Good Night's Work
11th Armored Cavalry, "Blackhorse".
|Size 15 x 25|
|Military Aviation Art
In the Spring of 2004, Coalition Forces, led by the United States Military, were engaged in a vicious counter-insurgency fight in the newly liberated Iraq. Just a year earlier, the Coalition had invaded Iraq and crushed Saddam Hussein’s armies in historical proportions. Cessation of major combat operations had been declared only 43 days after the war began.
The mission to uproot Saddam Hussein’s ruling party was complete and Saddam himself in custody. The task of assisting Iraqis in the establishment of a stable government and rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and economy lay ahead. Elements inside of Iraq were vying for control and influence in the yet-to-be established government, and many subsets of these elements would use fear, threats, and violence to manipulate the citizens of Iraq to comply. The Coalition, as the liberators of Iraq, were inherently involved in the struggle for establishment of a democratically elected government.
It was behind this backdrop in the Spring of 2004 that the Soldiers of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment “Blackhorse” stationed at Fort Irwin and the National Training Center, California were ordered to relinquish their role as the trainers of soon-to-be combatants and begin their own training for future counter-insurgency operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III.
In June, 2004 the 58th Engineers deployed to Camp Victory near Baghdad International Airport and Camp Cuervo in Southeastern Baghdad. In January 2005, 1st and 2nd Squadrons as well as the Regimental Headquarters deployed to Iraq. 1st Squadron (Ironhorse) deployed to Camp Taji in Northern Baghdad and later moved to Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport. 2nd Squadron (Eaglehorse) deployed to Forward Operating Base Kalsu, 35 miles south of Baghdad. The Regimental Headquarters deployed to Camp Courage in Mosul taking on the role as Headquarters, Task Force Freedom and Multi-National Division North West (MND-NW). All units were deployed for approximately one year with the last elements of the Regiment returning home to Fort Irwin in February 2006.
The scene depicted in this breathtaking print is of a typical combat patrol conducting a cordon and search. Over the course of an evening, many of these cordon and search missions would be conducted. Planning for these missions would start as much as a month in advance to literally just hours prior to execution. On the night of the mission, a patrol could raid up to fifteen targets searching for suspected terrorists and hidden weapon caches. These operations often began in the late evening and ran into the early morning thus lending credence to the print’s title, “A Good Night’s Work.”