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Bayji a safer place with new station
By Sgt. Joshua R. Ford, Public Affairs Office, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division
May 3, 2007 - 4:58:36 PM
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Spc. Christoph Carmikle and Spc. Juan Mata, both infantryman with Company C, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, observe a suspicious vehicle in Bayji, Iraq, through binoculars April 22, 2007, at the Joint-Security Station Arvanitis-Sigua. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Joshua R. Ford (released)
Blackanthem Military News, BAYJI, Iraq - Beyond the noise of hammers banging metal nails into boards and sledgehammers smashing into an old building that needs a little remodeling, you can hear the city outside of the 25-foot cement walls. The dozens of children that gather on the soccer field every day after school, and the people traveling through the markets are heard in Bayji.

This is why the Paratroopers are building - to protect the inhabitants of Bayji.
   
For the past three weeks Paratroopers with Company C, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, have been constructing Bayji's first Joint-Security Station one sand bag at a time.
   
The Partroopers used the city's police station as the foundation for what has become a small fortress in the middle of the city.
   
Since the Paratroopers have co-occupied the facility with the Iraqis, operations within the city have become more efficient, said Spc. Christoph Carmikle, infantryman with Company C.
   
"Instead of it taking 45 minutes to an hour to get a joint-patrol with the (Iraqi) police organized, it now takes about five minutes," Carmikle said. "We are all here together and provide constant patrols throughout the city."
   
Recently an Iraqi police night patrol was ambushed by insurgents. Within moments, reinforcements, who were all Iraqi policemen, arrived to the scene and repelled the ambush.

The repelled ambush was one example of how providing a constant presence in Bayji is more effective.

Bayji's security station was named in honor of two Company C Paratroopers who lost their lives in combat in Bayji.  Cpl. Nicolas Arvanitis was killed action by sniper fire in October and Sgt. William Sigua was killed in January.
   
The Joint-Security Station Arvanitis-Sigua is near completion and possesses a dining facility, gym, sleeping quarters, an internet café, multiple guard towers and bunkers, and enough fire power to repel anything the insurgency has to throw at them.
   
Insurgents are not happy with the recent establishment of the station according to Spc. Ben Brixey, an infantryman with Company C.
   
Since the Paratroopers have been in Bayji, the terrorists have continually tried to get them out with multiple attacks on the station, said Brixey.
   
"I have seen a lot more action than I did when we weren't here," Brixey said, referring to numerous indirect-fire and small-arms attacks on the compound.
   
Even though attacks have increased, Company C has been engaging the Bayji population more with their message of "trying to make Bayji a better place for its people" and have been catching more insurgents, said Brixey.
   
"To better effect the local populous, we had to live amongst the people to find out how to provide better security for them," said Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Bell, 2nd platoon leader, Company C. "With this station (in Bayji) we will accomplish that."   

ADDITIONAL PHOTO:

A Paratrooper with Company C, 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, guards a gate at the Joint-Security Station Arvanitis-Sigua April 22, 2007, in Bayji, Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Joshua R. Ford (released)

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