Victory In Iraq: US Military Shifting Gears
By Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Giannini
Special to American Forces Press Service
Rather than combat, the soldiers have been working hand in hand with provincial reconstruction teams that are assisting Iraqis as they build key infrastructures in Dhi Qar, Maysan and Muthanna provinces. The soldiers provide security while reconstruction team members work to improve conditions in this war-torn country.
“Working with the [provincial reconstruction team] has been pretty meaningful, just knowing that we are helping to build a new Iraq,” said Army 1st Lt. Christopher Mitchell, platoon leader.
The soldiers provide security for the team’s officials and construction units that are helping the Iraqis construct schools, clinics and other facilities. These projects will help Iraq transition into a more self-sustaining nation.
“Helping to rebuild a whole country, that’s something I will remember for my whole life,” said Army Pvt. Joshua Cheney, a member of Able’s Blue Platoon.
In addition to their security mission, Able Company soldiers also have been interacting with local residents and leaders, gaining valuable insight into local customs and culture.
“Getting to interact with the local people has been a rare experience,” said Army Spc. Robert Counts, a medic from Millington, Tenn.
(Army Staff Sgt. Aaron Giannini serves with the 1st Armored Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team.)
Multinational Corps Iraq