December 21st, 2006 04:33 EST
Good preparation, luck gets job done
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Before the sun even thought to grace the Iraqi sky, a
company of Soldiers put there protective gear on, passed their lucky horseshoe around
to be kissed by each individual, loaded their vehicles, waited for the word to drive off
into the sunrise, and hoped for some luck before their mission to a Baghdad
The mission for the Soldiers of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry
Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division was to provide operational
oversight to the Iraqi army as they searched a neighborhood in Baghdad Dec. 13, after
receiving intelligence from locals about anti-Iraqi forces in the area.
Troops from Company D had more than luck on their side. They had days of
preparation to make sure their mission would run successfully.
They started basic maintenance on their vehicles and weapons two days prior to
the mission. They sat through rehearsals and briefs to get a good grasp on their mission
and intentions, said Capt. Darren Fowler, the commanding officer of Co. D.
Upon arrival to the neighborhood, Soldiers met up with their Iraqi army
counterparts and the search began.
Going through people’s personal property can be a difficult and dirty mission.
“I was impressed with my Soldiers professionalism throughout the mission,” said
Fowler, a native of Union, S.C.
The thorough search of houses, vehicles and people paid off for both American
and Iraqi uniformed personnel. Together they found what they were looking for.
Three weapon caches, two shape charges and some improvised explosive
device-making material were found, Fowler said.
This isn’t the first time they have searched this area, but Fowler said it was one
of the biggest stashes of insurgent weapons they have found. He said missions like this
one help deny insurgents the ability to operate and build confidence between the locals
and Iraqi security forces.
“We are out here so insurgents don’t have a safe haven,” said Pfc. Joseph Roco,
a gunner and native of Glenwood Spring, Colo. Taking the weapons off the streets
doesn’t just immobilize insurgents, he explained. It also protects the locals living in the
It is a joint effort to protect the Iraqis and to disable anti-Iraqi forces. Cooperation
between the IA and coalition forces is getting better, Fowler said.
Successful missions, like this one, prove that cooperation is working, he added.
“It was an overall good mission,” Fowler said. “We brought everyone back safe
and we found caches”.
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Staff Sgt. Kevin Betts, a Soldier with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment,
4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, a native of Wynnewood, Okla., loads a
mortar round found in a Baghdad neighborhood in the back of a humvee after Iraqi and
U.S. troops found weapons caches Dec. 13. (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Shea Butler, 7th
Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
Pfc. Joseph Roco, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and a native of Glenwood Spring, Colo., patrols a
Baghdad neighborhood during a joint Iraqi-U.S. mission Dec. 13 (U.S. Army photo by
Pfc. Shea Butler, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
Staff Sgt. Kason Fark, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade
Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, searches a local in a Baghdad neighborhood, while
the Iraqi army troops search the surrounding area during a joint operation Dec. 13.
(U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Shea Butler, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
By Pfc. Shea Butler
7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment