Massive Weapons Cache Discovered NE of Baghdad, Local Citizens Assisted

CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq – More than 3,000 pieces of various types of munitions were discovered yesterday by U.S. Army soldiers conducting a reconnaissance patrol near Al Quratiyah, approximately 350 km northwest of Baghdad.

This cache is among the largest discovered to date in western Al Anbar province.

The soldiers, from the Fort Wainwright, Alaska-based 4th Squadron, 14th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, assigned to Regimental Combat Team-7, were actively seeking out weapons caches. Local citizens provided information regarding the site, where the soldiers discovered two displaced piles of dirt and rocks near a vehicle trail. Upon further investigation, the displaced areas were identified as weapons caches and they were excavated. The vehicle path and shallow depth of the rock piles where the caches were discovered indicated that the munitions were easily accessible to terrorists.

“This find means a serious reduction in the IEDs (improvised explosive devices) available for anti-Iraqi forces to use in cowardly attacks,” said Army Maj. Doug W. Merritt, operations officer, 4th Squadron, 14th U.S. Cavalry Regiment.

The cache of munitions ranged from 60 to 125 mm mortars and included various other projectile-type munitions.

The munitions discovered in this cache site are typically used to make roadside bombs that injure and kill Iraqi civilians, coalition forces and Iraqi Army soldiers.

This latest cache is the 118th found by soldiers from 4th Squadron, 14th U.S. Cavalry Regiment. In a similar find last October, soldiers here discovered about 1,000 122 mm artillery rounds, 40,000 armor piercing bullets, 1,000 .50 caliber rounds, detonation cord and various bomb-making materials.

Captain Pool says this news is “from one of our attached Army units who are operating in austere conditions, so primitive sending photos from this remote location has proven to be a technological challenge.” [Editor.]

Source: USMC

Captain Jeffrey S. Pool is a US Marines Public Affairs Officer, spokesman, writer and photographer based in al Anbar province, Iraq.