News Team (Iraq) 27 Dec –08 Jan 2016
On the 27 of December with all thoughts of Christmas forgotten we landed in Baghdad, me the Adviser stroke sound engineer, the producer, reporter and cameraman, the team was accommodated for the next 10 days with an expat security company in what was once the green zone and ferried around Baghdad by a local security team.
The news crews aim was to report from Ramadi,where ISIS was still in partial control and the fighting was heaviest with Iraqi forces. A broadcasting centre was hastily constructed on the roof of our villa, from where live daily and nightly broadcasts were sent. Each day for the next 10 days the team tried to reach Ramadi, attending meetings from the highest Iraqi general in both the army and the special forces through to the head of American operations in Iraq, after a short period we secured a lift on a press convoy only to be taken as far asa refugee camp on the outskirts of ISIS held Fallujah, having to return without making it to Ramadi.
During my time with the news crew I worked in conjunction with the expat security company and local close protection team to ensure villa and mobile security, providing evacuation plans, ensuring clients safety in both road and rotary moves, sending daily reports to both London and Atlanta USA, collating intelligence from American forces giving the team a more informed picture of the battlefield. The use of 24-hour tracking devices was employed and hourly situation reports via a satellite link to Atlanta were given whilst on the front line in Ramadi.On day 11 we eventually secured a ride into Ramadi on a helicopter with the Iraqi special forces, these were the guys who had done most of the fighting, we were then taken to the front line by a convoy of Humvees where the crew got their story and the world got the sights and sounds of battle live in there sitting room.
“Thanks for your efforts -the team really enjoyed working with you on the ground and I found all of your SitReps comprehensive and informative allowing us to make sound judgements and informed decisions about the level of risk we were willing to take to get the story on the ground in Ramadi.”
News outlet and Chiron resources