Crazy Horse Soldiers settle in at JSS 2
By Sgt. Daniel T. West, 41st FB PAO
Aug 22, 2008 - 11:34:48 AM
Blackanthem Military News
Blackanthem Military News
FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELTA, Iraq - Nearly two weeks after soldiers of the 1st Georgian Brigade were called back to Georgia to respond to a crisis at home, Soldiers of the 41st Fires Brigade and Iraqi Security Forces are adjusting to their new role at checkpoints around Wasit province, and living and working with their Iraqi Army counterparts.quickly moved to take over their roles.
|Soldiers of the 67th FSC work to build air conditioner stands at Joint Security Site Two, Aug. 21. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Daniel T. West)|
A typical day is spent working on the outpost and usually involves as many as six hours spent on a guard tower with Iraqi soldiers, said Staff Sgt. Jesus Palacios, 67th Forward Support Co., currently at Joint Security Site Two, near Shaik Sa'ad.
Living and working closely with the IA poses some problems, but the language barrier is the most significant, said Spc. Prichard Tulong, 67th FSC.
"Working with the IA's can be hard because very few of them speak English," he said. "We mainly use hand and arm signals, really."
"We've gotten very good at talking with our hands," added Palacios. "Even when talking to Americans, now, we find ourselves talking with gestures."
Still, even though the language barrier exists, the Soldiers said they had seen success working with the IA.
"We do well with them," said Palacios. "Everything we do, they want to do. A big part of our job is training, but they came to us very well trained in vehicle and personnel searches."
"We mainly conduct refresher training for them, now," he added.
"They know the standards," said Tulong. "Each day they impress us with something when we try to teach them, and it turns out they already know the task."
"A lot of them have quite a bit of combat experience," he added. "They tell us some crazy stories."
Life at a small checkpoint with a small group of people has not been easy, acknowledged both Tulong and Palacios.
"We'll have been out here for two weeks on Saturday," Palacios said. "It seems like forever."
"It's hot and lonely out here," he added. "Morale's as good as it can be, though."
Overall, there was a sense of comradeship at the small checkpoint.
"They're motivated the same as us," said Tulong. "We just have to take it one day at a time."
|IA soldiers take a break from the heat of the day at JSS Two, Aug. 21. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Daniel T. West)||
|Corporal William Clay, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 589th Brigade Support Battalion, keeps watch from a guard tower on JSS Two, Aug. 21. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Daniel T. West)|
|An IA soldier looks out from a watchtower on the perimeter of JSS Two, Aug. 21. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Daniel T. West)||
|(From Right) Spc. Prichard Tudong, Spc. Lawrence Hollis and Spc. Jon Golds, 67th FSC, listen to Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, 10th Mountain Division Deputy Commanding General, Operations, speak before awarding them Division coins to honor their work at JSS 2, Aug. 21. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Daniel T. West)|