Soldiers from the Stryker brigade operating near Samarra (north of Baghdad about 2/3 of the way to Tikrit) captured a load of weapons during Operation Arrowhead Blizzard.
Col. Mike Rounds, the brigade commander, said each of his two infantry battalions in Samarra was supposed to attack 12 targets in the first three days of the operation, which began Dec. 17.
Instead, they hit those 12, then another 12 each, in the first two days. After a lull of two or three days, he said Samarra residents now are starting to come forward with information about former regime loyalists and others who are attacking U.S. forces and disrupting efforts to rebuild the country.
Samarrans see that Stryker troops have “taken away a lot of the folks that they frankly don’t like all that much, either,” Rounds said.
As we kill, capture, or drive off insurgents and take their weapons stores, the local Iraqis are going to see that they stand to beneift greatly by helping get rid of the bad guys. When one guy steps up and tips us off, and we follow through, it demonstrates to two or three others that they can safely do the same. It’s a snowball effect that will help both us and them.
I’ve also come across some more good Stryker brigade pics. Click on the image for a large hi-res version (Makes a great desktop):
Both these pics show the MEN of the brigade going about their business, and it’s important that we remember that the Stryker LAVs are simply a means of getting our soliders to the places they need to be and supporting them once they get there. Not the other way around.