RAMADI, Iraq – Multiple caches of explosives and ordnance were discovered and destroyed around Ramadi in the past two weeks.
On the morning of March 30, 2006, Soldiers from Alpha Troop 1-167 Cavalry from Nebraska, attached to the 2/28 Brigade Combat Team (2/28 BCT), discovered a significant weapons cache.
Two weeks prior, a U.S. Marine patrol operating with Iraqi Army soldiers on the outskirts of Barwanah discovered a very large cache consisting of 4,000 Pounds of High Explosives.
The Nebraska Soldiers discovered the weapons cache while conducting Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN), in the Zangora area northwest of Ramadi. This are was formerly an insurgent stronghold.
“By earning the trust of the local Iraqi citizens, a small child felt safe enough to tell our Soldiers of possible weapons buried somewhere in the field. Not all of the people here are bad, but the insurgents continue to live and hide amongst them. The innocent Iraqi citizens want the area to return to a sense of calm and normalcy,” said Alpha 1-167 Cavalry’s 2nd Platoon Leader 1st Lt. Jacques Smith.
The weapons cache consisted of: various USSR vehicle screening smoke grenades, numerous USSR PG-2 propellant charges, Chinese projectiles, and many large caliber ammunition rounds.
Lt. Smith and his Platoon discovered the weapons cache, during a joint mission, with the Soldiers from Bravo 1-104th Cavalry of Task Force 1-172 AR. Capt. Jeff Searcy, Company Commander of Alpha Troop 1-167 Cavalry from Nebraska, said the persistence of the Soldiers becoming more familiar with their battle space led to the discovery.
“Successful COIN Operations like this are occurring throughout the 2/28 BCT Battle space. Our actions are causing the insurgents to run out of places to hide. It is our combined Armed Forces team that the insurgents can’t stop,” said Capt. Searcy.
Once the cache was secure, the Brigade Quick Reaction Force (QRF) led by 2nd Lt. Mathew Misfeldt, Alpha Troop 1-167 Cavalry’s 1st Platoon Leader, escorted the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit (EOD) to the cache site. EOD destroyed the weapons cache in a controlled detonation.
Marine/Iraqi Patrol Uncovers Massive Cache
In the operation two weeks ago, Marines with 2nd Platoon, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment were operating with Iraqi Army and an Iraqi translator.
The cache was first noticed by the Marines’ Iraqi translator and eventually 10 more buried caches were discovered.
A total of 137 artillery rounds, 56 mortar rounds, 47 122mm rockets, 14.5mm armor piercing incendiary rounds, and 1900 pounds of propellant were found.
The cache was so large the patrol had to return the next morning to finish the work, and the explosive ordnance disposal team detonated 4,000 pounds of explosives.
There were no casualties and no Coalition Forces equipment was damaged in either of the two operations.