June 26th, 2007 06:31 EST
Night air assault mission nets insurgents
FOB KALSU " U.S. Paratroopers targeted an insurgent stronghold nicknamed Hawaii " outside of Mahmudiyah Saturday.
The Paratroopers from Company C, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division conducted Operation Peregrine II and captured five members of an insurgent cell in north Babil.
The operation was a nighttime air assault to capture several (individuals) that we believe are directly responsible for attacks in our area, including the bombing of a bridge that took the lives of three of our fellow Soldiers, " said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Karl Zaglauer of Company C. This was actually the third raid we have conducted in response to the bridge attack. "
The Paratroopers trained and rehearsed for three days in preparation for the mission.
Prior to take off we learned that the main target had moved locations, " Zaglauer said. So, we came up with a hasty plan and our guys executed it flawlessly. "
Though the Paratroopers executed the plan without mistakes, some solutions were improvised during the raid.
It was difficult. This was our first air assault, and at the last minute there was a change, but we were flexible and stuck to the basics, " said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nathaniel Bretz, a platoon leader with Company C.
According to Bretz, several factors added to the difficulty of the operation including the sheer number of houses located within the vicinity of the target.
Everything was a little more built up than we expected, " he said. But, we were able to clear the objective and take five insurgents off of the street. "
We like conducting these types of operations because it gives you the element of surprise, " said U.S. Army Capt. Stew Lindsay, commander of Company C.
In all, 19 suspected members of the improvised explosive device cell have been detained. Company A, 2nd Battalion, 69th Armored Regiment, attached to 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, 4th BCT, (ABN), 25th ID, detained 14 insurgents Sunday while conducting a raid south of Baghdad alongside the Iraqi Army.
(U.S. Army story by Sgt. Johnnie French, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)