2nd BCT assists IA with cache search

| November 11, 2010 | 0 Comments

Spc. Matthew G. Keeler
103rd Sustainment Command Public Affairs

2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt., supports with personnel, working dogs 

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Soldiers with Battery C, 2nd Battalion, 11th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, and Iraqi army soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division, conducted a weapons cache search in the desert of Jazeera, Iraq, Oct. 19. 

More than 70 Iraqi and U.S. Division-North Soldiers convoyed into the deserts in search of a suspected cache. 

“We received a call from 3rd Bn., 17th Inf. Bde, 4th Div. IA, that they were conducting a cache search based off intelligence they have been gathering for quite some time,” said Capt. Michael McGill, commander, Battery C, 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt., 2nd BCT. “We are just here to support them with some of our enablers to search the site.”

Battery C provided the use of explosive ordnance disposal personnel, engineer route clearance teams and a team of military working dogs to thoroughly investigate the area for any munitions.

“This is a standard mission for my guys,” McGill said. “What’s different with this mission, however, is the Iraqi army is in the lead.”

During the mission, IA cleared a building for munitions and then requested the assistance of engineers to bring in a Vehicle Mounted Mine Detection System to sweep the nearby flatlands for any improvised explosive devices.

“This really is a great thing to see,” McGill said. “Often, in operations like this, U.S. Soldiers are the ones moving about in conjunction with the Iraqi army, but these guys are telling us how to use our assets.”

McGill has worked with the IA on previous deployments, teaching them basic soldiering skills like marksmanship and first aid, and he said IA skills have gradually improved throughout the years of U.S. assistance. 

The cache search affirmed his belief that the Iraqi soldiers are close to achieving sole responsibility for their country’s security. 

“Now, I’m seeing them fully organized and operational,” McGill said. 

U.S. forces and Iraqi soldiers worked side-by-side as one team, with Iraqi soldiers putting their training into effect, McGill said.

“It’s really night and day from my first tour here,” he said. “It’s an eye opener that progress has really been made in this country.”

Spc. Sean McCoy, a cannon crew member, also assigned to Battery C, 2nd Bn., 11th FA Regt., 2nd BCT, summed up the feelings of his comrades in a few simple words.

“They are making headway in being able to take over completely,” he said. “We provided a few assets, but it’s like we almost didn’t need to be here.”

For the Soldiers of 2nd Bn., 11th FA Reg., the search provided firsthand experience that Iraqi soldiers are capable of executing internal security missions with U.S. Soldiers in an advisory role. 

Category: Deployed Forces, News

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