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— Brig. Gen. Khatub Umer Aref recently led more than 400 Iraqi Emergency Service Unit “Lions” in Operation Lion Dragon Hunt here, proving the skill, determination and professionalism of his unit.
The Lions had assistance from Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry, attached to 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, known as the "Dragons," led by Capt. Jeremiah Fritz, the commander of Delta Company. In addition to the Delta Company Soldiers, the U.S. Army also provided military working dogs to assist in the mission, according to Fritz.
"We had two main purposes today," said Fritz. "One was to demonstrate the ability of the Kirkuk ESU to perform clearing operations and also to disrupt the enemy."
In addition to these missions, the ESU and U.S. military were also looking for anyone staying in the area illegally, according to Fritz.
Even though no hidden weapons were located, more than 20 people were detained and taken to the Amal Shabi Iraqi Police station for lacking proper identification to be in the area, said Fritz.
“This mission was very successful; together we made the insurgents fearful and met our objectives,” said Aref.
"Every day the ESU is getting better and better; they are very close to being completely independent," said Fritz.
"We will continue to do missions like this," Aref concluded. "We will not give the insurgents a break.”