Hello From Iraq Update # 5
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Since 12-05-05

 


 

From: Waspscpo@aol.com [mailto:Waspscpo@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2005 2:50 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Fw: [U] Hello From Iraq Update # 5 


Subj: FW:
Date: 11/18/2005 3:56:37 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: michael.korman@iraq.centcom.mil
To: waspscpo@aol.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

Don,

My latest and greatest. Hope you are well.

Best,Mike Master Chief Michael J. Korman, US Navy
Command Master Chief / Command Sergeant MajorCivilian Police Assistance Training Team (CPATT)Adnon Palace, International Zone, Baghdad, Iraq
APO, AE. 09316DSN: 318-239-7736MCI: 914-822-1199


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
If this e-mail is marked FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY it may be exempt from mandatory disclosure under FOIA. DoD 5400.7R, “DoD Freedom of Information Act Program”, DoD Directive 5230.9, “Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release”, and DoD Instruction 5230.29, “Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release” apply.


From: Korman Michael J MCPO CPATT
Sent: Wednesday, November 16, 2005 3:31 PM
To: mjkorman@yahoo.com
Subject: [U] Hello From Iraq Update # 5
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY



My Dear Friends and Family,

How could I not start with the shot above?? Well, it is official; Caryn and I had a grand wedding and amazing celebration on October 1. What an event and we were able to share it with our closest family and friends. Caryn and I were able to honeymoon in Hawaii following our celebration and nothing could have made my leave time at home, except for it maybe being longer. The picture above was taken before our service at the Forestall Chapel at Naval Station Great Lakes just North of Chicago.

Our family and friends flew in from all over the states and many more came locally and we are just so grateful to have had such a warm event with such great people. Thanks for all the efforts of everyone on our behalf. A special thanks to Mrs. Katie Tuck who was our unsung hero of our amazing day. Katie works with Caryn at Rosalind Franklin University.

Our trip to Hawaii including snorkeling, walking the beaches, getting some sun (maybe a bit too much for Caryn), having awesome twilight dinners and seeing many sights in Hawaii including the Arizona Memorial, the Polynesian Cultural Center and driving the island to Hanama Bay and Turtle Bay.

We actually saw a large sea turtle from a distance. Back to reality here in Iraq. Well, it has been an exciting period here. We completed the referendum period with a dramatic decrease in the levels of violence from the January election. There is lots of planning ongoing for the December elections and we will have our first permanent government in place near the beginning of the New Year.

Why is this important, more important then the previous elections in my view?? This will be the first election for a permanent government. A government that will remain in place for several years that will allow for proper forward planning of government institutions that is needed for this country to see success. It has been challenging to do long range planning for the police mission (where we advise) because the current Minister may or may not be the Minister in the new government.

By definition the current Transitional Government was put in place to transition to the new permanent government. It has been awhile, again, since my last update. Sorry about that. We had a change of command in October and our previous Commanding General, Major General Fil departed and takes command of the First Cavalry Division at Fort Hood just this week.

Our new Commanding General, Major General Peterson, comes to us from a high level post at the Pentagon with the Joint Staff. Talk about getting the right guy for the job, we lucked out by getting such a great leader. He is asking the right questions---challenging us to lean forward and to help Iraq build Iraq for Iraqi's.

He has already made a difference here in his short time onboard and I am honored that he kept me on as his Senior NCO. It has not been a time without losses. We lost a few more men since my last note. Lieutenant Colonel Leon James, Master Sergeant Tulsa Tuliau and Sergeant First Class Casey Howe lost their lives as did one of our civilians IPLO Vince Kimbrell.

I read lots of reports every day about the enemy and its engagements and while there appears to be a decreasing quantity of insurgents and AIF, (Anti-Iraqi forces) they get more lethal in their attacks with increasingly complex munitions.

Even here in the Green Zone there have been some rocket and mortar attacks recently after several months with none. We punch back pretty good though and we have lots of great people here protecting us. My travels have taken me back to Jordan in mid-October…the jerks bombed my favorite hotel…the Grand Hyatt.

I recently took a great trip with MG Peterson to the war torn city of Fallujah. There we met the inspirational Chief of Police, Brigadier Saber. He is holding together a police force with shear will in a place that must be one of the toughest cities in the world.

The general and I, picture below, also traveled to Tikrit to see the transfer of authority between the 42nd Division to the 101st Division (Air Assault). The 101st has named their Task Force "Band of Brothers", pretty cool

 

I am always amazed at how far and wide my emails get distributed. I receive notes back from literally all over the world and I am very appreciative of all you are doing at home to support the troops.

No question that the troops deserve your support, and each day I continue to marvel at the 18-19 and 20 year olds that are leading this country through the war. I know that you hear all kinds of stuff about the way things are here and please have no doubt that the losses of our men and women hurt me every day.

The sacrifices they and their families have made remain with me every day and will for the rest of my life. We could certainly spend much time discussing the rights and wrongs for going to war. I am sure that I will have that discussion with many of you when I get home.

I think we could all argue the rights and wrongs of entering any war---there was certainly a sizeable percentage of Americans that didn't want the US to enter WW 1 or WW 2, let alone Korea, Vietnam or the Balkans conflicts. We don't make those calls, our responsibility and oath is to carry out the orders of the President and those officials appointed over us.

I can tell you that we are doing that very well. Have we made some mistakes here---sure we have---but, no one has EVER done this before. Mistakes are somewhat inevitable when you are building an aircraft, in flight while being shot at. Since I have been to the Balkans, both Bosnia and Kosovo, I know a little something about nation building from first hand experience.

The term 'Nation Building' is often controversial but I must call it what it is. We did build a nation in Bosnia and are trying to do so in Kosovo. The most significant difference here is the underestimation of the insurgency. A little more than year ago our folks were driving around in soft skin vehicles throughout the country. Not even thinkable today.

This year has been tough, heck the war after the ground war has been tough but we are winning. I often see the same news that you see only here it is on American Forces Network. I am amazed by all the constant bad news I hear there about things here. There are success stories also and you need to know that many people are doing brave and valiant things to get this place running the way it should.

You just never hear about it. I see it every day. There is actually talk of building a new commercial hotel here in Baghdad, this is some level of normalcy, however small. I also want to take a moment to comment on the amazing Ministry of Interior Police forces. They are leading the fight here every day. For a job that pays less than $500 per month, they are risking immediate execution if found by the AIF.

Their families are facing a similar fate. Whether it is Iraq Police or Border Forces or Special Police Forces they are increasingly taking the fight on themselves. I was recently traveling to the General when he visited an operation where the Iraqi's were leading the charge.

They did the investigating, they did the apprehension, they are doing the follow-on work of finding which are the bad guys and which should be released. Are they perfect?? No, of course not but it is important that they are starting to take the lead. If the coalition will be able to leave this fight and let the Iraqis govern themselves they must be able to handle security themselves. This is what we do---help them take on the fight themselves. A graduating class passes in review in late October below.

Well, that sounds about like enough from me. So much happens here every day it is sometimes hard to keep track. Nearly our entire HQ Staff has changed over since my last note with the US Army 80th Division (Strength of the Mountains) taking over from the awesome 98th Division.

The 80th is a great addition to our team and are doing great work here. We are about to go through some major troop rotations with the 4th Infantry Division coming in and the 3rd ID heading home. Many other changes happening here as well and as I near the end of my tour it'll get busy with the Holidays.

Thanks to all of you for thinking of me and us during these days. Look for us doing a shout out on the Army Navy game broadcast (it was recorded last week) and in our holiday hometown greetings. A special hug to my Sweetest CAS (Caryn Ann Schultz) my new wife who makes me the happiest guy in the world. You are my hero Sweets.

All the very best,
Mike
Master Chief Michael J. Korman,
US Navy Command Master Chief / Command Sergeant Major Civilian Police
Assistance Training Team (CPATT) Adnon Palace,
International Zone, Baghdad, Iraq
APO, AE. 09316DSN: 318-239-7736MCI: 914-822-1199

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
If this e-mail is marked FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY it may be exempt from mandatory disclosure under FOIA. DoD 5400.7R, “DoD Freedom of Information Act Program”, DoD Directive 5230.9, “Clearance of DoD Information for Public Release”, and DoD Instruction 5230.29, “Security and Policy Review of DoD Information for Public Release” apply.