/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Iraqi Bedouins seek role in secure future

COB BASRA, Iraq " Sitting on white and red-striped benches under a tent handmade for ease of packing and moving, surrounded in every direction by views of vast desert, unbroken, except for an occasional bush or sandy knoll, leaders of the US and Iraqi Armies met near Basrah, Iraq, Jan 14, with local Bedouin Shaykhs who call this desert home

Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, United States Division " South commander, and Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Noor Swady al Dalmy, 14th Iraqi Army Div commander, were invited to the land of Shaykh Wabdan and the Sa'adoun tribe confederation to discuss issues affecting Wabdan's tribe, the area around Basrah and relations with the Iraqi Army

After tea, heated over a fire of twigs, and introductions, Shaykh Wabdan started the discussions by stating how the security situation in Basrah has improved over the last few years

Before Operation Charge of the Knights -- the Iraqi Army's mission to cleanse Basrah of militants, which began Mar 2008 -- the Shaykh said the security situation was so bad that outlaws and armed people where always in the streets, and one could regularly expect to see terrorists

Download photos
"It was very dangerous going to Basrah Every time, going to the city was an adventure; we would always take people as escort and force protection," Wabdan said through a translator "Every person who was loyal to the country was a target"

Thanks to the efforts of the police, the security forces, and especially the Iraqi Army, that has all changed, he said

"Thank God, after the Charge of the Knights we gave all of our weapons to the Army because we didn't need them anymore," Wabdan said through a translator, speaking of his tribe "The Army is very loyal to Iraq"

Aziz and Nash agreed that the security situation has changed for the better, and that all Iraqis play a role

"Security and stability was not achieved only by guns Our greatest support came from the people," Aziz said through a translator "That was the main reason for our success"
With the improving security situation, Wabdan would like to increase his tribe's dealings with the American and Iraqi governments

The large tracks of desert the tribe uses for grazing are mostly uninhabited and fall along Iraq's border This creates the opportunity for the tribe to aid security forces as extra eyes along the border

"They apply the same concept in Saudi Arabia and Jordan," Wabdan said through a translator
 
The governments of those countries have helped tribes set up cities close to the border In exchange for better access to wells, power and health care, tribes improve security by providing more bodies along the border, an arrangement benefiting both parties, Wabdan said

The generals also took the opportunity to experience a taste of Bedouin lifestyle  

The Bedouin culture, while embracing many changes of the modern world, is very traditional and in some ways has been unchanged for centuries The most striking example is large herds of camels shepherded across the desert in search of forage Loyalty to the tribe and family is also important

After a tour of the surrounding desert, with camel rides, a discussion on how deep a well must be to reach safe water and what work must be done to obtain food through the seasons, a traditional dinner of rice and lamb was served

The Shaykh wanted to honor Nash and his visit and have a big crowd, but, at the advice of Aziz, he kept it to immediate family

At a previous election party Wabdan held, he invited only first cousins Over 4,000 people showed up and four 300-meter tents were needed to accommodate them A big party would involve 10,000 people, Aziz said
"I told him no way," he said

When the generous servings of food were gone, Aziz wanted to thank the outgoing Nash, whose command of USD-S will soon be transferred to the 1st Infantry Div
"I want you to have confidence that you left a legacy behind you that we will follow We have learned from your professionalism," Aziz said "You are leaving behind you people who are very loyal to Iraq"

Nash said his thanks and expressed his hope that the safety and security of Basrah will continue and, that now the economy can start to improve

"It's about the next generation," he said "As our mission finishes up here it is up to investors, businessmen and tourists to come to Iraq and to ensure that terrorists and criminals do not take over Iraq again"

The Shaykh also expressed his hopes for Iraq

"The Iraqi people are a good people Sectarian activity will never succeed in our country," he said through a translator "Iraq is for Iraqis, not for terrorists or terrorism; they don't exist in our minds anymore"

"We hope the New Year will be a reconstruction year," he added, "not just for the land but for the spirit too"

By Staff Sgt Chris Carney
20 Jan, 2010


Article source: http://theredbulls.net



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



Article archive
 
top