1st Battalion 22nd Infantry


Regulars Clean Up Streets


Residents Anxious to Clean Up Streets - 'Regulars,' Residents Work Together
to Remove Concertina Wire From the Streets of Jihad


September 11, 2008

By the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office

A resident of Jihad and a member of the Sons of Iraq program eagerly removed excess concertina wire, Sept. 8, 2008,
during a cleanup effort by Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment,
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division - Baghdad.
Residents of Jihad are proud and prepared to help keep the community clean.

Photographer: 1st Lt. Matt Cyr
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs


FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq – Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment,
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Multi-National Division – Baghdad, patrolled the streets of Jihad
on a September evening not only to secure the streets and community, but also to look for old concertina wire.

1st Lt. Matt Cyr, Platoon Leader for 3rd Platoon, Company C, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div.,
led a patrol through the streets of Jihad in order to remove abandoned and unused concertina wire
in an attempt to beautify the area. The vestiges of war are no longer necessary and the residents of Jihad
are anxious to assist in the cleanup efforts.

“A local resident from the Sons of Iraq program saw my Soldiers working hard to free the wire from obstructions
and loading it onto the trucks,” explained Cyr of Dover, N.H. “He immediately came over to the platoon
and was eager to help the Soldiers remove the wire and clean the streets of his neighborhood.”

The Soldiers of 3rd Plt., Co. C worked hand-in-hand with the community members to finish the cleanup project
and improve the aesthetics of the area, said Cyr.

Across Baghdad and especially in West Rashid, Soldiers and community members have been working hard
to clean up the unnecessary obstructions in residential areas.

A resident of Jihad poses in front of unserviceable concertina wire during a cleanup effort, Sept. 8, 2008,
by Soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment. Residents of Jihad are lending a hand
during the clean up mission to ensure the streets of Jihad remain safe and clean.

Photographer: 1st Lt. Matt Cyr
1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division Public Affairs


“Small events like these happen on a daily basis throughout Jihad and West Rashid,” commented 1st Lt. Nolan Maxwell
of Santa Maria, Calif., assigned to Co. C, 1st Bn., 22nd Inf. Regt., 1st BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
“They demonstrate a renewed sense of pride amongst the Iraqi citizens for the welfare of their neighborhoods,
as well as a willingness to work alongside coalition forces for the betterment of their country.”

These small acts within the community are positive steps to return Baghdad and West Rashid
to a state of normalcy that the residents will be proud to preserve.

After the Soldiers and residents loaded the concertina wire into the trucks,
the wire was brought to a collection point for disposal.




Untangling Iraq’s barbs
Soldiers clear wire in attempt to bring normalcy

By James Warden, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, Company E clear concertina wire from a field
in Baghdad’s Jihad neighborhood. The curly razor wire collects trash and makes some residents feel like they’re living in a prison.
The Americans hope removing it from Baghdad neighborhoods will bring a bit of normalcy back to the areas.

Justin Stuart/Courtesy of the U.S. Army


BAGHDAD — The soldiers had been out on the streets since about 6 p.m. that night.
They’d patrolled through trash-strewn streets to mark abandoned houses on a map,
and they’d inspected passing vehicles after setting up roving checkpoints.

But Company E, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment still had one more job to do
as the clock ticked closer to 10:30 p.m.: Clear a rat’s nest of concertina wire
that their battalion commander had spotted in the area.

The chore was part of a larger effort to get as much of the curly razor wire off Baghdad’s streets as possible.
Maj. Gen. Jeffery Hammond, commander of Multi-National Division — Baghdad, has asked units to clear wire
from their areas in order to give the communities a further sense of normalcy.
The change is a visible reminder of the increased stability in many previously war-torn areas.

Iraqis have long tried to make the best of unsightly security necessities by painting concrete barriers
or decorating checkpoints with brightly colored artificial flowers.
Yet concertina wire defies improvement like no other obstacle.

"It makes a bad picture," said Khalad Sharhan, a resident in Baghdad’s Jihad neighborhood,
where the Company E soldiers were working. "Everyone when they try to visit us, they feel like they’re in jail."

Years of war have kept Baghdad well-stocked with concertina wire. Capt. Mike Garling, the Company E commander,
originally asked Iraqi workers to help clear it away, but he ended up turning the work over to his more-motivated platoons.
The soldiers filled a whole parking lot with concertina wire they pulled out of the neighborhoods.
Hauling it all away required eight dump truck loads, some packed so tightly that the soldiers had to use grappling hooks
to pull the wire out again.

"Literally, it would take years to get rid of all the wire, but we got rid of most of the wire," Garling said.

Security is not going away with the wire gone. Dirt barricades, Hesco baskets and manned checkpoints
still control traffic in and out of the areas that the soldiers are trying to clear.

But much of the wire had simply become litter over time and didn’t serve much purpose.
The tangle that the Company E soldiers had to clear Friday night was sitting in an unusable pile in the middle of a field.
They quickly decided they needed a bigger truck to come and haul it away.

Not all Iraqis are happy to see the wire go. Many use it to protect precious patches of grass from passing livestock
or to secure their homes. Soldiers say some Iraqis claim to have bought the wire themselves.
The soldiers tell those who complain that it belonged to the Americans first.

Garling, though, said the communities will look better with the wire gone,
particularly since it has the nasty habit of catching trash that the wind blows by.

"You think about the U.S., you don’t really see concertina wire all over the place," he said.




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