By Kevin M. Smith
Killeen Daily Herald
Members of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, have been attending Killeen City Council meetings to learn how the local municipal government works.
At Tuesday's meeting, however, Brigade Commander Col. David Sutherland told the council how the 3rd Brigade, also known as the Greywolf Brigade, works and what its mission in Iraq was and will be.
"We had to re-establish governance in the province," Sutherland said.
When the Greywolf Brigade arrived in Iraq about a year and a half ago, only the executive branch of the government – the governor's office – was running, he said. The municipal governments in the province of Diyala (about the size of Maryland) in Iraq had shut down.
He said there are about 25 major tribes and 100 sub-tribes wanting power in government in Diyala.
"That's a lot of large egos to try to get any kind of consensus," Sutherland said.
He said it was the brigade's job to re-establish a functioning government.
"We worked directly with the Iraqi government, something we'd never been trained for," Sutherland said.
He said he knows how to maneuver troops, but not how to maneuver diplomacy and democracy in government.
Sutherland said through that, and combat patrol missions, the Greywolf Brigade was able to reduce violence and begin to establish order.
"This is the work of the soldiers who live on Fort Hood and the Killeen area," Sutherland said.
A video presentation to the council included a clip from a story that appeared on CNN that included interviews with Sutherland and other soldiers in the 3rd Brigade about the reduction of violence.
Sutherland said his brigade returned to Fort Hood with 110 fewer soldiers, all of whom were listed in the video presentation.
Councilman Juan Rivera asked for a moment of silence to honor those soldiers.
Councilman Larry Cole suggested the city could produce a municipal government training video to help the soldiers with their mission of establishing city councils in Iraq.
The Greywolf Brigade returned to Fort Hood in December after a 15-month stint in Iraq.
Contact Kevin M. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 501-7550