Monday, July 02, 2007

Commandos conduct 100th air assault of deployment

2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. (LI) PAO

RADWANIYAH, Iraq – Troops from the 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., conducted the brigade’s 100th air assault mission west of Radwaniyah June 29.
The 2nd BCT has conducted many air assaults over the last 11 months, using helicopters to gain rapid access to the far-flung rural villages in the area of operations.
The raid, called Operation Wolverine Vise Grip, was conducted to clear a former stronghold of al-Qaeda in Iraq just southwest of Baghdad.
Coalition and Iraqi army checkpoints along a major road in the area often came under small-arms fire attacks, prompting the operation.
Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT provided ground interdiction along the road, preventing terrorists from fleeing, as five platoons of 1-89 “Wolverine” troops were airlifted in by UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters.
A strip of nearby houses was searched and cleared, and empty AK-47 magazines were found, as well as firing positions on and around the homes, but the isolated settlement was “a ghost town,” said Capt. Michael Murphy, a native of Springfield, Mo., and the operations officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1-89.
Soldiers came under sporadic small-arms fire during the operation, but were unable to find the persons involved.
Iraqis living in the vicinity intend to keep the area cleared of anti-Iraqi forces, Murphy said, adding that 1-89 will increase civil-military operations in that vicinity to aid local residents with basic necessities such as trash removal and water and sewage services as soon as possible. Many residents fled the area due to the presence of al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists.
“Now that this area has been cleared, I think families will begin moving back in,” Murphy said.

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