31 August 2003
- While Fort Campbell soldiers are deployed to the Middle East, The Leaf-Chronicle will provide periodic updates of troops' activities, as available from U.S. Central Command and other sources. Iraq took one step closer to regaining electrical stability following an Aug. 25 meeting facilitated by the 101st Airborne Division. Dr. Karim Hasan, Iraqi director of the Commission of Electricity negotiated the purchase of an additional 50 megawatts of electricity a day from Turkish Karadeniz Energy Company, a Turkish electrical company. The purchase adds extra power critical to the country while its electrical infrastructure is being repaired. Electrical power substations were a key target of sabotage during the war. Additionally, looting after the war left many structures in disrepair. "There is a greater than 35 percent energy deficit throughout Iraq," said Maj. Roosevelt Samuel, 101st Airborne Division assistant division engineer. "This long-standing deficit is largely due to the condition of the existing electrical infrastructure and also partly due to looting that occurred after the war." The purchase of the extra wattage brings the country closer to the goal of 252 megawatts a day, which will allow a predictable three-hours on, three-hours off schedule for electricity throughout Iraq. The majority of the damage affected the power plants that distribute power throughout the country, according to Samuel. The purchase of the extra 50 megawatts a day from Turkey augments and supplements the existing production of power until those "crippling" structures can be repaired. "This will raise the standard for the Iraqi people," Samuel said. "Currently, most people in Iraq spend about 12 hours a day without power. Iraq has never had a grid that supported electricity "24-7," Samuel said.
27 August 2003
- The 101st Airborne Division recently purchased 49 hand-held radios for the Mosul Police Department, according to an Aug. 23 news release from the division's public affairs office in Iraq. The radios will be used to help the newly-trained police force communicate throughout the Nineveh Province. Additionally, the 101st is helping the Iraqi Public Safety Office draft a contract for $10 million in communications assets to go to ambulance services, fire departments and the Ministry of Civil Defense, as well as other police officers. The communications systems will help the Iraqi public safety organizations rebuild their infrastructure and will allow them to play a larger role in providing a safe and secure environment in Iraq.
23 August 2003
- Enemy guerillas continued attacks on American soldiers and sympathizers here Friday, detonating a roadside explosive near a soldier and firing a grenade at a convoy. One soldier from the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) was injured Friday when an improvised explosive device, or IED, detonated shortly after 1 a.m. The soldier reportedly received only minor abrasions and a possible concussion. The explosion, detonated by a low-grade trigger mechanism rigged to a mortar shell, came one day after two similar devices exploded here, killing an Iraqi child and injuring another 101st soldier from the 3rd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. That soldier received only superficial injuries and was back on duty Friday.
- Guerillas fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a division vehicle of the 3rd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment. No one was injured in the attack. These types of attacks are on the rise in the Mosul area, according to 1st Sgt. Benjamin Jones with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. Jones said use of such crude devices and tactics is one of the biggest threats to troops in Northern Iraq after the defeat of the Iraqi Army.
- Acting on a tip from a local source, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) captured enemy equipment and detained suspected enemy personnel in East Mosul on Aug. 21. The confiscated weapons included three Russian machine guns, one 60mm mortar tube, two AK-47s, 50 AK-47 magazines, 3,500 rounds of small arms ammunition, one protective mask and various communications equipment.
- In an unrelated incident, acting on a tip from a local source, the 101st AD detained one individual for making counterfeit Iraqi Dinar. The 101st confiscated rolls of magnetic security bands, three sheets of 10,000 Iraqi Dinar, an automatic number machine, a press machine and a computer with money software loaded on it.
22 August 2003
- Soldiers with the 101st Airborne tell NewsChannel 5 (Nashville) things are getting more stable in their region of responsibility in Northwestern Iraq. Soldiers increased patrols to keep the peace. They've also helped the locals rebuild schools. Children begin school Sept. 15 in Iraq. Living conditions have also improved. Soldiers said Thursday they now have a mess hall with home-cooked meals.The soldiers also have a make-shift movie theatre. Thursday, they planned to watch the action-adventure Triple X.
- Soldiers from the Fort Campbell, Ky.-based, 101st Airborne Division found three large weapons caches near Mosul Aug. 17-18. The cache found Aug. 17 was near a possible ambush site, division officials said. Soldiers sat at the site for 48 hours watching to see if anyone would try to recover the cache. No one did, officials added. The cache consisted of one Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher, four RPG rounds, one 60mm mortar tube with base plate, two 60 mm rounds, one AK-47 with five magazines, and 16 9 mm submachine guns. The next day, policemen of Al Hadr, and the towns mayor told soldiers about a large deposit of weapons, division officials said. Inside, they found: 4,230 rounds of RPG, 100 mm artillery shells, and 57 mm anti-aircraft artillery rounds. The divisions Mine Action Group destroyed half of the cache, said division officials. The remainder was relocated to a bunker and will be destroyed at a later date. Later that day, a patrol from the divisions 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, discovered a cache of 35 120 mm mortar rounds west of Qayyarah. Additionally, with help from a local man, 101st Airborne soldiers arrested a man for passing out anti-U.S. leaflets and hiding weapons, division officials said. Slowly but surely, more locals are providing information to U.S. soldiers about weapons caches and individuals conducting terrorist activities, division officials said.
19 August 2003
- Local sheiks, Iraqi engineers and soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul descended deep into the belly of the Al Jazeera Pump Station Aug. 11, where Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, division commander, pressed the button to start pumping tons of water to farms and in homes throughout the greater Mosul area. The pumps, located beneath Freedom Lake, lifted the water to the main aqueduct from which many smaller aqueducts and pumps draw water for irrigation and plumbing. Due to poor maintenance after the first Persian Gulf War and looting during Operation Iraqi Freedom, only three patch-worked pumps remained operational when the 326th Engineer Battalion started work on the pump station. Now eight pumps are fully operational.
- In an attempt to foster good relations with the Kurds of northern Iraq in Mosul, soldiers from the 37th Engineer Battalion, which is attached to the 101st Airborne Division, are working to improve an airport in Erbil. A military airport was originally built on the site years ago and still exists, but a commercial and civilian addition to the airport was never built. To give the people of the Erbil area access to international travel, and hopefully boost the economy, the engineers of the 37th are working with locals to build the airport and the 24-kilometer road that leads there.
- A soldier from the 101st Airborne Division was killed and a civilian interpreter was injured August 12 when their vehicle was hit by a taxi.
- Two 101st Airborne Division infantry units detained one man for participating in an attack that wounded two soldiers Aug. 10 and awarded another man $500 for reporting an illegal weapons cache Aug. 12. The Fort Campbell, Ky.-based, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment presented the money to the man, referred to only as "Mr. Aziz." Aziz, a resident of Tal Alseer, a village south of Mosul, reported the location of an 82mm mortar and hundreds of mortar rounds to coalition forces. He will also speak for his village when the battalion asks him what project he would like done to improve the village. Recently, the battalion completed a mosque restoration project in Tal Alseer. In other news, the 101st Airbornes 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment arrested a man Aug. 12 for allegedly participating in an attack on one of the units convoy and illegal weapons possession. One of the mans neighbors told the 2nd Bn, 502nd Inf. Rgt. that one of his neighbors might have participated in the Aug. 11 attack. A three-vehicle convoy received fire while driving through western Mosul Aug 11. The ambush destroyed the trail vehicle of the convoy. The soldiers in the trail vehicle escaped the burning humvee and were able to link up with the two lead vehicles. The convoy returned to retrieve sensitive items from the destroyed vehicle. They received fire when returning to the destroyed vehicle and once again left the scene. Two soldiers received minor injuries during the second attack. The unit sent a Quick Reaction Force but no enemy attackers were found, 2nd Bn, 502nd Inf. Rgt. officials said. A source arrived at the battalion's operations center two days later with information on one of the possible attackers. He led soldiers to the suspect's house where the individual was detained. Upon searching the house, they found several weapons and ammunition including 10 anti-tank rounds and U.S.-style battle dress uniforms. Three other individuals were detained in the area around the ambush site but were released.
10 August 2003
- The 101st Airborne Division brought together state and private interests in a $14 million deal to renovate the Nineveh Hotel Wednesday, in an effort to boost Mosul tourism and the regional economy. In the first postwar effort toward privatizing Iraqi government facilities, division legal representative Maj. David Ward introduced the Sumer Holdings Group to the Mosul Board of Tourism who jointly worked out an operating agreement to share profits generated by the hotel. Sumer will not only be the first company to pump private capital into state property, but it will also operate the only five-star hotel in the city. Under the agreement, Sumer would split revenue equally with the Mosul tourism board, once expenses and payments on the initial investment are subtracted. The government in Mosul has been ahead of the rest of Iraq in reconstruction since the end of the war, said Maj. Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the 101st, who helped facilitate the agreement. The city was the first to hold elections, the first to form inter-ethnic security forces, and now, it is the first to work with private enterprise to rebuild Iraq and restore its economy.
- Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division used a combination of air and ground units to apprehend suspicious Iraqi people last night. An Apache helicopter crew from the 101st was flying over the village of Tal Uwaynet, Wednesday night, when they spotted a white Lincoln luxury car that seemed out of place with the environment. Four men were surrounding the vehicle. On a return pass, the men jumped into the car and drove to a nearby house. The helicopter held a position over the house until soldiers from 1st Battalion of the 187th Infantry Regiment, arrived. The soldiers detained three people from the house and recovered two unauthorized rifles and a pistol.
- A soldier who fell to his death from a rooftop while performing guard duty in Mosul, Iraq, was identified yesterday as a 101st Airborne Division soldier from American Samoa. Spc. Farao K. Letufuga, 20, was assigned to the division's Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment. Letufuga, from Pago Pago, American Samoa, entered the Army in September 2001 and arrived at Fort Campbell in March 2002. Letufuga, who was not married, is survived by his mother and father, both of Pago Pago.
07 August 2003
- A 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) soldier died at approximately 9:30 p.m. Aug. 6 after developing a seizure while performing duties in Mosul. The soldier was evacuated to the 21st Combat Support Hospital. The soldier's name is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.
- A rocket-propelled grenade ambush attack in northwest Iraq was foiled by soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at approximately 5 p.m. on July 31 by engaging and wounding an individual before he could fire the RPG accurately. The individual was captured and received medical care for leg wounds at a Coalition medical facility.
- A large amount of ammunition and weapons were found and confiscated at a refugee camp located approximately 80 km northwest of Kirkuk by the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st AAD on July 29. The 101st AAD declared an amnesty period, when weapons could be turned in without fear of punishment, on July 30. The total confiscated weapons cache included 745 RPGs, more than 3,730 rounds of ammunition, 41 fragmentary grenades, 11 air defense artillery missiles and a number of various other weapons.