In Pictures: 2nd Battalion’s Combat Outposts in Mosul

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MOSUL, IRAQ: On March 14, Brigadier General Noor Aldeen and the Military Transition Team for the 4th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division toured the combat outposts manned by the 2nd Battalion, commanded by Colonel Hajji. The 2nd Battalion does not have US advisers assigned to it, but the battalion is considered the best in the brigade. Colonel Hajji is an aggressive commander who takes the initiative, the US advisers stated. He also leaves much of the planning work for his staff to complete, which is a rarity in Iraq’s top-down leadership model that often stifles innovation by junior officers. This slideshow pictures some of the outposts in the 2nd Battalion’s area of operations in eastern Mosul.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD’s Long War Journal.

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5 Comments

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  • Mark Pyruz says:

    Bill, great set of images from the combat outposts. Comments and questions:
    Pic 2: The two pictures hung on the wall, one of a bird of prey and the other a flag with eagle and swords- what do these represent?
    Pic 4: General Noor’s combat gear offers up quite a variety. His helmet cover appears to be a 4-color desert pattern, his BDU’s a woodland pattern and his load bearing vest might be a leftover from the Sadaam Army days.
    Pic 6: Another study in contrasting IA uniforms. They’re obviously in a war zone. Where is their combat gear, weapons and helmets?
    Pic 7: Outstanding photo. The battle damage to the residential quarters in the background tells the story. Interestingly crude construction of fortified elements of the base. Roman soldiers would identify with this.
    Pic 9: This could be the smartest looking officer in the entire IA. Yet another IA type uniform, 3-color desert BDU’s.
    Pic 10: Good shot of interesting architecture with a relevant storyline. I’ve known some Iraqi christians in my time. They’re good people.
    Pic 13: What are the specific purposes of the three aerials attached at the rear of the Humvees?
    Pic 14: Note the Kurdish national flag! No Iraqi flag flown here. Interesting makeshift defensive position in the background.

  • Bill Roggio says:

    Mark,
    I’ll see if I can get the answer to the first question. I know Egles have strong symbolism in Iraq, I have seen eagles on Saddam’s Palaces, with many IA units, etc.
    On the uniforms, there is no standard uniform. The Iraqis are issued one uniform then left to fend for themselves. A standard uniform policy is not enforced. It has been this way since I began embedding with Irqi troops in 2005.
    In Pic 6, those soldiers live on that COP. You can’t expect them to wear their gear 24/7.
    On Pic 7, this is what US and Iraqi COPs look like. They are temporary structures. The HESCO barriers are effective but ugly.
    No comment on Pic 13.
    That is a KRG checkpoint, hence the flag. I have seen the Iraqi flag hung up in almost every outpost I have been with, and every IA Humvee has an Iraqi flag on the door and most have flag on antenna. I wouldn’t make too big a deal about the Kurdish flag. I have also seen pics of Barzani in most offices up hear, but in Anbar/Baghdad I saw pics of Sistani, or Sattar, or Sadr, or Hakim.

  • Mark Pyruz says:

    Bill, thanks for the reply and the fine reporting from the front.
    -Mark

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