Saturday, April 5, 2008

Good News from Iraq: 5 Apr 2008

From MNF-I, Informant’s Tip Leads to Multiple Enemy Weapons, Munitions.

FOB KALSU — In the early morning of April 2, Iraqi Army (IA) Soldiers with 5th Battalion, 25th Brigade, 6th IA Division, questioned a suspected insurgent who said he knew the location of buried weapons.

"For the past couple of weeks the IA had been hearing about a guy who used to work with al-Qaida and he stayed in the area and he didn't flee like the rest did," said Staff Sgt. Ronald Satterwhite, a section chief with Battery B.

The man admitted to knowing the approximate location of the weapons cache.

According to IA Soldiers, he needed his brother's assistance to find the exact location. The brother is another known collaborator with al-Qaida.

The Soldiers of Battery B, 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery, 2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division rolled out of Joint Security Site W-1, informant in tow, to pay his brother a visit.

Satterwhite, of Glenville, Ga., said he and his fellow Soldiers had been trying to speak with the brother for two weeks but were unable to find him each time they went to his residence. Tonight, fortune favored Battery B.

"We just got lucky, he immediately knew what we were going after ... it didn't take too much talking to him to get him to take us to where they (the weapons) were," Satterwhite said.

With both brothers assisting, it was a matter of minutes before the Soldiers were digging up the first of five weapon caches.

At the first cache site, beside a road in the dirt wall of a canal, they found three separate weapon caches consisting of (45) rocket propelled grenade warheads, (300) PKC heavy machine gun rounds, (37) mortar and projectile fuses, one DSHKA .50 caliber machine gun with (500) rounds of ammunition and one anti-personnel mine.

In a farm field adjacent to the road, the informants also dug up a complete 81 mm mortar system.

While the Soldiers waited for an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team to arrive they learned the informants knew of a few more weapons stashes.

Walking just south of the first cache site, the brothers stopped first in a field to pick up an RPG launcher next at a farm house where they also located machine gun ammunition.

They next took the Soldiers to a culvert to dig up another 81 mm mortar tube, then to a buried (55) gallon barrel containing a PKC machine gun and (2000) PKC machine gun rounds.

The Soldiers collected the additional weapons and returned to meet the EOD team who was already at the site of the first cache preparing the find for disposal.

All weapons and munitions found were gathered and destroyed by an EOD team controlled detonation.