Another hotspot cools down…

Blast wall removal demonstrates progress in Baghdad

FOB FALCON – When Lt. Col. Timothy Watson, cmdr. of the 2nd Bn, 4th Inf Regt, ordered his bn. engr. to remove the cement walls that encase Baghdad’s community of Doura, it signaled a momentous shift in paradigms.

Currently attached to the 1st BCT, 4th ID, and deployed to the Rashid district, the “Warriors,” Bn. of the 4th Inf. Regt., provided tangible proof of progress by reducing the number of cement barriers in Al Doura. “This is a step towards normalcy for the residents of Doura,” said Watson. “They have earned it by contributing to local security through tips and intolerance of insurgent or criminal activity.”

However dreary and inconvenient they may be, the cement walls proved extremely effective in reducing terrorist activity. As recently as spring 2007, Doura was dubbed by many respected media agencies as the most dangerous place in Baghdad. Doura was also the first neighborhood in Baghdad, outside of the Int’l Zone, to employ the use of cement barriers to taper insurgent activity.

A recently captured terrorist, who admitted to participating in insurgent activity in Doura during the past 2 years attested to the effectiveness of the barriers. Watson, cmdr. of the 2nd Bn., 4th Inf. Regt., echoed that sentiment. “Walls will be replaced by more permanent security infrastructure that helps protect the fragile security we have achieved with the Iraqi SF.”

(reprinted from Troop Scoop Oct 21, 2008)

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