Soon after MG Jeffery Hammond took command of the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) and read my first 4ID Iraq book, Operation Iraqi Freedom I: A Year in the Sunni Triangle, he told me he wanted me to write a similar book about the 4ID and Multi-National Division – Baghdad (MND-B) during the division’s third deployment to Iraq in 2007-2009.

In May 2003, I began producing a daily “4ID Update from Iraq” electronic newsletter that chronicled the daily events of 4ID and Task Force Ironhorse. When the division returned to Iraq in 2005-2006, I continued the updates, covering 4ID and all of MND-B, again preserving their daily history and accomplishments. When 4ID again took command of MND-B in December 2007, I resumed my updates for the third deployment.

With the wealth of material I had collected, along with regular contacts with key 4ID and MND-B personnel over the three deployments, I was well aware of the great accomplishments of 4ID and MND-B when I started work on this book. My challenge was how to best present it for the Soldiers, Family members, and friends of 4ID/MND-B (the primary audience of this book).

The accomplishments of 4ID and MND-B during their fifteen months in Iraq were nothing short of phenomenal – focused on protecting the Iraqi people, building infrastructure to make their lives better, training the Iraqi Security Forces – and fighting one of the biggest battles of the war, in Sadr City, in the spring of 2008. Successful provincial elections on the last day of January 2009 put an exclamation point on a highly successful deployment.

Space does not allow me to cover all the accomplishments of all the units, but I have done my best to include representative examples of the types of activities performed by all our Soldiers.

With the huge investment MND-B made in Information Operations and a Public Affairs Team that set the standard for getting the story out to the Iraqi and American public, I made the decision to use those press releases and well written stories as my primary vehicle in telling the story of 4ID and MND-B in this book – thus, the title, “Dispatches from Baghdad”.

When our 4ID and MND-B Soldiers sit with their grandchildren in the future, this book will help them tell the story of their role in this pivotal timeframe during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

HISTORY / Military / Iraq War (2003-2011)

Tags: Iraq War, History