27 July 2006

B36 News - 27 July 2006

Sorry for the delay, had some problems with the network today. Jeeze who runs this thing anyway? ...oh, wait... nevermind...

Innocent Iraqi Mothers Get Aid
If you payed attention to PM Maliki's address to congress last night you noticed that he advocated employing Iraqi companies in the reconstruction effort in Iraq. Guess what, this is an example of what he was talking about. In the small town of Tal-Banat, the maternity ward of the local hospital was in desperate need of renovation. While Saddam was in power here, if something didn't please him or provide direct support to him, it was neglected and left to rot. This is not the case with the new government.

Operations Roundup Wednesday
In response to the threat posed by sectarian violence and death squads, we've applied more focus on finding and stopping these outlaw groups. The story I linked here is a summary of some of the operations that were conducted during the past few days aimed at securing Baghdad and taking out the bad guys:
  • 3 hostages freed
  • 9 death squad members captured
  • multiple caches found including one in-tact car bomb
Terrorists Caught Red-Handed
One of the most dangerous missions in the military right now is route clearance. Imagine a job where you go out every night trying to find IEDs and the bad guys who plant them. A bad day at work for most people is if their boss yells at them or if they have to work a couple hours later than usual. For these guys a bad day is when one of their buddies gets blown up rolling down a road they just cleared. How's that for perspective? This story is about a crew that did their job right and had a good day, a very good day.
The combat patrol was performing route clearance on its way back here when Staff Sgt. Epifanio Garcia, squad leader, HHC, 2nd BCT, and his crew, witnessed two men approximately one meter off the side of the road. The men saw the convoy and immediately began to run toward a culvert on the side of the road.
Garcia, from Fresno, Calif., called in what he saw to the rest of the convoy and ordered his driver to come to a halt. Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, Garcia was already out of the vehicle. His night-vision goggles fell off of his helmet, he said, but luckily he caught them in mid-air, tossed them into his vehicle and proceeded to chase the men.
(full story by Cpl. Michael Molinaro 2nd BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div. PAO)

4 Comments:

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

By Cpl. Michael Molinaro
2nd BCT PAO, 4th Inf. Div. PAO

FOB KALSU, Iraq – Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, detained a terrorist who was emplacing a roadside bomb July 18 in the southern Babil province.

Four roadside bombs were discovered moments before Multi-National Division – Baghdad convoys passed through the area. “The key to our success was teamwork,” said Sgt. Jessie Sparks, squad leader, HHC, 2nd BCT.

The MND-B Soldiers patrol the roads every night in search of terrorists and to clear the roads of potential attacks to allow free movement for MND-B Soldiers in the area.

Very rarely do Soldiers see terrorists in the process of planting bombs on the sides of roads. Perhaps even rarer is when the Soldiers are from a brigade headquarters company.

The combat patrol was performing route clearance on its way back here when Staff Sgt. Epifanio Garcia, squad leader, HHC, 2nd BCT, and his crew, witnessed two men approximately one meter off the side of the road. The men saw the convoy and immediately began to run toward a culvert on the side of the road.

Garcia, from Fresno, Calif., called in what he saw to the rest of the convoy and ordered his driver to come to a halt. Before the vehicle came to a complete stop, Garcia was already out of the vehicle. His night-vision goggles fell off of his helmet, he said, but luckily he caught them in mid-air, tossed them into his vehicle and proceeded to chase the men.

“I lost sight for about four seconds,” he said. With another Soldier on his heels for assistance, Garcia said he turned on his flashlight and continued the search. Moments later, the two Soldiers found one of the men lying on the ground and promptly detained him.

Garcia proceeded to continue the search for the other man he saw running from the road.

As he was searching, he said he came upon a culvert, thinking it was a natural place for someone to hide. Instead of finding the man, Garcia discovered two three-foot long bricks with green detonation cord protruding from the back. He discovered an improvised-explosive device.

He immediately ordered the Soldiers and vehicles to clear out of the area and set up a cordon. Soldiers set up cordons so no one could come into the perimeter and possibly be injured or cause injuries to personnel controlling the situation, said Sparks.

Garcia put in a call to an explosive ordnance disposal team and informed them of the discovery. At the same time, Sparks and a four-man dismount team were clearing the area around the site, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Approximately 200 meters directly west of the vicinity where Garcia said he found the two bombs, Sparks and his men found another site, one intended for an ambush.

Behind a berm, they discovered a 60mm mortar tube, 10 60mm mortar rounds, two AK-47s and a video camera with night-vision goggles attached. About five meters from this site, the team found a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, five RPG rockets, and a large bag of machine gun ammunition.

“Bad stuff would have happened,” Garcia remarked. While the detainee was being interrogated, the EOD team arrived on the scene. The Soldiers also found two more of the bombs, reiterating how big a find this was, said Garcia. They carefully removed the bombs and properly disposed of them.

“Everything just fell into place,” Garcia said. “We always perform route drills, actions on contact drills and how to react if we find an IED. The Soldiers did great and were very calm and professional.” It was later learned that a convoy of MND-B vehicles bringing supplies to Soldiers stationed at FOB Kalsu was preparing to pass through the area. Another convoy headed north for Baghdad was also approaching the area. The detained terrorist admitted that those convoys were the targets of the bombs, Garcia said.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Sparks said of the mission. “Nobody likes to hear about the death of a fellow comrade, and to be able to prevent that from happening just feels great.”

Each of the Soldiers were recognized for their efforts by Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, commander, Multi-National Corps – Iraq, two days later. Garcia and Sparks were awarded Army Commendation Medals, and the rest of the platoon were presented commander’s coins by Chiarelli.

“It has allowed our Soldiers to appreciate the constant training we give them every day,” Sparks said. “Since that mission, they now have a desire to train. They see the big picture of what our mission is on those roads.”

17:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm Epifanio Garcia's sister. I am so proud of him for what he has accomplished not just through this heroic act, but everything he's done. All those men and women being out there is why I wanted to join the militairy as well. Now I hope I can pick up from where my brother left off.

17:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah. I remember the night. They got us surprised. They used night technology to see us but they used no light so we could no see their hamvees. There were two more of us but they americans got one of us. nothing personal.

21:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was that in 2005, 2006 by chance?

06:20  

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