AR RAMADI, Iraq -- High mobility multi-purpose wheeled vehicles patrolled the roads while dismounted troops searched local residences, and the Marines did little more than watch.
The 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Division of the Iraqi Army, assisted by local police, conducted Operation New Day in the Al Warar District of Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on Jan. 29.
More than 70 Iraqi soldiers and 60 policemen carried out a census operation in the Iraqi Army battalion’s newly acquired battle space.
“Our mission was to collect information while searching the area for targets,” said Sgt. Husayn, a squad commander for 2nd Company, 2-1-7.
Soldiers and policemen worked together to cordon off the area with mounted elements while sweeping through local neighborhoods in search of criminal activity.
The joint force searched more than 50 homes in the area while detaining two suspected insurgents.
The 6-hour operation was the first for the 2-1-7 since gaining independent operating status on Jan. 23.
The joint operation was planned, coordinated and executed by Iraqi commanders of the 2-1-7.
The Iraqi Police were requested for the operation as the 2-1-7 commanders recognized the usefulness of their local knowledge, said Lt. Col. Salaam, commander of the Ramadi District Police Sub-Station.
“We are valuable to the army because we are from Ramadi,” said Salaam. “We can tell the bad guys from the good guys.”
The policemen conducted many of the interactions with local families and helped with target identification.
Although the policemen assisted the Iraqi soldiers in a variety of ways during their movements, they had little concern for the operations tactical results, said Salaam.
The most important accomplishment for the policemen was the message sent to the criminal elements of the city.
“Even if we hadn’t accomplished anything, out goal was to work together,” said Salaam. “We showed the enemy that the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police are together and we are everywhere.”
The police forces also gained from the tactical knowledge and experience of their Army counterparts.
Seeing the mutual benefits of their continued interactions, both soldiers and policemen have expressed interest in future combined operations.
“I hope in the future for us to work more and more with the Iraqi Army,” said Salaam. “They are our brothers.”