Operation Marne Piledriver
Multi-National Division – Center (MND-C) transitioned from Operation Marne Rugged to Operation Marne Piledriver on April 15, 2008. While MND-C Soldiers have been operating on non-lethal lines for some time, this is the first operation that focused on improving the local governance, economics and infrastructure in the Baghdad belts. Operation Marne Piledriver is taking place in the area of operations of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, which is located immediately southwest of Baghdad.
While the focus of the operation is on capacity building, Iraqi Security Forces simultaneously targeted remaining insurgent pockets with the help of Coalition forces. Shi'a extremist activity in late March 2008 made it clear that there was a latent element of Shi'a extremists in the area of Mahmudiyah as well as some Sunni extremists further west in the area of Yusufiyah. As with Operation Marne Rugged, the Iraqi Security Forces (particularly the Iraqi Army) took the lead in the security aspects of this operation.
During Marne Piledriver, Coalition and Iraqi Forces worked to improve security by establishing a Joint Security Station at Yusifiyah. Capacity-building elements of the operation entailed developing Iraqi-run radio stations as well as injecting Government of Iraq funding to improve water quality and availability and to improve the local economy by supporting the poultry and agricultural industries and improving the local market.
Additionally, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) provided training to Government of Iraq officials so that they are better able to administer a democratic, free-market economy after their experiences with the previous state-run system.
On May 15, MND-C transitioned from Marne Piledriver to Operation Marne Dauntless, which had a similar operational concept and focused in the area of Jisr Diyala, which lies east of Baghdad.