Archive for June 8th, 2008

Troop Scoop 6/8/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 08 Jun 2008 11:46 AM CDT

Dear Interested Readers,
HEADLINE NEWS:  Operation Muthana Strike destroys major al-Qaeda-In-Iraq cell.  Other criminals killed or captured, and tremendous amounts of weapons caches seized, were part of the big stories of the day.  Technology comes to Kirkuk province to improve emergency services.
Joanna
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Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

June 8, 2008

ISOF capture Special Groups criminal

BALAD – Iraqi SOF captured a suspected Special Groups criminal in al-Amarah, a city northeast of Basra, June 5.
The ISOF conducted the operation to capture the suspected criminal who reportedly had weapons caches in and around his home containing Katyushka rockets, AK-47 assault rifles and suppressors for various pistols.

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Iraqi Army Soldiers seize more weapons in Sadr City

BAGHDAD – Iraqi Army soldiers seized multiple weapons caches in Sadr City June 6, consisting of 16 AK-47s, 200 AK-47 rounds, 2 Berno rifles, a sniper rifle, 5 RPG propellants, 25 82 mm mortar rounds, 19 artillery rounds, 6 60 mm mortar rounds, 5 mortar tops, 3 IEDs, 3 detonating devices, an anti-tank mine, 12 rocket launchers, 11 RPGs, 2100 PKC rounds, and numerous munition components.

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National Police, MND-B Soldiers seize weapons caches, kill one criminal

BAGHDAD – June 6, Soldiers from the 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, discovered 11 rocket warheads, 4 122mm mortar rounds, a rocket tube, and a medium-sized bomb at approx. 10:15 a.m. northwest of Baghdad.
Iraqi NP seized 16 RPGs, 8 boosters, a pineapple grenade and an RPG night site in the Oubaidy area of New Baghdad.
At approx. 6:15 p.m. in the Furat area of Rashid, Soldiers from the1st BCT, 4th ID, seized 14 sticks of dynamite, a battery detonator and an indeterminate amount of electrical wire.
Soldiers from 2nd SBCT, 25th ID were attacked with small-arms fire at approx. 11:30 p.m. northwest of Baghdad, and returned fire and killing one militant.

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ISF, Rakkasans uncover two caches in Mahmudiyah area

BAGHDAD – June 3, after receiving a tip from an informant, IA Soldiers and 3rd Bn, 320th FA uncovered a cache consisting of 3 SPG-9 rockets; 12 57 mm anti-aircraft rounds; and 28 60 mm mortar rounds.
The second cache was discovered by Mahmudiyah IP and the 65th MP Co near Muadefeen, about 26 km
southwest of Baghdad. That cache consisted of 6 60 mm mortars, 32 RPG rounds, 5 RPG motors and various other mortar components.
Rakkasans from 187th Inf Regt, 3rd BCT, 101st Abn Div (AASLT), recently began riverine ops in the area. Gaining access to caches similar to these buried in the river bed is one of the unit’s goals.

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First block paved in groundbreaking ceremony leading to improved emergency services

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PRT member and Federal Emergency Management Agency representative Frank Disimino looks on as Gov. Mustafa of Kirkuk Province paves the first stone of a construction project that will improve the delivery of emergency services for the Iraqi people during a ceremony at the Provincial Joint Coordination Center, June 5.  The Kirkuk ECC will provide first responder service in the form of a 911 system designed exclusively for cellular phones.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region North provided the system to the Province and provided engineering assistance in the design of the new building to be constructed within the Provincial Joint Coordination Center complex.

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A keystone representing the beginning of the construction project.

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Salah ad-Din province Iraqi Special Weapons and Tactics team detains two terrorists in Tikrit

BALAD – The Salah ad-Din province Iraqi SWAT team captured 2 suspected AQI cell members in Tikrit, June 4.
The ISWAT conducted an op to capture suspected members of an AQI IED cell in Tikrit believed to be
responsible for VBIED attacks against Iraqi and CF, and kidnappings in Kirkuk. The men are also suspected of making false ID cards.

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IA Soldiers find 100th cache, continue securing Sadr City

BAGHDAD – IA soldiers seized a weapons cache June 5 in Sadr City, marking the 100th cache the soldiers have seized since Op Peace began May 20.
IA soldiers are patrolling Sadr City to help protect citizens from the violence of Special Groups criminals that are operating in the neighborhoods.
IA soldiers have seized 114 IEDs, 60 EFPs, 295 mortar rounds, 242 RPGs, 163 homemade hand grenades,123 grenades, 109 anti-tank mines,11 rockets, 6 helicopter rockets, 4 anti-aircraft rockets, 21 tank rounds, 367 AK-47s, 41 artillery rounds, 39 RPG launchers, 23 mortar tubes, 11 rocket rails, 10 RPKs, 6 PKCs, 7 machine guns, 24 rifles, 22 Siminov sniper rifles, 8 pistols, an anti-aircraft gun, 62 kilograms of TNT, a crate of TNT, 7 sticks of TNT, 20 one-liter cans of TNT, a box of TNT with ball bearings, other homemade explosives, bomb-making materials and a government truck.
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ISF, MND-B Soldiers seize weapons in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – Soldiers from the 7th Sqdrn, 10th Cav Regt., 1st BCT, 4th ID, and Iraqi SF, acting on a tip from a concerned Iraqi citizen,  seized weapons caches as they continued ops to increase security in Baghdad June 6.

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National Police, MND-B Soldiers seize weapons cache

BAGHDAD – Iraqi NP officers, with support from Soldiers assigned to their NP Transition Team and 1st CAB, 66th AR, seized a weapons cache during a combined op in the Karadah security district of eastern Baghdad, June 6.
“We are happy to provide support as Iraqi SF take the lead in conducting search ops,” said Maj. Joey Sullinger, spokesperson for 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div.

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MND-B Soldiers detain two, find caches

FOB FALCON –  June 5, Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID, detained a suspect at approx. 9:45 a.m. in the Saydiyah community, allegedly involved in conducting IED attacks against CF.
At approx. 1:30 p.m. Soldiers also from the 1st BCT, detained a suspect while conducting a combat patrol in the Saha neighborhood.
IA soldiers seized 2 hand grenades, an anti-aircraft round, a bag of homemade explosives, 50 12.7 mm rounds of ammo and various IED making materials in the Saydiyah neighborhood.
“The ‘Raider’ Brigade conducts combat ops at all hours of the day to bring terrorists to justice,” said Maj. Dave Olson, spokesman for 1st BCT.  “CF along with Iraqi SF maintain a constant presence to deter these individuals and prevent harm to the citizens of Rashid.”

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Operation Muthana Strike destroys major al-Qaeda in Iraq cell

TIKRIT – CF detained more than 20 suspected terrorists and killed 4 during an op targeting a major AQI terrorist network along the Tigris River Valley in the western portion of the Ta’mim province, June 4.
Among the dead were a suspected cell leader and his top lieutenants who were part of a network that is responsible for car bomb attacks and weapons smuggling in the province, as well as surrounding areas in northern Iraq.
The op was conducted by elements of 1st Bn, 87th Inf Regt, 1st BCT, 10th Mtn Div, along with other CF, and was a result of info gained from previous successful ops and tips from local citizens.

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We were invited to participate on Sunday in the Highland Falls memorial portion of the Rolling Thunder ‘Salute to Veterans’ Ride. Mayor Joe D’Onofrio requested our presence to set up our flags as a backdrop to the solemn laying of a wreath to the veterans of all wars. We performed the mission without a hitch.

Arriving early we had plenty of time to lay out a plethora of flags. We arranged two complete sets of service flags as well as unit flags for the 101st Airborne and 7th Army. POW/MIA, Naval Jacks, Gadsden Flags, Support Our Troops, We served with Honor, Lest They be Forgotten, Patriot Guard Riders, Gathering of Eagles and, of course, the Stars and Stripes. The heat and humidity was offset by the number of willing hands who helped pound steel rebar into the rocky ground to provide mounts for the display.

After that work was done we had plenty of time to chat with Mayor Joe and the many citizens who came out for the ceremony while we awaited word of the progress of the ride. We congregated in the shade and sipped water from bottles as we listened to reports that the riders were all having their photo ID’s checked at the Washington Gate of West Point prior to being allowed to ride through to the Thayer Gate and into Highland Falls.

Finally a rising tide of noise could be heard coming down Main Street, the volume increasing as the riders approached until it became that Rolling Thunder that so aptly defines their presence and impact. Group after group came down the road and halted until the street was filled curb to curb with motorcycles as far as the eye could see. For those of us who have never had the honor of attending the annual ride in Washington, DC, this is about as good as it gets!

The park began to fill with the riders and their passengers as the color guard and bagpipers led the way.

Mayor Joe managed the ceremonies with aplomb, marshaling speakers, handling minor technical glitches and making everyone of the 1500 guests feel right at home. He did the honor of introducing the Gathering of Eagles and myself, Carolyn Van Zorge and our County coordinators that were present. Among the speakers were Ron Orts, President of Rolling Thunder NY Chapter 3, the ride sponsors, Gary Scheffmeyer, President of Rolling Thunder National, The State Senator and Representative for that district and a lovely lady who served as a nurse in Vietnam. I should have taken notes of the names, but I was having such a good time that I literally forgot all about writing anything down.

Two young veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project displayed the humor and courage that will enable them to succeed and overcome their wounds.

As the ceremony drew to a close, the Mayor, Ron Orts, the Nurse and a Purple Heart recipient placed the wreath in front of the Memorial to those who served in all wars from Highland Falls. Rifles cracked out a twenty one gun salute and people felt free to start chatting among themselves. I took opportunities before and after the ceremonies to present Ron Orts, Gary Scheffmeyer and Mayor Joe D’Onofrio with Gathering of Eagles bike flags in gratitude from all of us at GOE for what they do for our veterans.

We stood with the citizens of Highland Falls and cheered, clapped and gave thumbs up and high fives to the riders as they continued on their ride which would eventually take them back to Stewart Airport and the expo and party they had arranged there.

As quiet once again settled over Highland Falls we quickly disassembled our flag display and retired to a local restaurant for some much needed air conditioning, adult beverages and delicious food with Mayor Joe.

Today was a rousing success for us in several respects. We performed our part in the ceremony flawlessly. We were introduced to a large contingent of folks who may have participated in GOE I but then never really met any of us after that. We got exposure in the local media and we had a great time doing it all. I expect our participation in the Fourth of July parade will further cement our ties with the people of Highland Falls and I am certain that they will look forward to our return for the West Point Graduation in 2009!

For Pamela’s photos go here and here.
For my pictures go here.
For Pamela’s videos go here and here.