3rd Infantry Division Seeing Progress Overseas - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

3rd Infantry Division Seeing Progress Overseas

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The 3rd Infantry Division is making a lot of progress overseas. Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the division commander, says they've already detained almost 4,000 insurgents and are seeing fewer attacks.

In addition, Gen. Lynch says communities are starting to rebuild and his soldiers are forming good relationships with citizens.

Gen. Lynch says, when the 3rd ID arrived, they were averaging about 23 attacks per day, but now they're down to less than five a day. 

"Why the difference?" he asked. "I do believe it's three things. I believe one is the surge, because the surge gave us the combat fire to take the fight to the enemy."

By doing this, troops were able to find the Sunni extremist prepping grounds and strike them before they struck our troops.

"Number two, we don't commute to work. All along, the Coalition forces work to get out amongst the population," said Gen. Lynch.

What this means is that the troops are staying and living in the communities. Making this a priority turned out to be widely beneficial. Citizens started informing soldiers of dangerous areas and actually asking how they could help.

"They've shown us where 385 caches are, 286 IEDs are. They've given us significant tips that led to us paying about $300,000 in rewards," said Gen. Lynch. "They give us candid and direct intelligence that allows us to lead to the capture of high-value individuals and 427 insurgents."

Gen. Lynch went on to say, "I believe the reason that all of those concerned citizens have come forward is because they're tired of the violence. I believe that after four years of intimidation, harassment, murder, they've said enough is enough."

Already Gen. Lynch and his soldiers are seeing how working together is making a difference in areas that used to be nothing more than battle zones.

Lynch told reporters to come with him and he will show them the progress. "You'll see 41 shops that are open. Those 41 shops are open as a result of micro-grants that we used to jump start those shops," he said. "You'll see a government building, you'll see a police station being built."  

Gen. Lynch says he's looking for reasons to be optimistic and he sees them all the time.

Reported by: Christy Hutchings, chutchings@wtoc.com

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