said Sugg, of Suffolk, Va.
"Our mission is to provide security for military and civilian teams out here and to assist in professionalizing the Iraqi border security forces," said Army 2nd Lt. Cody John, 2nd Platoon leader, C Troop. In only a short time, he said, he has seen improvements in the forces' performance and is optimistic of their future capabilities to maintain border security without assistance.
"If, at the end of each day, the Iraqis are a little better at doing their jobs by themselves, it means we're doing our job and makes it all worthwhile," John said.
(Army Staff Sgt. Rodney Foliente serves with the 4th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team public affairs office.)