Saturday, April 21, 2007

Baghdad Eagles and Commandos find nine caches near Al QaQaa Weapons Facility

By Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie
2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) Public Affairs

MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq — Iraqi and coalition forces detained 62 suspected terrorists, discovered four improvised explosive devices and found a massive weapons cache in the Mahmudiyah, Iraq area near the Al QaQaa Weapons Facility March 23.
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment’s advisory team, also of the 2nd BCT detained the suspected terrorists and found the weapons cache during Operation Eagle Dive, an operation intended to disrupt anti-Iraqi forces within the 2-15 FA area of operations.
During the operation Soldiers discovered a series of small caches and consolidated it into one massive cache.
In the nine caches was a 120mm mortar tube with a base plate, five 82mm mortar tubes, a 82mm base plate, three 82mm tripods, a complete 60mm mortar system, a mortar bore brush, 30 boxes of mortar primers, 70 loose mortar fuses, two sniper rifles with scopes, nine 155mm projectiles, 122 82mm projectiles, a 105mm projectile, 122 82mm projectiles, 106 60mm projectiles, six rocket-propelled grenade-7 systems, an RPG scope, an RPG night scope, 55 RPG-7 rounds, seven RPG-9 rounds, 15 boxes of PKC ammunition, 18 AK-47s, 10 pounds of unknown explosives, 15 hand grenades, a partial 14.5mm projectile, a M-759 fuze, 15 complete sets of Iraqi Army uniforms, 20 feet of detonation cord, 24 blasting caps, three anti-aircraft platforms, two anti-aircraft barrels, 100 loose rounds, four acetylene tanks, three Motorola radios, a 8mm video tape, various medical supplies, various anti-Iraqi forces compact discs and religious paperwork.
“These caches are probably related to larger trafficking of arms throughout that area,” said Lt. Col. Frank Andrews, the 2nd BCT executive officer and native of Apex, N.C. “The IA uniforms found in the cache were likely to be used by the terrorist to intimidate local nationals in the area in an effort to discredit the Iraqi Army.”
The caches were destroyed during a controlled detonation conducted by an explosive ordnance disposal team.
Four improvised explosive devices were also discovered in the area along Route Jackson, one of the main routes leading into the Mahmudiyah area.
During the operation Soldiers discovered two bodies of local nationals who appeared to have been executed.
The 68 detainees were taken to Patrol Base Mahmudiyah, Iraq for further questioning.
“This operation highlighted the competence of the extremely capable 4th Brigade., 6th Iraqi Army Division, who planned and executed it (the operation) with support from their partnered unit, 2-15 FAR,” Andrews added.

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