SOLLIMS Sampler Volume 10, Issue 1 - Page 27

U.S. forces were represented at all levels of the CSM. An American lieutenant colonel oversaw each governorate’s CCC. An American colonel served as the U.S. representative on the Senior Working Group. U.S. troops participated in combined patrols and in 22 combined checkpoints – 11 in Ninewa, 6 in Kirkuk, and 5 in Diyala governorates. Addition- ally, the U.S. military provided extensive training for the ISF and Kurdish Peshmerga forces of the CSM. Checkpoint Location Selection:       U.S. leadership that established these checkpoints took lessons/experiences from Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia (1995-1996), where checkpoints were established along the Inter-Entity Boundary Line (IEBL) to separate the former warring factions. U.S. leaders talked to local Iraqi force and Peshmerga force commanders individually and then together ... and then selected locations along the Arab-Kurd fault line (generally the final line of advance of the Peshmerga in 2003 with some nuanced exceptions in cities and towns) – i.e., specific points along the line that were the most sensitive/controversial/scenes of fights/high casualties in 2003, as well as current “flashpoints” between Iraqi Arabs and Kurds. Some locations – because they were so sensitive – already had existing “stand- off” checkpoints to control (deny) movement between Arab and Kurd sides of the lines. The CSM checkpoints replaced those existing points. Almost every CSM checkpoint selected (but not all) was astride a major roadway to allow emplacement of a traffic control point (TCP) as part of the checkpoint. Those not astride a major roadway were selected, however, because they were close enough to a main roadway to facilitate quick establishment of a “snap” checkpoint on the roadway if desired. Urban checkpoints were obviously more numerous than rural checkpoints. Most urban checkpoints were on the edge of town on a key approach. Where feasible (but this was rare), checkpoints were placed on defensible terrain. At the very least, terrain was selected where a Helicopter Landing Zone (HLZ) could be contiguous or at least very close to the checkpoint for Medical Evacua- tion (MEDEVAC) and resupply. Combined Coordination Centers: Combined Coordination Center locations were agreed upon by Iraqi, Kurdish Peshmerga, and U.S. military leaders – most often placed at an existing base roughly center of sector of the checkpoints for which it was responsible. Checkpoint Construction:    Careful analysis was done by U.S. Army Combat Engineers to generate the bill of materials (BOM) for each checkpoint and the Combined Coordination Centers. U.S. Army Engineers built them, with minor help from locals on earth-moving and concrete purchase. Essentially, most checkpoints were a lived-in company defensive position with a blast-protected TCP that had both vehicle and individual search areas all rolled into one – with heavy use of HESCO, T-walls, wire, and wood. On every checkpoint there was a sleeping area (some had a combined sleeping area, but most had separate sleeping areas for each force), a combined chow Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 26 of 36