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Sep-17-2009 11:19printcomments

A Future Worth Securing

The Oregon National Guard and the people of Scania, Iraq.

Patrol in Scania, Iraq
Photo courtesy: Anita VanderMolen

(SCANIA, Iraq) - Outside the wire, Soldiers wear full battle rattle. They scout the area for IEDs, mortars, rockets, insurgents or anything that may threaten the lives around them. Alpha Co., 2-162 Infantry's quick reaction force for Scania, is ready for anything.

"I am sworn to protect all citizens of Scania," 1st Sgt. Geoffrey Miotke said. "I do so with a posture that has my guys ready all the time."

The Soldiers are also ready to man the entry control points of Scania and provide security for a variety of missions in their area of operations.

"We go on dismounted patrols, provide security for key leader engagement missions with the command and interact with a lot of the locals outside [the base]," Capt. Charles Ellis said.

On Aug. 18, a patrol provided security for a goodwill mission made of members from the 167th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, stationed in Scania. The CSSB visited a water treatment facility near Scania. The Soldiers scouted the area and provided protection while the CSSB members walked to the facility. They pulled security during the mission and also did reconnaissance of the area around the water treatment facility.

The Soldiers also had an encounter with some demonstrators. The confrontation was mild and without trouble. They did personnel searches when local people came near the facility.

On the way back to the base the group had another encounter, this time with the local livestock. The incident also passed without confrontation.

Another security mission happened the next day. A local sheik invited the command staff of Alpha Co., 2-162 Infantry and the 167th CSSB to attend a pre-Ramadan feast in his house.

The Soldiers secured the outside and inside of the house during the feast to protect those in attendance.

During the visit with the sheik, we discussed if they had any incidents or any security risks in the area and how we can support him, said Ellis.

Even though the Soldiers were on duty, they were able to eat an authentic pre-Ramadan meal and drink some Chai tea.

The Soldiers in Scania provide an invaluable service for those around them. The safe environment they create makes it possible for others to go outside the wire. Their reconnaissance skills enable a clear path for traveling. When they secure the area, diplomacy can take place and relationships through interaction with the local populace can be built.

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Anonymous September 17, 2009 5:05 pm (Pacific time)

if we were not there in the first place, maybe this would not be necessary? Are they protecting the million who had to flee to other countries? Do a search engine and type in "bad water in iraq", or, millions in Iraq displaced, or, holy sites demolished and U.S. military installations built on them" do your research. I am sick of articles that show a huge minority of what is really going on. And I will speak out. Iraq had its problems of course, but the U.S. installed the dictator puppet to start with. He got too big for his britches, and so they killed him. Democracy my rear end. The U.S. invaded a country that was NO threat. No navy, no planes, no nothing. And people wonder why other countries want nukes? Maybe because they dont want to be invaded? Ever think of that?

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