Updated 18-Sep: Welcome to the Schriefer Blog, my name is Tavis Schriefer. Recently, my wife Jill and I raised money to supply driFIRE shirts to every soldier in Apache Company of the 1-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. We were successful in raising over $6500 and we would like to thank everyone for all their support to make this happen.
Please read our entire message here...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Buy This DVD --> Outside the Wire

Buying this DVD will help fund the completion of Johannes' current movie project - Crunch Time. This movie-in-the-making shows Army soldiers in action in Iraq, including the 501st and 509th out of Fort Richardson Alaska.

Watch video clips of the upcoming movie, including this one at the bottom of Johannes' webpage.

From the website:

Outside the Wire
This is the Iraq War you won't see on the evening news.

Former Marine and television news producer JD Johannes traveled to Iraq with his old Marine Corps unit to produce syndicated TV news reports for local stations.

From those reports comes a view of the war that only the grunts who operate outside the wire experience.

From a dust-up with Al Qaida outside Abu Ghriab, to a night raid on the home of an insurgent leader, you will see what the Marines saw and hear the story in their own words of why they joined, volunteered for the deployment, why they fight and what it is like to go outside the wire and into combat.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Article: Fortifying an Outpost Against al-Qaeda

An excellent story from Time Magazine regarding the 501st. -Tavis
I had to fill a sandbag before I could enter the chow hall this morning to eat breakfast. It's a new rule at this forward operating base south of Baghdad where I've been traveling with soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment for most of the week. I guess I probably could have said no, argued that I was a civilian or that by doing so I would break some sort of magical neutrality and become a combatant. But I filled it with whatever patriotism I could muster at 6:30 a.m., and then went about my business as a reporter and asked everyone around me, "Why?"

"They're for OP-3," most of the troops said with a certain pride before tossing their heavy green sacks onto ever-growing pyramids and walking smartly off to chow. This is the story of how I tracked my sandbag to OP-3...
Read entire article

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Operation Gecko IIIA With Blackfoot Company 1/501st Footage

11-Oct-2007: B-roll of U.S. Army paratroopers conducting joint patrols with concerned Iraqi citizens. Scenes include fire fights with al-Qaida and a patrol looking for improvised explosive devices. Produced by Sgt. Ernest Henry.

Operation Gecko in Jurf As Sakhr

5-Oct-2007: With additional assistance from coalition forces and increased participation from the residents, the region of Jurf as Sakhr has made a dramatic change from once being a haven for terrorist activity. SGT Ernest Henry shows us how Paratroopers from 1-501st continue to affect change in the area.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

MSNBC: Fighting on the water (FOB Iskan area)

2nd Brigade Combat Team engineers from the US Army's 4th Infantry Division search for insurgents and weapons caches on the Euphrates River in the Triangle of Death, south of Baghdad, in February 2006.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sunnis, Shias Put Differences Aside for Peace

KALSU, Iraq – The government of Musayyib hosted a celebration of security and economic growth at the city’s police station, Oct. 8.

In a move that could prove to be the turning point in sectarian violence in North Babil, leaders from the predominately Shia city of Musayyib came together with sheiks and representatives of the largely Sunni region of Jurf As Sukhr to share their optimism for the growth and development of the entire area.

With Sunni extremists influence such as the Jaish Al Islami and al-Qaida from the north and west, and Shia militias such as the Jaish Al Mahdi rising from the south, the region surrounding Musayyib and Jurf has been a sectarian battleground for years.

With the security celebration in Musayyib, the sectarian tensions seem to be finally coming to an end.

The chairman of the Musayyib Town Council, Thamir Thaban, and Sheik Fadel Yousif, a representative of the newly formed Jurf As Sukhr government, gave speeches praising the drop in violence and pledged to continue their work together to bring a lasting peace to the region.

Thaban is a member of the Office of Mahdi Sadr, the political wing of the Jaish Al Mahdi, while Fadel was once a leader of the Jaish Al Islami.

With these two former enemies coming together, they have created a bond and a possible model for all of Iraq to follow to finally bring an end to the sectarian violence which has plagued the fledgling government.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

MSNBC - The Fight For Iraq - Regional Power Play

Here is an easy to follow explanation of Iraq and Middle East politics. It is very interesting to listen to.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Spartan Soldier survives multiple terriorist attacks

Sep 19, 2007
BY by Sgt. Marcus Butler 4th BCT, 25th ID PAO

ISKANDARIYAH, Iraq - It can be easy to be brave when surrounded by fellow Soldiers, but it takes real courage and fortitude when it is just you facing the danger head on - especially when that threat is two massive truck bombs.

A sniper's round came dangerously close to Sgt. Jason Stegall's head. Stegall, a team leader in B Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, received his second Purple Heart Medal during this firefight.

Sgt. Jason Stegall has been recommended for the Bronze Star Medal with "V" device for valor for his actions March 26, as he and another paratrooper destroyed two truck bombs before they could harm the base...
Please read this whole article here

Article: U.S. takes Anbar model to Iraqi Shiites

By Gordon Lubold, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
from the October 2, 2007 edition

Forward Operating Base Iskan, Iraq - The violence has dropped dramatically, say US commanders, in the towns surrounding this base in northern Babil Province, south of Baghdad.

In May, four improvised explosive device (IED) attacks targeted the battalion; none in August, says Maj. Craig Whiteside, executive officer of the 1st Battalion of the 501st Infantry Regiment. Fewer undetonated IEDs have been found – five in May and two in August. Indirect fire and small-arms violence have also dropped from about a dozen incidents in May to less than three in August.
Full Article