Monday, February 25, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 25 Feb 2004

From MNF-I, IED, Indirect Fire Cells Disrupted by Weapons Find.

PATROL BASE LUTIFIYAH — A significant weapon cache was discovered through a group effort between Iraqi Army and U.S. Soldiers Feb. 19, north of Lutifiyah.

Led to the site by a tip from a local citizen, members of 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army (IA) division and 4th Platoon, Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), found a mass of weapons and homemade explosives.

The cache contained various improvised explosive device (IED)-making materials, multiple explosive rounds, firearms and documentation.

“The source of intelligence for the cache was with us the whole way,” said Capt. Charlie Lewis, executive officer for Btry. B, 3-320th FA. “He led us to the location and told us the cache was located between two specific houses; from there we started our search.”

The IA came upon the cache before the U.S. forces did.

“The Iraqis know the area better than us and can tell more when ground in an area has been disturbed,” said Sgt. Jeremiah Hash, fire support noncommissioned officer, 4th Plt., Btry. B, 3-320th FA.

This was the largest find for the battery since arriving in country in October.

“The find is extremely significant, we thought it was going to just be a regular cache,” Lewis said. “Instead we found a fair amount of IED-making materials, disrupting an IED cell in the area.”

Six men thought to be tied to the cache were detained and brought in for questioning.

Hash said he has seen a lot of IEDs and is confident this find will result in less attacks in the area.

Hash said mortar rounds and multiple direct-fire weapon systems found indicate an indirect fire cell was also disrupted.