During a 15-month deployment in support of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, the Phantom Warriors of the III Armored Corps operated as the Multi-National Corps – Iraq (MNC-I) Headquarters in Al Faw Palace at Camp Victory beginning in December 2006.
MNC-I initiated Operation Fardh al-Qanoon in January 2007. The operation, also known as the Baghdad Security Plan, was a joint Coalition Forces (CF) and Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) mission conducted throughout Baghdad. MNC-I was supported by a “surge” of 30,000 additional US forces consisting of five brigade combat teams, a combat aviation brigade, a division headquarters, a Marine expeditionary unit, two Marine battalions and several other enablers.
Operation Fardh al-Qanoon involved a clear, control and retain methodology in each of Baghdad’s ten security districts. The first phase cleared extremist elements from Baghdad neighborhoods in an effort to protect the population. Working side-by-side, CF and ISF systematically cleared the districts of Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents.
Phase two consisted of building and manning Joint Security Stations (JSSs) and Combat Outposts (COPs) with the ISF. Stationing Coalition and Iraqi Forces within JSSs and COPs allowed for a full-time presence in the neighborhoods and on the streets. Their presence also allowed local reconstruction programs to begin. The number of JSSs and COPs in each district was determined by the area commanders on the ground. Other measures to protect the populace included the establishment of gated communities and safe markets.
In the retain phase, ISF became fully responsible for the day-to-day security missions in an area while CF fell back to an overwatch role.
During all three phases, efforts were ongoing to stimulate local economies by creating employment opportunities, initiating reconstruction projects and improving the infrastructure. These efforts were led by local governments and the Government of Iraq. By maintaining a presence in Baghdad’s neighborhoods, the CF and ISF not only safeguarded the local residents, but gained their trust. Additionally, the insurgents and militias were removed and the populace began to align themselves with the Government of Iraq. The III Armored Corps, based at Fort Hood, Texas completed its deployment on 14 February 2008. This was the Corps’ second rotation serving as the MNC-I Headquarters.