8:57 PM

Surge Notes

Posted by Skye |

Residents join Guard Force to improve neighborhood security:

BAGHDAD — It’s just after 10 a.m., and a large crowd has gathered outside the Adhamiyah District Advisory Council building. Dozens of men mob the entrance.

Normally, the DAC building is where citizens come to complain about potholes and power outages, and where wailing mothers come to plead for the release of their detained sons. But the men gathered here this morning didn’t come to complain about problems, they came to be part of a solution. The men are all here to apply for jobs with Adhamiyah’s new Critical Infrastructure Guard Force, a security force made up of local men that will protect area schools, hospitals, fuel stations, and government buildings.

In Adhamiyah, a Sunni enclave in east Baghdad that has long been a haven for insurgents, U.S. and Iraqi forces have struggled to make residents more active partners in security. But the surprising embrace of the Guard Force is just one of a growing number of signs that Adhamiyah residents are starting to take a more aggressive role in protecting their community, say U.S. Soldiers based in the area.

“They’re standing up, and I think it shows they’re ready to take their neighborhood back into their own hands,” said Columbia, Md., native, Capt. Albert Marckwardt, commander of Troop B, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.

In other developments throughout Iraq:

Elements of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team’s 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, conducted a mission to deny extremists sanctuary in Jisr Diyala, southeast of Baghdad Thursday.

Task Force Marne troops conducted a mission to disrupt terrorist activity and succeeded by destroying a large cache of munitions and improvised explosive device-making materials Thursday.

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