Saturday, January 06, 2007

Polar Bears seize weapons in Janabi Village

Capt. Chris Sanchez
4th Bn., 31st Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI)

YUSUFIYAH, Iraq — On Jan. 1, Task Force 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) received information on the location of two S-60 Chinese-made 57mm cannons in the vicinity of Janabi Village. The task force’s quick reaction force; Company F of 4-31; Task Force Ironclaw of the 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, the route-clearance force; and 4th Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division were engaged to secure the weapon systems.
The QRF platoon, Co. D, 4-31 and elements of the 4/4/6 IA headed out to secure the weapons via air aerial assault, while companies A and F, 4-31 secured the roads so the weapon systems could be brought back to Patrol Base Yusufiyah.
The platoon leader of the QRF, 2nd Lt. Thad Wescott of Co. D, 4-31 and a native of Sterling, Ill., was upbeat about the mission’s completion.
“The mission was a great success,” Wescott said. “Nobody got hurt or was injured. It went pretty quickly and efficiently. It was a cold night and it got colder as the mission wore on, but we relied on each other to make it through and complete the mission.” The weapons were safely at Patrol Base Yusufiyah by the afternoon of the next day.
Spc. Darryl Welch, a driver with Co. F, 4-31 and a native of Arlington, Texas, explained some specifics.
“It took us an hour to load the first gun and it took 20 minutes to recover the second gun,” said Welch. “I have done recovery missions before, but this is the first one where we recovered weapons. The mission went well. Iron Claw did a good job clearing the route. We heard one improvised explosive device go off, but we continued the mission.”

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