Troop Scoop 5/30/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 30 May 2008 05:39 PM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
Memorial Day stories will be shared as they come in from the different FOBs in Iraq.  Each one is very special honoring our fallen heroes.  Hopefully these stories will bring a measure of comfort to the families and friends left behind.  There is a unique story of our troops joining residents of Kansas for a run to raise money for brain injuries.  Key terrorist suspects captured, along with numerous weapons caches.
Joanna
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Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

May 30, 2008

MND-B Soldiers conduct operations to increase safety in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – MND-Baghdad Soldiers seized weapons throughout Baghdad, May 28 as they conducted ops to secure the area.
2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID seized a 155 mm projectile round with a detonation cord attached, a 120 mm mortar round, and a bag of TNT northwest of Baghdad.
1st BCT, 4th ID seized a 6-inch EFP starter kit, 2 pounds of C4 explosives, a 120 mm mortar round, and a 155 mm artillery round in the West Rashid district of Baghdad.
2nd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT), seized 2 4-foot tubes and 2 2-foot tubes with white powder, a mortar base, and 3 pressure plates in the Mansour district of Baghdad.

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Vanguard Soldiers pay respect to fallen heroes

By Sgt. 1st Class Tami Hillis, 4th BCT, 3rd ID

FOB KALSU – Task Force Vanguard Soldiers honored their fallen brothers during a Memorial Day service, May 26.
“I am truly humbled to stand here before these great warriors, recognized by these symbols – a picture, a weapon, a helmet and boots – but more importantly, their spirits are here with us today, not only here forward but in our hearts and our memories,” said Col. Thomas James, cmdr of 4th BCT, 3rd ID.
Vanguard Soldiers and civilians came together to honor the 59 Vanguard warriors who paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving their nation for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
When each fallen Soldier’s name was announced, two Soldiers from his unit came forward and placed a flag honoring their fallen comrade.      “It is the service of the Soldiers around the world and especially in this combat zone that mark their sacrifices,” James said. “Their families also answered the call of duty through their unwavering support for their loved ones who willingly risked their personal safety for the preservation of something greater than themselves.”
James, along with the bn. cmdrs. and command sgts major, laid a wreath in honor of the fallen comrades.
“I would like to close my remarks today by remembering the service and sacrifice of Task Force Vanguard’s first fallen warrior, Sgt. Samuel Kelsey, who was killed during combat ops in December 2007 in the small town of Khidr,” James said.  “Sergeant Kelsey died trying to assist in the recovery of one of his Soldiers, Corporal
McGuire, immediately after McGuire himself had fallen victim to an IED. “Despite the knowledge that he was surrounded by IEDs, Sgt Kelsey listened to his Soldier’s instinct and immediately started moving to the aid of a fallen comrade.  On his second step toward McGuire, Sgt Kelsey also stepped on a pressure plate that was rigged to a much larger explosive, killing him instantly.  Sgt Kelsey, like the Task Force Vanguard fallen warriors before and after him, lived the Soldier’s Creed and was willing to die for the freedoms we enjoy and for his fellow Soldiers.”

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A weapon, Kevlar and boots represent the fallen heroes.

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Private First Class Michael McDaniel and Spc. Raymond Goss, both with Co. A, 3-7th Inf. Regt., pay their respects to their fallen comrade, Spc. Kyle Norris.

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Vanguard’s leadership salute during the Brigade’s Memorial Day service.

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NPs seize substantial munitions cache

BAGHDAD – Iraqi NP discovered a substantial munitions cache at approx. 12:55 a.m. in the Aamel area of Rashid, May 28 in southeastern Baghdad, consisting of 11 EFPs, 60 60 mm mortar rounds, 40 80 mm
mortar rounds, 20 120 mm mortar rounds, 100 pounds of military-grade C4 explosives, 50 pounds of homemade explosives, 3 RPG launchers, 20 RPG rounds, 2 Dragonov sniper rifles, a Dishka machine gun, 11 grenades, a rocket sled, a 180 mm mortar base plate, a 60 mm mortar base plate and several artillery timers.

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Soldiers in Iraq join Kansas City citizens in their fight to help those suffering from brain injuries

By Spc. Jason Jordan
1st BCT, 10th Mtn. Div.

TIKRIT –  Soldiers with the 3rd Bn, 6th FAR, 1st Bde, 10th Mtn Div joined the 21st annual Amy Thompson Run to Daylight – a charity event consisting of 2-mile and 8-kilometer events in Kansas City, Kan., that raises money to help those suffering from brain injuries.  Amy Thompson was a 23-year-old college graduate enjoying her life as a third-grade teacher when she was shot twice in the head during an attempted robbery at a neighborhood party Halloween night in 1986.
Both groups of runners on each side of the world held a moment of silence before their run, honoring servicemembers. The 3-6 FA Soldiers spoke aloud the names of 11 members of the 1-10th Mtn. Div. who
were killed since their deployment began in September – with a moment of silence following each name.

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Soldiers with the 1st BCT, along with Airmen and civilian contractors on FOB Warrior in northeastern Iraq’s Kirkuk region – bow their heads during a moment of silence for fallen comrades before participating in a run for charity on Memorial Day.

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In 110 degrees they run towards the sunrise.

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Memorial honors 1-8 Infantry’s fallen

By Pfc. Adam Blazak

MOSUL – For many, Memorial Day is a time for barbeques, spending time with family and taking the first dip in the pool. For Soldiers with CoB, 1st Bn, 8th Inf Regt, Memorial Day has a much more significant meaning.
“This is a day to reflect upon sacrifices our brothers and sisters have made,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Johns, cmder of 1-8 Inf. Regt.
Since the co. touched ground in late December 2007, the Soldiers have fought for the freedoms of the Iraqi people, but those freedoms have come at a price.  The co. rolled out of FOB Marez into the city of Mosul to conduct a combat patrol Jan. 28.  During the patrol, one of their vehicles was struck by an IED, killing 5 Soldiers of Co B.  In wake of the deaths, Staff built a memorial inside 1-8 Inf. Regt. HQ to commemorate the co.’s fallen.
On display are photos of the 5 Soldiers and the traditional fallen Soldier’s display; combat boots representing the final march of the last battle, the inverted rifle signaling a time of prayer, the helmet and ID tags signifying the fallen Soldier.
Since Op Iraqi Freedom kicked off in 2003, 15 Soldiers from 1-8 Inf. Regt. have lost their lives in combat. “I wanted to do something special for my guys,” Staff added.  “I put a lot of extra work and detail into it.”
“I hold Memorial Day dear to my heart,” said Sgt. 1st Class John B. Guidry, a Soldier with Co B who worked with the 5 Soldiers.  “They will never be forgotten with this memorial.”

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A Soldier with Co B, goes one-by-one through the identification tags of his fallen comrades.

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26th BSB celebrates Memorial Day

By Sgt. Kevin Stabinsky, 2nd BCT, 3rd ID

FOB KALSU – In the early morning light May 26, standing in formation near their vehicles and equipment, Soldiers of the 26th BSB, 2nd BCT Team, 3rd ID gathered to remember those who lost their lives for their
country, and to strengthen bonds with those still serving.
“Today, on Memorial Day, we honor our fallen comrades and remember what they’ve done,” said Maj. Henry Young, 26th BSB EO. For the 26th BSB, the day was especially meaningful, as the battalion lost two of their own this deployment: Sgt. Mason Lewis and Pfc. Leron Wilson.
“We will not forget our fallen comrades,” Young said.  The best way to honor their memories, he said, was to continue on, push forward and, like them, perform honorable deeds in service to America and its ideals.
Serving as a more tangible reminder were American flags donated by Montgomery Elementary School in Ashland, Ohio. The children also wrote letters to the Soldiers thanking them for their sacrifices.  The children adopted the Soldiers after learning of them from Chap. (Capt.) Javon Seaborn, 26th BSB chaplain. Seaborn’s wife, a school teacher at Reams Road Elementary, Richmond, Va., coordinated with other teachers to locate classes looking to sponsor Soldiers.
The letters offered words of encouragement and thanks to uplift Soldiers in battle. Seaborn said each Soldier is scheduled to write back to offer the children words of encouragement in their schoolwork battles.  Seaborn has been in contact with Montgomery School principal Julie Petruna.  “We want to encourage them to learn about Soldiers and understand the Army,” Seaborn said.
Seaborn hopes children will not only learn more about the military, but also gain a deeper respect for those who serve and the veterans who paid the ultimate price, not just on Memorial Day but every day.
Forty Soldiers have died during the 2nd BCT’s tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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Sgt. Brandon Knight, a radio communications repair specialist with Co B, 26th BSB, grabs a flag out of a box held by bn Chap. (Capt.) Javon Seaborn.

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Soldiers from 26th BSB read notes from children.

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A Soldier holds a flag and note from a child.

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Aviation Soldiers remember the fallen

By Pfc. Monica K. Smith, 3rd CAB

CAMP STRIKER – Soldiers from the CAB, 3rd ID remembered fallen comrades during a Memorial Day
Remembrance at the CAB flightline dining facility in Baghdad, May 26.
“This is a time to remember our fallen colleagues,” said Chap. (Capt.) Felix Kumai, HHC, 1st Bn, 3rd Aviation Regt.  “We are in this together, and we wanted to memorialize the memory of them.”
The observance was open to anyone who wanted to reflect and pray. Soldiers arrived at the dining facility during regular meal-times and remained as long as they desired.
“For me, it’s important to never forget the sacrifices that are required for freedom,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Woiwode, Troop B, 3rd Sqdrn, 17th Cav Regt.   Woiwode said this freedom is evident in the American homes and happening right now in the homes of Iraqi citizens through sacrifices made by fighting servicemembers.  “It’s important that we never forget the cost of freedom,” he said.
Chaplains were present to give support to Soldiers. The vigil began at midnight May 25 and continued until midnight Memorial Day with a chaplain from the brigade praying once every six hours.
“We pray for them to have peace and be united with God,” Kumai said. “They have made the ultimate sacrifice and it is our prayer that our Soldiers, who have fallen  … will be the seed on which a new Iraq is built.”

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Chap. (Capt.) Felix Kumai, prays during a Memorial Day Remembrance.

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IA Soldiers continue to seize weapons in Sadr City

BAGHDAD – IA Soldiers took a number of weapons out of the control of criminals during Op Peace in Sadr City, May 27, consisting of 27 EFPs, a mortar tube, 30 AK-47s and an AK-47 magazine, 6 sniper rifle, 2 RPG launchers, 4 60 mm mortar rounds, 6 rounds of .50-caliber ammo, and other related munitions.

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Iraqi civilians lead Coalition forces to hidden weapons caches

CAMP VICTORY – A local Iraqi led CF to 2 large weapon caches near al-Duar, 18 miles south of Baghdad, May 27.  The larger of the 2 caches, which was 30 meters from the second cache, was found buried 3 feet in the side of a hill.
The combined caches contained more than 900 pounds of home-made explosives. The larger cache had 600 pounds of HME, and the smaller one had 300 pounds of gun powder fertilizer mix.  The caches also included 8 120 mm high explosive rounds, more than 300 mortar fuses, 2 mortar tripods, a 120 mm mortar tube with base plate, a 250 pound bomb, 300 rounds of 23 mm anti-aircraft propelled grenades, 170 RPG boosters, 22 73 mm rockets, a 105 mm projectile, a mortar sight, mortar protractor, various sizes of mortar tailfins, a 73 mm rifle tube, a radio and a 120 mm illumination canister.

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Iraqi Special Operations Forces capture terrorist in Mosul

BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured a suspected terrorist in eastern Mosul, Iraq, May 26.
The ISOF conducted an operation to capture a suspected leader of an AQI cell operating in the Mosul area.  Three other suspects were detained. The terrorist and his cell are believed to be responsible for IED attacks against Iraqi and CF, and recruiting for AQI in the Mosul area.

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ISOF capture three Special Groups criminals in separate operations

BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured 3 suspected Special Groups criminals in 2 separate ops around Baghdad, May 27.
The ISOF captured 2 suspected criminals accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing Iraqi citizens and forcing them out of their homes.
In another op in Baghdad, ISOF captured a suspected criminal reported to be responsible for attacks against Iraqi and CF.  The suspect reportedly assisted in acquiring rockets, mortars and IEDs used in the attacks.

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MND-B Soldiers detain terror suspect

BAGHDAD –  In Tarmiyah, northwest of Baghdad, May 26, Soldiers with 1st Bn, 14th Inf Regt, 2nd Stryker
BCT, 25th ID, detained the suspect, who is accused of recruiting juveniles in the area to carry out attacks on Iraqi SF and CF.

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MND-C Soldiers find homemade explosive cache

CAMP STRIKER – A tip led MND-Center Soldiers to approx. 900 pounds of homemade explosives north of Patrol Base Shanghai, about 22 km southwest of Baghdad, May 26.
Rakkasan Soldiers from Co B, 3rd Bn, 187th Inf Regt, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT) uncovered a cache consisting of 18 50-pound bags of homemade explosive.

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Iraqi Police detain two key criminals in Seddah area

FOB KALSU – IP detained 2 key criminals in the Seddah area, approx. 65 km south of Baghdad, May 22.
IP notified Soldiers from 2nd Plt, Co C, 3rd Bn, 7th Inf Regt, 4th BCT, 3rd ID about the key criminals and handed them over to CF at the Musayyib IP Station, May 23.
“The detainment of these criminals continues to show the people in the area the strong relationship between the IP and CF, and their commitment to providing a safe and secure environment,” said Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Williams, 2nd Plt Sgt.
The 2 individuals are suspected of being indirect fire experts and involved in the March rocket attacks on the Regional Embassy Office in al-Hillah.  During their detainment, one of the individuals tried throwing a
notebook into a canal, but the IPs retrieved it and the notebook was translated.  The translation revealed grid coordinates and other info about FOBs, govt buildings and other places of interest, according to Williams.

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