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Transferring Control

HUSAYBAH, IRAQ: The morning began with a patrol in the darkness to a home on the far side of Husaybah. 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Marines, 6th Battalion, received a tip that am Improvised Explosive Device was located outside the home. After a scan of the property, the joint Marine & Iraqi Army squad entered the home for a search. Nothing was found but a startled family of three. They cooperated with the search, and we left waving goodbye to the smiling father and child. Mom didn’t appear too happy.

Jackals On Patrol

The Jackals of 1st Platoon move out to patrol Husaybah.

The squad returned to Battle Position Beirut to pick up the rest of the company. They were heading to Battle Position Hue City to provide security for a ceremony to turn over control of the western border to the Iraqi Security Forces . On the way to Hue, 1st Platoon encountered a possible IED. Buried in the ground, tail up, was a mortar round. An Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was called in to destroy the device. The round was not rigged to explode. “Lots of times the locals find rounds and bury them in clear view so we can find them”, said Corporal Gauls.


Mortar found on the walk to BP Hue City.

In attendance for the ceremony were Iraqi Minister of Defense Saadoun al-Dulaimi; General George Casey, Commander of Multinational Forces – Iraq; Deputy Minister of the Interior Brigadier General Ahmed Al-Khafaggi; and Colonel Stephen Davis, Commander of Regimental Combat Team – 2.

Minister of Defense Dulaimi

Iraqi Minister of Defense Saadoun al-Dulaimi at Hue City

Minister Dulaimi stated “we don’t have security issues on the borders with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran” but “there is a problem in this region” - on the Syrian border. He claimed the Iraqi security forces would assume full control “in one year”. The border region discussed spanned from “the northern border with Turkey to the southern border with Jordan”, said Gen Casey. “We shouldn’t look for a reduction [of U.S. Forces] here… there are two brigades of Iraqi border guards backed by seven Iraqi Army brigades, which are backed by Coalition forces.” Gen Casey also expressed the need for Coalition forces to remain in Iraq in order to assist the Iraqi Security Forces.

At the end of the ceremony, the Iraqi Army raised the flag over Hue City, and the platoon of Iraqi Army and platoon of Desert Wolves, of the 2nd Brigade of the Al Anbar Regional Border Police, celebrated, surrounded and cheered Minister Dulaimi as he bade goodbye.

Desert Wolves Celebrate

Desert Wolves celebrate after ceremony.

After returning from the events at Hue City, 1st Platoon encountered two RPG rounds and one 105 mortar shell. None were wired for detonation. Later in the evening, “Icy’, the platoon’s interpreter, discovered a trigger device for an IED near the market across the street. After an intensive search, no explosives were discovered. The al-Qaeda and insurgency’s guns and bombs were silent in Husaybah as the Iraqi government raised the flag.


Listed below are links that reference Transferring Control:

» Bill Roggio reporting from Husaybah from Murdoc Online
Transferring Control: A Quiet Ceremony on the Border Bill Roggio accompanied the Marines to a search for an IED off a tip. Nothing found. The squad returned to Battle Position Beirut to pick up the rest of the company. They... [Read More]


Bill, great pictures. Thinking of you often. DebbieR

Your doing good, a little terse, but good.

BTW, I had several beers with a couple of Marines that just came back from the Syrian border fights.

They say its tough country with tough people who have been making their living from smuggling for hundreds of years. They said that even Saddam couldn't control or fight them effectively.

I don't think the new Iraqi government can afford to time up dozens of divisions on that border either.

Keep in touch, stay safe and drink water.

Continue the Mission.

Papa Ray
West Texas

Details! Your view is quite unique and helpful in our understanding of the locals feelings and personal issues. There was quite a congregation of officials for this turn over, many influential contacts for another future story.

Please share a good picture of yourself if appropriate. "Icy" sounds like a colorful character. Hi DebbieR,

Many Howls,

Awhile back there was a link to a presentation that DoD or the Pentagon had done to Congress at the end of Sept beginning of Oct. It was a pdf. file if i recall from defencelink.mil. It was about the development of ISF in the last year plus. Can anyone direct me back to that link or that report?


Here's what you are looking for:

Report to Congress Iraq: Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq

It's a PDF file and very informative. The meat of what I think you are looking for begins on Page 12.

Also, it is dated July '05 and reflects ISF force strength of ~179,000.

Today that number is well over 200,000, with many more operations of experience under their belt.

As Bill noted, in many ways, aside from the uniform, they are nearly indistinguishable from our own Marines while on patrol doing what they do.

If by chance this is not what you were looking for, e-mail us and we will get it for you.

You're doing great work over there, Bill. Keep it up, keep it coming, and keep safe!

Thanks for your work, Bill.
You're in the most dangerous place in Iraq and yet it sounds like there is plenty of progress and good signs for those who look for them.
Best wishes to all our folk and to those brave Iraqis.

Good photo's and writeup Bill...keep safe over there.

Bill, You are doing great stuff, keep it coming, watch your 6 and give my son in law 1st Lt Carey a hug. Best Regards, Pete A

Can we get more detailed maps of the areas where you are operating?

Great Post, Bill. Stories like this are the "little big events" that are very important, but the MSM doesn't go to the effort to report.

Thanks for the link. That is the July report. I was looking for the October report (as one can see these are provided to Congress regularly). The link for the Oct. is http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Oct2005/d20051013iraq.pdf. The development of the ISF is very noteworthy. If you could keep these links up and new ones as they occur they would be tremendous resource. Thanks for you help with the link and the reporting/analysis you guys provide.

An Islamofascist escapee from operation Hunter lamenting the effectiveness of US troops: "The Americans will be defeated in Iraq. The only thing that has caused the mujahideen some pain are the air strikes but American soldiers are only cowards," Abu Dujana said.


According to General Jasim of the Ministry of Defense:

6,000 IA troops came on line in November.

12,000 (1 Division) more IA to come on line in January.

36,000 (3 Divisions) to come on line in May.

8 more Divisions to come on line between May and December 2006.


That is not quite right. Almost all of the Iraqi army has already come on line. 95 out of the planned goal of 114 battalions have already been formed and are fighting. What Gen is talking about is not whole divisions but the division HQ's(which havent come on line yet). These are what will be coming on line. They will be taking command of battalions (and brigades) that are already on line.

Wow, the pictures really add a sense of being there in person. Thanks for all your hard work.

What is going on with Operation Iron Fist?

If this could be got over to Bill please:
Bill, kindly thank your interpreter 'Icy', whom you referred to earlier as a Brit of Iraqi extraction, who seems to have been doing the interpreter's job for some years now. For his own security I don't want to know his real name, but from an old Brit Ex-serviceman just say 'Thanks' for the job he is doing. He makes me proud.