In 2010 the situation on the ground in Iraq was getting increasingly…convoluted. Even veteran Special Forces NCO’s were saying that it was the most difficult operational environment that they had ever seen. The difficulty was two fold, by this stage in the war the United States military had a heavy hand in Iraq while simultaneously the Iraqi government itself was attempting to exert some semblance of authority. What this meant for soldiers who did the day-to-day grunt work was that they had to navigate an increasing level of bureaucracy coming from both the US and the Iraqi government. Seriously, you needed a memo signed by a Colonel to train your own soldiers, it was getting ridiculous.

This was the situation that led to the LRSC unit stationed on our FOB to approach our ODA and ask for some assistance. I believe this unit was C/co 2/152nd Long Range Surveillance Company out of Ft. Knox but my memory is already a little faulty. Maybe a soldier from this unit can correct me if I’m wrong. At this time in Iraq, it was required that Iraqi soldiers “action” objectives. In other words, US soldiers were no longer permitted to kick in doors and shoot terrorists unless they were already coming under fire. For this reason, they asked my ODA for some support during their upcoming Area Reconnaissance mission.

I was happy to volunteer myself as I had established some good rapport with our ISWAT unit and felt that we weren’t seeing enough action on our own missions. It was decided that myself, one other SF soldier from our team, and five ISWAT members would accompany LRSC on their 5-day mission out in the desert.

LRSC on patrol with SF and Iraqi attachments
LRSC on patrol with SF and Iraqi attachments

Hitting the road in about a dozen armored Humvees, this was a little different from how most of us traditionally think of LRS units but as I’ve said before, everyone has had to adapt as the GWOT has changed forms, myself included. Area Recon with our CF brothers isn’t really a Special Forces mission but as it turned out this mission was well worth our time.