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SAS joins US forces in major Iraq offensive

Jamie Wilson with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Kalsu, Babil, and Richard Norton-Taylor

Wednesday November 24, 2004

The Guardian

British special forces joined an offensive yesterday involving more than 5,000 US and Iraqi troops, backed by fighter bombers and helicopters, aimed at regaining control of insurgent strongholds in central Iraq.

The operation - dubbed Plymouth Rock - appears to mark an escalation in the role of the SAS in Iraq.

But the number of British special forces engaged in the operation would be fewer than a hundred.

A senior British military spokesman at Kalsu described the operation as a "concentrated effort to deal with the post-Falluja insurgent operation. We are upping the ante and are expecting it to be a relatively intense period of operations."

He said British troops would have US assets, including aircraft, placed at their disposal.

Earlier reports from the area, that Black Watch troops were joining the offensive against Iraqi towns, were strongly denied by the Ministry of Defence in London. But it is understood that an American statement referring to British "forces" was a reference to the SAS.

The MoD insisted the regiment had not changed its task. The regiment's "primary role remains one of maintaining stability in the north Babil area", cutting off insurgents attempting to flee or reinforce others in towns south of Baghdad, the MoD said.

The US marines are describing the operation as the first major offensive to regain control of an insurgent stronghold outside of Baghdad since the attack on Falluja.

It began yesterday morning with raids on more than a dozen homes in the small market town of Jabella. Thirty-two men believed to have been involved in attacks against US troops, Iraqi national guardsmen and civilians were arrested.

Captain David Nevers, spokesman for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, said last night that British forces would be playing a key role in the operation. "They bring a wide range of capabilities to bear that will be enormously useful to us," he said.

Intelligence sources estimate there are more than 300 insurgents operating within the Black Watch area, consisting mainly of Saddam Hussein regime loyalists but also some foreign Arab fighters.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1358131,00.html

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Excellent 20 minute BBC Fallujah video up here

It's streaming so I recommend the app WMR80 to record it.

Lots of precombat and combat footage from an attached reporter, don't think it's been seen before.

Commander: "Satan is in Fallujah", wow, pretty dangerous place for him to be, City of Mosques and all...

If I would have been there to hear the Iraqis chanting 'Allahu Akhbar' during that one fight I would have wet myself. crazy_o.gif

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The "satan is Falluja" bits been shown quite widley, even the papers picked up on tht one. I'll check it out for the rest of the footage though.

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Well crap. I hvae really got behind. I finally made it into the Air Force, and will leave this comming summer for Basic Training. I still do not know my job. Maybe something to do with Weather, or maybe Intelligence. I had to list four jobs, and I will find my job out in 3-4 months. Have to complete high school first, and from the way I spell most you can tell that won't be to easy. biggrin_o.gif

Anyways where can I jump back in at? Not here, not today.

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Well crap. I hvae really got behind. I finally made it into the Air Force, and will leave this comming summer for Basic Training. I still do not know my job. Maybe something to do with Weather, or maybe Intelligence. I had to list four jobs, and I will find my job out in 3-4 months. Have to complete high school first, and from the way I spell most you can tell that won't be to easy. biggrin_o.gif

Anyways where can I jump back in at? Not here, not today.

Good luck to you... unclesam.gif

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Hhmmm... Good luck Duke of Ray.  wink_o.gif

Just make sure you wont be dropping bombs in a wedding party.

Only yours. tounge_o.gif

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Hi all,I´m looking for some hi-res photos(3000x2000 etc) does anybody of you pls know some good links to photos?

btw:I already visit defenselink and af.mil smile_o.gif

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is it pictures of military equipment or something else in paticular you want? or is it just pictures of the war in general?

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is it pictures of military equipment or something else in paticular you want? or is it just pictures of the war in general?

Pictures of the war in general will be helpful smile_o.gif .

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Quote[/b] ]Have to complete high school first, and from the way I spell most you can tell that won't be to easy.

Should make you a cinch for Intelligence.

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http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm....er_iraq

Quote[/b] ]

Michael Jordan's Brother Deploying to Iraq

Sun Nov 28, 5:03 PM ET

Add to My Yahoo! U.S. National - AP

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - Army Command Sgt. Maj. James R. Jordan has much in common with his younger brother, retired basketball star Michael Jordan. He loves his job, believes in helping his team and expects maximum effort from those around him.

And like his brother, James Jordan likes to leave on his own terms. He has asked to stay in the Army for a year beyond his mandatory retirement date so he can complete a full yearlong deployment to Iraq (news - web sites) with about 500 other members of the 35th Signal Brigade.

"We are currently at war," Jordan said before the unit started shipping out Sunday. "We are doing things, and it requires leaders to do certain things. That's what I am, a leader."

Under normal conditions, the 47-year-old Jordan would wind down his Army career in the spring as he approached the 30-year mark, but he has no intention of getting on an airplane April 29 and coming home.

"That's not the way you want to end a 30-year career," Jordan told The Fayetteville Observer.

"People ask 'Why?'" said Col. Bryan Ellis, the brigade commander. "The answer is, he is completely selfless. We all want to see it go well."

Jordan is a no-nonsense noncommissioned officer with a shaved head and a wry sense of humor. He stands 5-foot-7, while his younger brother is about 6-foot-6. As the senior enlisted soldier in the brigade of 2,450 soldiers, he has kept a low profile at Fort Bragg and avoided calling attention to his family connection.

"If you don't believe in selfless service, you are not going to make it in this business," said Jordan, the oldest person in the brigade.

He was 36, wearing the stripes of a first sergeant, when he went to airborne school, where most soldiers are in their teens or early 20s. He still runs eight miles and expects soldiers to be alongside him.

Three years of Junior ROTC during high school in Wilmington helped convince Jordan that the Army was for him.

"I figured I wanted to be a soldier, plus I was the oldest of five kids," he said. "I wanted to get out of the house and do something myself."

He said some of his relatives don't really know what he does.

"They know I'm in the Army. That's about it," he said. "My immediate family and my wife, my kids, not extremely happy, but they are on the team. They say: 'Daddy, do what you've got to do.'"

"I've been doing this by myself for so long, being my own person, being my own soldier," he said. "I'm going to continue doing it the same way until the day I feel like I need to hang it up, not when they feel like I need to hang it up."

...makes me want to cry....

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...makes me want to cry....

Aw, dry up, ya sissy!

Your avatar is freaking me out... crazy_o.gif

Can I respect a guy like MJ's bro... mad_o.gifwink_o.gif

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Saw this also. Ignored it because the only reason it got any attention was because it was MJ's brother. I guess the other hundreds doing exactly the same who don't have a famous brother ain't worth a story...

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Saw this also. Ignored it because the only reason it got any attention was because it was MJ's brother. I guess the other hundreds doing exactly the same who don't have a famous brother ain't worth a story...

Hey, I repsect the men and women serving over seas. unclesam.gif

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I respect this guy also:

Quote[/b] ]Battalion tells Marine he has done enough

Submitted by: 1st Marine Division

Story Identification #: 2004112511528

Story by Staff Sgt. Nathaniel T. Garcia

FALLUJAH, Iraq (Nov. 25, 2004) -- “The feeling of hot metal going into your body has become pretty familiar, and I don’t like that,†said Cpl. Robert Joseph Mitchell.

For the fourth time in the last five months, Mitchell would again be injured during the fierce fighting in Fallujah. As he recalls the event, his gaze turns from those who are listening to a place far away.

“I was leading my squad down a road where we were clearing the buildings,†said the 24-year-old native of Omaha, Neb. “I saw another one of the sergeants from another platoon run out of a house after huge amounts of fire erupted from that area. He had been wounded in the hand and said ‘there were still friendlies down in the house.’ He didn’t know who or how many.â€

Mitchell and his Marines sprang into action, Nov. 13. Entering the first room of the house the Marines noticed a dead man on the ground suggesting the room had been cleared. Two rooms over Mitchell could see that there was a Marine down who needed to get out. Mitchell, along with three other Marines including his first sergeant tried to cross the larger of the two rooms to reach the wounded Marine.

As soon as they entered the next room, they received incoming fire from the top of a stairwell to their left.

“Someone was firing down the staircase and throwing (fragmentation grenades) down at us,†said Mitchell, a squad leader with 3rd Platoon, Company K, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. “We made it through to the next room, and there were other Marines in there trying to help the Marine that was down.â€

The insurgent threat had the Marines trapped in their rooms with his direct line of fire covering their only exit.

“Obviously the guy had a pretty good kill zone by firing right down the stairs at us,†said Mitchell. “We couldn’t move the down Marine because he was shot in the upper thigh. He was in a lot of pain and screaming.â€

During their movement, Mitchell’s first sergeant and another one of his Marines had been hit. Unable to make it the room with Mitchell, they remained on the ground in a room slightly behind the stairs. Mitchell ran from the room he was in to the first sergeant and the other injured Marine.

The first sergeant had been shot in the right leg and still conscious. He told Mitchell that he had taken a few shots in his calf. The blood around the area was evidence enough. Mitchell’s other Marine had been shot in the leg as well, but the first sergeant thought the Marine might have been shot in the gut as well.

“I was getting ready to help the first sergeant out, but he told me to take care of the other Marine first,†said Mitchell. “I went over to the Marine and started stripping his gear off. I was looking around for a wound. I thought for sure that I was going to see just his guts spilling out all over the place but that wasn’t the case. He hadn’t been shot in the gut. He did receive a shot to the left center of his back though. I thought that maybe he had taken a lung shot. He wasn’t bleeding to bad.â€

The Marine he was tending to happened to be one of Mitchell’s best friends. Seeing his injured friend hit Mitchell pretty hard. Despite his feelings, Mitchell knew he had to do something.

“I had (medical) gear and went through the squad medic’s course. I was pretty much prepared for whatever,†said Mitchell. “I ended up just slapping a dressing on his back and throwing a tourniquet around his leg to stop the bleeding. After that, there wasn’t much I could do for the first sergeant because I was out of dressings and tourniquets.â€

Although Mitchell didn’t have enough tourniquets to use on the first sergeant, he noticed that the wounds were not bleeding too excessively, and he knew the first sergeant was a tough Marine.

“I mean, it was 1st Sgt. Castle, the guy that was the epitome of Marines,†said Mitchell. “From there all I could do was monitor their situation and try to figure out how the hell we were going to out of that house. We couldn’t even expose ourselves in the direction of the door because the guy upstairs would just pour rounds down at us.â€

The Marine he had just treated that was still conscious and looking around. He pointed out to Mitchell that his weapon had been damaged. Mitchell looked at his weapon and noticed that a round had hit the bolt.

“At this time I started feeling a little bit weak in the leg. I looked down and my leg was pretty bloody,†said Mitchell. “Not too bad, but I noticed there was blood on it and I could feel pain. I thought it was fragments from the concrete around the wall that had hit me. I didn’t see any punctures through my cammies though.â€

He continued to monitor his Marines and the radio and direct traffic till help arrived. Help arrived in the form of a squad from 2nd Platoon. They showed up just in time to help the Marines plan casualty evacuation.

However, Mitchell was worried that the platoon may fire on the building with them still in it. He cried out to the Marines, “Do not fire, do not fire inside the house!â€

Second platoon managed to get a squad inside the house to help evacuate the casualties and the other Marines by taking up positions to suppress the fire while they escaped.

Once everyone was out of the house and a safe distance away, the Marines planted satchel charges on the house to bring it down on the insurgent inside.

Once they had the chance to account for everyone, Mitchell’s squad was down from 13 to seven capable members Mitchell also had a chance to look at his own wounds. He found that shrapnel had been lodged in his thigh for some time during the encounter in the building, but can’t remember when.

This encounter with insurgents in Iraq is a possibility every Marine is faced with. Unfortunately, this is not the first brush with enemy fire for Mitchell. On three different occasions, he has been the casualty of enemy fire.

The first time he was injured was July 7 near Fallujah, two weeks after his unit arrived in Iraq. Mortars came over the wall of the compound he was in. Mitchell and several other Marines headed for the wall to return fire. As they did, another mortar came down almost directly on top of them and blew up. A dime size piece of shrapnel hit Mitchell on his forehead directly between his eyes.

“Seeing my Marines getting injured and going away on casualty evacuations mostly just angered me and made me want to fight harder,†said Mitchell. “Getting hit myself really pissed me off.

“The first time (he was hit), we had a patrol scheduled, and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to go on it.â€

Fifteen minutes later, Mitchell would be out on that patrol with his face sticky with blood from the shrapnel in his forehead. The second time was the day before the incident with gunman up the stairs. Mitchell and his team encountered another insurgent who was firing through a closed gate. One round went through his tricep and another round ricocheted of a wall and burned his leg. When he was shot, he again determined to finish the job by pushing through the excruciating pain in his injured arm to return fire.

“I wasn’t going to stop there either. I wanted to get those guys,†said Mitchell. “When I got fragged in that last house, I wasn’t going to leave with my first sergeant and another Marine injured in that house. First of all I didn’t know that I was hit because the adrenaline. I just got pissed off again and tried to figure out a way to kill these guys.â€

The third injury he couldn’t remember when or where it happened. However, Mitchell realized a small piece of shrapnel was embedded in his chin.

“When you get hit multiple times there is always a thought in the back of your mind, like where is the next one coming from and where is it going to hit you,†said Mitchell. “It started taking a little bit of a toll on me, after the last time.

“I knew that I could do my job and that I could lead Marines, but I didn’t want to put myself in the situation of ‘what if I did hesitate, and it wasn’t me that got hit but someone else.’ It is definitely not worth the risk to any other Marine.â€

Mitchell was told by his commanding officer that it would be best that he didn’t go back out. One of the only reasons Mitchell could see for this was because of the emotional toll it has taken on him. His family was notified of his injuries and shared the battalion’s concern, mostly for his physical safety.

“I am going home with the rest of the Marines whose service time has ended,†said Mitchell, who enlisted in February 2001. “I was given the choice to stay and it was a hard one. But I figure if I am not back out there leading my Marines, which is probably best that I don’t, than maybe I can go back to the injured Marines who are already back home and bring them some company.â€

Though he is going home, the thought that he is leaving without completing the mission has crossed his mind.

“Being told by my (commanding officer), sergeant major, platoon commander and all my buddies that I have done enough -- that helps to ease my thoughts,†said Mitchell. “It is supportive, but at the same time, I came out here to lead a squad and finish the job. Now, my squad is being led by Cpl. Wolf, who is 100 percent capable of the job, and there is nobody else I’d rather have leading my squad. So that eases my mind a little.â€

Going home after his second tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the assault on Fallujah, the graduate of Riverside High School in Oakland, Iowa, knows that his perspective of the world will change even more.

“National holidays hold a little bit more meaning for me now,†said Mitchell, who spent time working on a farm as a farmhand in the area he was growing up, harvesting crops and caring for cattle. “I was always patriotic when I was growing up, but I don’t think anybody could ever explain the patriotism that I have now. I know a lot of guys feel the same way.â€

For his Marines who remain in Iraq, Mitchell only has a few short, but meaningful words.

“I love’em, and I’ll never forget them,†said Mitchell of his fellow Marines.

Mitchell will never forget the Marines who have paid a large price in the name of freedom, which is truly never free.

“I believe that everyone deserves their right to the freedoms that the United States offers,†said Mitchell, who has seen several of his closest friends and Marines under his care fall to enemy fire. “But I believe that everybody who has done anything in the military deserves to practice those rights even more. It is kind of selfish to say because it is our job and it is what we do. But I know a lot of guys who have made too many sacrifices over here for those rights and I think a lot of people take that for granted sometimes.â€

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I respect this guy also

Maybe the Democrats can get him to run for prez in 4 years.

Sings: "And I have 4 Purple Hearts!"

tounge_o.gif

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I respect this guy also

Maybe the Democrats can get him to run for prez in 4 years.

Sings: "And I have 4 Purple Hearts!"

tounge_o.gif

Nah...Clinton would be mad and call it a vast right-wing conspiracy against her running for prez...

Anyway, I hate living off-campus (living at does have some positives) because some non-partisan veterans came to the university to talk about their experiences in Iraq. It was straight experience not the anti-war crap (the anti-war veterans already came a month ago) or pro-war (MIA). I read a quote by one of the veterans that sums up what the Iraqi mindset was.....basically the iraqi people thought they would be sitting in La-Z-Boys and be watching MTV when the americans came right away.

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I respect this guy also

Maybe the Democrats can get him to run for prez in 4 years.

Sings: "And I have 4 Purple Hearts!"

tounge_o.gif

americans don't like people that sacrificed something for their country. They prefer guys that go AWOL when it becomes dangerous ;)

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The fact is, Bush could have summed up his reason to go to Iraq in two words. Geneva Convention. Nobody would have argued with that.

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I respect this guy also

Maybe the Democrats can get him to run for prez in 4 years.

Sings: "And I have 4 Purple Hearts!"

tounge_o.gif

americans don't like people that sacrificed something for their country. They prefer guys that go AWOL when it becomes dangerous ;)

Heh.....oh man, thats is great. wink_o.gif

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The fact is, Bush could have summed up his reason to go to Iraq in two words. Geneva Convention. Nobody would have argued with that.

Last time Saddam violated the Geneva Convention (which is a convention about how war is to be conducted) was against Iran in the 1980s crazy_o.gif Well, and GW1 - human shields.

What you probably mean are human rights violations? In which case, Bush still shouldn't have gone to war. We live in an international community, not in an international "my cave with big club" environment. One would have thought that certain governments would have caught on to this fact...

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