AR RAMADI, Iraq -- With their enemy on its heels in the city, the Iraqi Security Forces in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, have earned time to take their hand off of their weapons and lend it to the local people.
More than 50 Soldiers with the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade, 7th Division of the Iraqi Army, assisted by more than 40 policemen of the Western Ramadi District Police, conducted a re-supply operation at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, March 15.
The operation was part of an ongoing mission by local security forces to help relieve the local population and improve quality of life in the city.
Soldiers of the 2-1-7 see their efforts in relief of the city as their responsibility as soldiers.
“We are one country and this is our duty,” said 2nd Lt. Adnan Fasel Taher, executive officer of 2nd Company, 2-1-7. “Not just to fight terrorists, but to help our people.”
The re-supply to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital was the second to be done in recent weeks.
Just a week earlier, soldiers and policemen conducted a similar operation at the Ramadi General Hospital.
The two operations combined resulted in the delivery of more than $90,000 in medical supplies provided by Iraq’s Ministry of Health.
The deliveries consisted of medications, sterile gloves, dressings, surgical support equipment and various other supplies crucial to the operation of a medical facility, said Petty Officer First Class Don J. Davis, 42-year-old medical chief for the civil affairs team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment.
In both operations, the Iraqi Security Forces were welcomed into the facilities.
The sight of policemen and soldiers of Iraq working together brought joy to the hospital workers.
“The people were happy to see us there,” said Adnan. “They say that when they see us, they feel secure.”
The most recent re-supply also served as a chance for the leadership of the local Iraqi Army unit to meet with the staff and leaders of the hospital.
Led by the director of the hospital, Salim Obaid Kahazim Gareth, the commanders conducted a tour of the facility.
“During the tour, the Iraqi commanders visited with the doctors and some of the children,” said Davis, a native of Olympia, Wash. “They were interested in the status of the facility, and to find out what the people needed.”
The commanders conversed with Salim and toured the facility for more than an hour before departing.
At the conclusion of the operation, the senior leaders of the Iraqi Army and Salim expressed a strong desire to work together on improvements to the facility.
“The visit opened the lines of communication between the Iraqi Army and the local hospitals,” said Davis. “These visits will allow for open dialogue between the hospital directors and commanders of the Iraqi Army.”