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June 06, 2005

Dispatch from Iraq

Steve forwards another message he received from his brother Mike, in Iraq. (See previous messages.) 'Yesterday' refers to Saturday, June 4th.

Mike writes:

I'm back. I went into the city of Ramadi yesterday at about 1400... traveled in up-armored HMMWVs using MajGen Huck's Personal Security Detachment (PSD) - the PSD includes a minimum of 5 up-armored HMMWVs and almost a platoon sized element of Marines, well armed with 50 cals and more. I spent about an hour and a half with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines Battalion Commander and some of his staff. That went very well. 1/5 is about as squared away as you can get in every regard. They're doing great.

Then came the hairy part of the trip. We (me and 2 of my majors) drove to Camp Ar Ramadi to link up with the Army, 2d Brigade Combat Team (2BCT) (a beefed up equivalent of our Regimental Combat Teams) for the trip into the city of Ramadi. 2BCT linked up with our gun trucks (PSD up-armored HMMWVs) with 3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles (armored tracked vehicles with 25mm cannons mounted in a turret) and an M1 Tank for the trip into town... their Deputy Commander and S-4 (Logistics Officer) joined up with us. We went to see the 1st Battalion of the 503rd Infantry (an infantry battalion) - spent several hours with them. Both visits were very productive!

It's good to be back from the trip. We were lucky... no IEDs, no small arms fire, no RPG attacks, but we were ready just in case. I saw some encouraging signs. Lot's of people out in the central part of town shopping. But once we were out of the central area, it was pretty deserted. But at least shops are opening and there appears to be a fair amount of economic activity.

I'm attaching a couple of pictures from today. You can't tell from the pictures, but it was 106 today! Hope the pictures make it through.

Hope all is well for you guys. Go Cards!

These are the pictures he sent; there are 6, total. Click for larger versions.

Mosque in Ramadi

Saturday shopping traffic

Another shot of Saturday traffic

A damaged building in Ramadi

Rural scene west of Ramadi

Our correspondent in the up-armored HMMWV

Posted by joke du jour at June 6, 2005 06:37 AM

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