Troop Scoop 7/12/2008

Troop Scoop

Posted: 12 Jul 2008 01:56 PM CDT

Dear Interested Reader,
The big stories are the huge amount of weapon caches being reported and seized, and an AQI bombing cell disrupted.  There’s also an interesting story about Marines patrolling the northern Iraqi desert.
Joanna
_______________________________________________
Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

July 12, 2008

Black Rhino Charges Through Desert

By Lance Cpl. Michael Stevens
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward)

Screenshot_054
A Marine with Team Black Rhino, an Incident Response Team with Marine Wing Support Sqdrn 374, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd), exits a room after searching through an abandoned Iraqi compound in the Jazirah Desert.
Photo by Lance Cpl. Michael Stevens

AL-JAZIRAH DESERT — The Incident Response Team of Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, Marine Wing Support Group 37, patrols the northern Iraqi desert as a security measure for all Marines operating in the area.
Named ‘Team Black Rhino,’ these 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd) Marines have become the first wing support sqdrn to fill the role of a mounted combat team in Op Iraqi Freedom.
Marine Wing Support Sqdrns frequently travel around the Anbar province, providing aviation ground support for the flying sqdrns operating in country. The team operates on a different level, providing a ground combat component like that usually found in infantry units.
While patrolling, team members speak with locals to gather info that helps the Coalition gain a better understanding of the area.  “When we’re on patrol we’re investigating our area of responsibility for any enemy activity by speaking with the local Iraqis and driving designated routes based on info gathered,” said Cpl. Joshua A. Bugg, a turret gunner for Team Black Rhino.  “Some of the most beneficial info can be received by speaking with the locals.”
For the first several weeks in country, Team Black Rhino’s duties entailed providing convoy security and EOD escort services to the Marines aboard Camp Taqaddum.  Now, their job consists of sending several search teams to assess the local area and provide site security for their location in the Jazirah Desert.
While most of the team members consist of MP officers trained in security ops, the rest are comprised of Marines from various military occupational specialties.  “We’ve got a very unique opportunity out here,” said Cpl. Julio C. Navar, a motor transportation operator with Team Black Rhino.  “We’re out here with a number of assault vehicles and infantry units and we’re equally patrolling the area.  It’s great for a wing support unit to be filling this role.”

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National Police confiscate weapons in Karadah

BAGHDAD – Iraqi NP officials confiscated hundreds of weapons during a clearance mission in the Karadah security district of eastern Baghdad, July 11, including 221 AK-47 assault rifles and 6 pistols without incident, injury or property damage.

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SoI, locals key to uncovering multiple caches

SALAH AD DIN PROVINCE – Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 101st Abn Div, were led to the site of several weapons caches in the Salah ad Din province by SoI groups and local citizens, July 8-9.
Over the 48-hour period, 1st BCT Soldiers across the province were able to uncover numerous rockets, mortar rounds, artillery rounds, mortar tubes, grenades, RPGs, RPG launchers, land mines, explosives, trigger mechanisms used for detonating explosives, explosive propellant and other items linked to IEDs.
In the Jazeera desert west of Samarra, a weapons cache containing over 300 57 mm high-explosive rounds was turned into CF after it was turned into a SoI group in the area by a local citizen.
Also in the Jalam Desert east of Samarra, another significant weapons cache was turned into CF by a SoI group,  after a local citizen notified them while conducting checkpoint ops. The cache consisted of land mines, rockets, RPG rounds and launchers, sticks of explosives and grenades.
In the recent months, the predominately Shi’a city of Balad has seen an increase in security and mass reconciliation. According to CF in Balad, the reconciliation has led to many significant weapons cache finds from both reconciled individuals and SoI groups.
A SoI group turned in another weapons cache July 9 to CF in Balad, which consisted of artillery and mortar rounds, rockets and miscellaneous ammo. Over the last 3 weeks, SoI groups have turned over 10 caches.
In the southern portion of the province near Joint Base Balad, a local citizen who recently reconciled with the GoI led CF to a weapons cache just east of the large air base. The cache consisted of grenades, mortar rounds, rockets, propellant and a set of Belgium night vision goggles.
“Laying down arms and turning in weapons caches were identified as key first steps in the reconciliation process,” said Maj. Timothy Frambes, a spokesperson for the 2nd Bn, 320th FAR, 1st BCT, 101st Div. “The fact that weapons, ammo and explosives are being turned over indicate overwhelming positive momentum by Coalition and Iraqi SF focused on securing the population and re-establishing a sense of stability and normalcy.”

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NP, MND-B Soldiers seize weapons in Baghdad

BAGHDAD – July 10, Soldiers with the 2nd Stryker BCT, 25th ID, found a weapons cache consisting of 6 100 mm mortars, over 100 82 mm mortars, 9 120 mm mortars, a German mortar, multiple 100 mm rockets, 5 57 mm rockets, 2 85 mm RPG-7s, 2 mines, 9 60 mm mortars, a few 85 mm RPGs, a 57 mm projectile, 2 40 mm grenades, a 40 mm star cluster, 88 20 mm projectiles and a recoilless rifle system, north of Baghdad.
Soldiers with the 1st BCT, 4th ID, found 3 55 mm rockets, an AK-47, a training manual on how to make an
IED and various bomb making materials in the West Rashid area of Baghdad.
At approx. 6:30 p.m., Soldiers from the same bn found an RPG launcher, an RPG booster and a pair of
binoculars in West Rashid. They also found a cache of explosives just after midnight, July 11, in the East Rashid area of Baghdad. The cache consisted of 2 155 mm rounds, multiple 60 mm mortar rounds, a 57 mm mortar, an RPG round, a mortar tube, a box of detonators and 2 pounds of homemade explosives.

-30-

MND-B Soldiers, ISF discover munitions in Rashid

FOB FALCON – July 10, Soldiers from the 1st BCT, 4th ID and Iraqi NP discovered a munitions cache containing 73 AK-47s, 84 AK-47 magazines, rifles, a PKC machine gun, an RPK machine gun, more than 3,500 7.62 mm rounds, multiple handheld radios, radio chargers, 10 kilograms of explosive material, 40 military uniforms, an IED, protective masks, a 60 mm mortar tube, 20 ammo pouches, multiple pieces of body armor, RPGs and assorted knives, in the Aamel neighborhood.

-30-

IA soldiers lead U.S. forces to explosive find

BAGHDAD – IA scouts led U.S. Soldiers and an EOD personnel to a large cache of explosives near Numaniyah,
July 8. An Iraqi citizen reported the cache and guided the convoy to the site.
The cache consisted of more than 1,300 57 mm anti-aircraft shells, 60 100 mm high explosive artillery shells, 6 tank shells and several shell casings that were not necessarily explosive, but still contained hazardous primers.

Screenshot_051
Captain Kenrick Forrester, of Operational Detachment Alpha 7236, speaks with Iraqi Col. Abd, cmdr.
(photo by Sgt. Daniel West)

Screenshot_052
An explosives cache.

-30-

MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ
PRESS DESK
BAGHDAD, Iraq

Al-Qaeda in Iraq bombing cell disrupted

BAGHDAD – CF continue to undercut terrorists’ ability to conduct attacks against innocent Iraqis and the SF that protect them, detaining an alleged bombing-cell leader and 8 additional suspects in separate ops, July 11.
CF captured the suspected AQI bombing-cell leader near Bayji, about 160 kilometers south of Mosul. The man is believed to be associated with a suspected network leader, detained July 10, and allegedly targets SF and civilians in the Tigris River Valley. He was detained with 2 additional suspects.
CF used info from an op, June 29, to target a man believed to be helping AQI’s decimated propaganda network.  Two suspected terrorists were detained during the op in Baghdad.
In Mosul, 4 suspected terrorists were detained during an op targeting a man who acts as a liaison between senior AQI leaders.

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