2nd BCT Commander Interview on the Morning Show
2nd BCT Commander Colonel David Miller says that troops are facing a much different scenario in Iraq.
Vigilance against potential threats and success in several areas has made a difference for the 2nd BCT's return to the region.
During it's first tour of Iraq, the 2nd BCT lost 54 soldiers, but as it stands now, no soldiers have been lost to combat related incidents.
The squad is located in a large area in Eastern Baghdad and also a large rural area in Western Baghdad, similar Miller says, to traveling between Syracuse and Watertown.
Troops are continuing to partner with Iraqi Forces, training and supporting them, as well as encourage economic development.
Colonel Miller says that the Iraqi civilians mostly say they are pleased with the U.S. forces and what they are trying to accomplish, but they also want to take control of their own security, health and welfare.
"It's Iraqis wanting to be able to take care of Iraqis and not rely on a foreign entity to do that."
The challenges of keeping soldiers' morale up is slightly different between those currently serving in Afghanistan and those serving in Iraq, as both 3rd BCT Commander Colonel David Haight and 2nd BCT Commander Colonel David Miller recognized in seperate interviews.
"I think morale is very good," Colonel Miller said of the soldiers serving in Iraq. "Morale comes alot from knowing what your mission is, understanding the significance of that mission and understanding your individual contribution to that mission."
Colonel Miller added that in his 25 years in the Army, the North Country's support is second to none with the 18 other places he has served and will continue to work on the relationships between Fort Drum and the community.
"Positive support and not just being a guest in the community, but a member of the community makes a huge difference for the soldiers deployed."
Thursday, April 17, 2014, Watertown, NY