As liaison officer between 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery and the brigade headquarters for 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Staff Sgt. Miguel Abisaab said he keeps his superiors “in the loop.”
Abisaab, 39, who is deployed to Iraq with the 1st Brigade, said his responsibility is to monitor events in the brigade’s area of operations and to quickly relay and update that information.
“The key event is the drawdown in Iraq,” he said.
Abisaab said a significant element of his unit’s mission is to work with and train Iraqi security forces. He said he sends a “daily story board” of the training to his commanding officers.
“Operation New Dawn starts here in six days,” he said Wednesday. “It’s really already started. What we’ve started the next brigade (upon 1st Brigade’s redeployment) will finish.”
This deployment is Abisaab’s second to Iraq. He served in 2003, just months after Operation Iraqi Freedom was launched.
Although much has changed in Iraq in seven years, there is still work to be done, he said.
“We’re still concerned about the infrastructure — that has to be addressed,” the sergeant said. “It is important for people to have sanitation; clean water and electricity.”
He said security still is a concern as well.
A message posted Aug. 25 on Fort Stewart’s Team Stewart website reported an “upswing in attacks in Iraq.”
“Although there have been 17 attacks today in Task Force Marne’s area of operations, no U.S. soldiers were affected. Sadly, our Iraqi partners were the victims of these attacks today. All were against the Iraqi police, innocent civilians and some Iraqi army, with some deaths and several wounded,” reads the website message.
Abisaab said last week there had been “incidents around Baghdad.”
He said spikes in violence were to be expected with the drawdown of combat troops.
“We want to see it (violence) decline. But it will probably still be around for a while to come,” the sergeant said. “That’s one of the biggest challenges for the ISF — is to be able to respond and not give in to intimidation.”
Abisaab said Iraqi security forces and police are trained and ready to take responsibility for security in their country.
The Army sergeant, who also has served with the U.S. Marines and National Guard, came to Fort Stewart in December 2008. Abisaab said with half his current deployment served, he just wants his unit to “get home safe and sound.”
He plans to take leave and visit his parents in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo.
A Kansas City Chiefs football fan, Abisaab hopes to catch some home games.
“And I’d like to watch the Super Bowl,” he said.
Editor’s note: This the sixth installment in a series profiling the men and women of the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division now deployed to Iraq.