Thank for a great write-up Kap! I am constantly drawn in to any articles written of Haifa Street. It is my tiny piece of hope. Not sure why exactly, but it feels good to know that part of the city is fairly quiet. Perhaps it is the old news clips of the 4-9 Cav patrolling that area.
When rats are cleared from the kitchen, we know some may have moved to the other rooms of the house. We hope they are too afraid to come back. This is how I feel about Haifa Street. I am sure the “Rats” have been dealt a heavy blow. Now I pray we keep this part of Baghdad from allowing the vermin back in as we expand the extermination of the infestation.
God Bless … and keep the good words flowing my direction!
‘Charlie Rock’ given new battle space, new mission
By Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim
2nd BCT, 1st Ca. Div. Public Affairs
BAGHDAD – Due to the current security plan, the last few months has transformed Haifa Street into one of the safer Baghdad districts for Coalition Forces to patrol.
It’s been patrolled by several units from the 2nd “Black Jack” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division since the brigade arrived in Baghdad in November. Now, it is being patrolled by the men of Company C “Charlie Rock,” 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division out of Fort Lewis, Wash. currently assigned to the Black Jack Brigade.
Charlie Rock is a part of Task Force 1-14, 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, and the Haifa Street district has become their third area of operation during their 11-months in Iraq. Many of the Charlie Rock troops have mixed feelings about their new battle space.
“The new battle space is bittersweet,” said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Evans, a platoon sergeant from Puyallup, Wash. “The rest of 5-20 is in Bacubah getting and …taking a beating while we are here.”
While most of Charlie Rock Soldiers say they are happy that they have finally gotten into a safer area of operations, they are also a little saddened because they will take a break from the “action.”
“I mean, we are not getting shot at or blown up. It’s safe here, but nothing happens either,” Evans admitted.
Aside from wanting to go be with their brethren up north, Charlie Rock Soldiers such as Staff Sgt. Ernest Pablo, of Barrigada, Guam, said he likes the Haifa Street area better than the other places they’ve seen.
“In the last place we had, it was hard to see the fruits of our labor; there was a lot of sectarian violence,” he said. “In this AO, the IP (Iraqi Police) and the IA (Iraqi Army) work well together.”
That working relationship has allowed for Charlie Rock Soldiers to conduct their new set of missions with greater ease, such as a clearing operation through the high-rise apartment complexes in the area. The Soldiers went from floor-to-floor and door-to-door passing out survey sheets with questions about what types of essential services the residents had and didn’t have.
“We’re passing out surveys to the residents about what type of essential services they need … such as working toilets, electricity …” said 1st Lt. Stephen Harnsberger, of Kingston, Tenn.
Even as the violence has subsided in this once troubled central Baghdad neighborhood, many of the apartments are still empty. The Soldiers left the surveys on the doors.
According to Staff Sgt. Stephen Rine, of Grand Rapids, Mich., the surveys would be passed up to their task force headquarters to start the essential service projects in the Black Jack Brigade’s larger on-going project with the Karkh District Advisory Council known as “The Haifa Street Project,” which addresses essential-service issues.
Sgt. 1st Class Eric Evans, of Puyallup, Wash., keeps an eye on the streets during clearing operations in the Haifa Street area of central Baghdad May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
A young resident of a high-rise apartment complex came out to greet Charlie Rock Soldiers during a clearing operation on Haifa Street in central Baghdad May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
Sgt. Travis Smith, of Tacoma, Wash., tells a resident how to fill out the survey during a clearing mission in Baghdad May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
Staff Sgt. Stephen Rine of Grand Rapids, Mich., puts a tag and a survey on a vacant apartment during Charlie Rock’s clearing mission on Haifa Street in central Baghdad May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
Charlie Rock’s Strykers weren’t too far away from its Soldiers during a clearing mission in central Baghdad May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
Spc. Michael Murray, of Tacoma, Wash., walks throughout the back alleys of Haifa Street in central Baghdad during a clearing operation May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)
Spc. Christopher Petticrew, of Tampa, Fla., monitors the radio traffic during Charlie Rock’s clearing mission on Haifa Street in central Baghdad May 8. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Kap Kim, 2nd BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs)