3rd ID Soldiers Involved in Major Offensive Over Tigris River - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/28/07

3rd ID Soldiers Involved in Major Offensive Over Tigris River

Major General Rick Lynch. Major General Rick Lynch.

SAVANNAH, GA--A major offensive over the Tigris and Euphrates rivers yielded big results for the 3rd Infantry Division.

Major General Rick Lynch detailed the operation for WTOC on Mid-Morning Live via satellite Wednesday.

More than 600 soldiers were airlifted into an area across the Euphrates river. Their job was to put down a rising insurgency in the area.

General Lynch says the soldiers day to day efforts are getting easier thanks to the people in Iraq.

"Just in my battlespace we've got 26,000 Iraqis who have stood up and said ok, I got this, I'm going to secure my area," explains General Lynch. "Just like we secure our hometowns here in the states, they are securing their hometowns here as well. So it gives us great room for optimism. So what that's allowed us to do it focus on capacity building. We'll shift our focus on January 1st to building the guts, building the economy, reestablishing the school system, rebuilding the port system because the security situation allows us to do that."

So far thanks to 3rd Infantry Division soldiers and the people of Iraq working with them, more than 3,500 possible insurgents have been killed or captured.

The General and his division also had reason to celebrate for the Marne Division's 90th birthday.

The 3rd Infantry Division was created at Camp Greene, North Carolina in 1917. Their first major mission was in France, near the Marne river.

"We went from the Marne River to the Tigris River, now we are making that same stand over the Tigris and Euphrates River. We are making a stand for freedom just like our predecessors did 90 years ago. So we are proud dog faced soldiers and I'm proud of my soldiers because they are contiuing the tradition of this fine division, your division."

In honor of the birthday, 300 soldiers reenlisted inside one of Saddam Husseins's former palaces.

Reported by: Andrew Davis, andrewdavis@wtoc.com

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