Troops Live And Work In Combat Outpost Rock With Citizens
One of the new key thrusts to Coalition effort in Iraq is the placement of soldiers in forward based combat outposts.
By having soldiers live and work among the same citizens they patrol to protect, they are beginning to break down barriers against trust, and starting to form positive relationships with local Iraqi citizens. “At first many of the Iraqi citizens didn’t seem to know what to make of us living out at the Combat outpost, but now there is a lot of positive interaction,” said Major Mike Edwards.
Major Edwards is the Executive officer of the 8th Infantry, 1st battalion.
This increased amount of contact between the people and the soldiers is not only building trust, it is helping the Iraqi citizens realize that the coalition is not there as a conquering force, but as friends to help the Iraqi Nation rebuild.
“Many of the citizens have been intimidated for a long time, it is refreshing to see that they are slowly starting to trust us,” said Major Edwards. The new effort has expanded across the region; there are a number of Combat Outpost type camps springing up across the area.
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The patrols are now on foot, and dismounted from vehicles. Before this would have been something that would have been met with mistrust, and angry scowls on the parts of many of the citizens. “Now, we feel free to mingle and visit with the citizens,” said Major Edwards.
“This has represented a major positive change for Coalition forces,” said Major Edwards.