For "Sons of Iraq," being paid in U.S. dollars is becoming a thing of the past. Members of the armed civilian groups, credited with helping to curb violence in Iraq, received their pay from the Iraqi government for the first time this week.
The Iraqi government took over the "Sons of Iraq" program from the U.S. on Oct. 1. But only now are the Iraq security forces taking over from U.S. troops the task of paying the members, in Iraqi dinars.
Americans this week helped Iraqis handle payday in western Rashid, in southern Baghdad, and at Patrol Base South, northwest of Baghdad, according to news releases issued by Multi-National Division–Baghdad.
Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division helped Iraqi troops pay 1,000 members of not only "Sons" but "Daughters of Iraq," too, in the Hayy Furat and Hayy Jihad communities.
The "Sons of Iraq" in those communities will continue to man checkpoints and help the Iraqi army and police provide security, said 1st Lt. Nolan Maxwell, with Company C, of the 1-22nd.
While members were being paid, platoons stepped up patrols in those communities and surrounding locations to deter any potential insurgent activity, officials said.
Maxwell said coalition forces are comparing their master list of "Sons" members with the Iraqi troops’ list of names to ensure there are no discrepencies.
At Patrol Base South, soldiers with Comanche Troop, 2nd Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team helped 53rd Iraqi Army Brigade soldiers process 506 paychecks.
Each "Sons" member receives 354,000 Iraqi dinars, the equivalent of $300, for a month’s work.