November 27th, 2007 07:28 EST
Operation Varsity March
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER — Soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, captured 13 suspected insurgents during a nighttime air assault mission in Sayafiyah, a small village outside of Salman Pak, Nov. 24.
One of the detainees was a high value individual (HVI), who was a member of al-Qaida in Iraq wanted for weapons smuggling and financing attacks on Coalition forces in Salman Pak and Al Ja’ara.
“According to our intelligence, the insurgent we apprehended was an expert bomb maker and VBID (vehicle borne improvised explosive device) maker,” said 1st Lt. Matthew Barwick, from Lanham, Md., fire support officer for Co. B. “By apprehending him, we have taken a very dangerous person off the streets and made the area safer.”
During the course of the operation Co. B Soldiers cleared eight houses and barns while searching for the suspects.
“The operation went perfectly,” said Spc. Lyle Johnson, from Comanche, Okla., an indirect fire specialist in Co. B. “We cleared all of our objectives and got the No. 1 HVI and 12 of his partners. We did all of this without firing a shot, so I’d say it was a good operation.”
The 1-15th Inf. Regt. is part of the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Benning, Ga., and has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom since March.
(By Spc. Ben Hutto, 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs)