Free Headline Alerts     
Worldwide Web


Friday, August 19, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

U.S. takes countermeasures in Iraq against
surface-to-air missiles

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military has intensified efforts to counter surface-to-air missile (SAM) attacks against American aircraft in Iraq.


The U.S. military has beefed up training and support for a brigade assigned to counter rocket strikes in Iraq. Officials said the effort includes air and ground operations to detect and track insurgency SAM and improvised explosive device squads.

"The purpose of the mission is to deter, stop or prevent enemy set up and firing of surface-to-air missiles or surface-to-air IEDs at military aircraft," U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jonathan Grape said.

Also In This Edition

Grape identified the 101st Brigade Support Battalion, which belongs to the 1st Infantry Division, as responsible for the effort to defend U.S. aircraft against SAM strikes in northern Iraq, Middle East Newsline reported. The battalion has been conducting patrols around U.S. bases amid the threat of Iranian-sponsored Shi'ite militia operations against the American military.

Officials said the Shi'ite militias were believed to have received rockets and SAM systems that could down U.S. military helicopters as well as low-flying fixed-wing aircraft. They said the 101st Brigade was patrolling outside major bases to prevent insurgency squads from approaching with such weapons as the Russian-origin SAM-7, with a range of 3.5 kilometers.

"I help develop our anti-SAM tactics," Chief Warrant Officer Shane Nicholson, a helicopter pilot, said. "The unit's intent is a good one, but we must be able to change and adapt to what the enemy might do next."

The Army has assigned 4,000 soldiers to protect U.S. facilities from militia attacks in an effort that includes regular evaluation of enemy strength and tactics. Officials said the military expected attacks to increase as the United States prepares to withdraw from Iraq in December.

"As we close on Operation New Dawn, units are required, on a daily basis, to conduct new missions that are not normally in their spectrum of operations," Maj. Edward Huddleston, an operations officer, said. "This deployment, the battalion continues to do more and more non-traditional missions."

About Us     l    Privacy     l     l
Copyright © 2011    East West Services, Inc.    All rights reserved.