Thursday, August 7, 2008

Grim Troop Clears Insurgents in Diyala Province

Story by Sgt. Kyle Richardson
Posted on 07.31.2008 at 04:33PM

Flying just above the horizon hours before sunrise, Soldiers are prepared for an air assault mission.

Soldiers from Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 5th Iraqi Army Division are insert into a villiage outside of Forward Operating Base Caldwell during an air assualt mission, July 25, 2008. The second team for Grim Troop walks toward the village of al Fatah Miaya through uneven terrain. ID: 106497; Date Taken: July 31st, 2008; Location: Tikrit, IQ; Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs Detachment“One minute,” yells the Black Hawk crew chief.

“One minute,” the team of cavalry scouts relay throughout the helicopter.

"Wheels down, move it, move it,” the crew chief yells through the roaring engine and the whirling propellers.

In sequential harmony, Grim Troop exits the bird and within seconds they have been inserted into the dangerous village of Al Fatah Miaya in the Eastern Diyala Province of Iraq. The Soldiers of Grim Troop will have to maintain until ground troops can safely make it to their location.

Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, along with Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 18th Brigade, 5th Iraqi Army Division, took part in an air assault clearing operation outside Forward Operating Base Caldwell, July 25.

We’re here to seek out the al-Qaida in Iraq, said 1st Lt. David Sherck, the platoon leader assigned to Grim Troop, 2-3.

Staff Sgt. Brian Webb, a squad leader assigned to Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment prepares a team to move from an established control point to the next objective during an air assault mission, July 25, 2008. Grim Troop was inserted into the village of al Fatah Miaya in an attempt to force the insurgents out. ID: 106499; Date Taken: July 31st, 2008; Location: Tikrit, IQ; Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs Detachment“Today’s mission is a joint operation with the Iraqi army taking the lead,” Sherck said. “They take the lead because they know what looks different,” he said. “They have a better sense of things that are out of place, they are more aware of where people would hide stuff.”

“We’re going to go from house to house looking for guys on our list,” said Staff Sgt. William Montgomery, the acting platoon sergeant assigned to Grim Troop. “If we come across anybody not on our list we scan their eyes and enter their fingerprints into the HIDE.” The HIDE is a system use to collect and store data on individuals.

Along with searching homes for possible terrorist threats, the Soldiers also search in the canals for hidden weapons caches.

Soldiers with Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and Soldiers with the 5th Iraqi Army Divisions, head out toward the next objective during and air assault mission, July 25, 2008. The air assault mission was geared toward forcing insurgents out of the village of al Fatah Miaya. Once the insurgents were removed from the village the villagers could return to rebuil their lives. ID: 106498; Date Taken: July 31st, 2008; Location: Tikrit, IQ; Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs Detachment“We search through the canals and burn them out because AQI likes to hide their weapons caches in them,” Sherck said.

Al Fatah Miaya is comprised of 35 households, Scherck said.

At the first home, Grim Troop set up a control point to rehydrate and reorganize troops.

“From here, we’re going to rehydrate, and then we will reconsolidate and push a team out to the canal,” Montgomery said. “Then we’re going to head west, we will push another team out to give over-watch before we start clearing the other houses,” Montgomery said.

We’ll keep going until mission is complete or until the commander tells us to stop, Montgomery added.

“Hopefully we can make a difference,” said Spc. Martin Pino, a soldier assigned to Grim Troop. “We’re out here in the heat, day in and day out, doing what we were trained to do,” he said.

Soldiers with Grim Troop, 2nd Squardon, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 5th Iraqi Army Division sit on the helipad at Forward Operating Base Caldwell waiting to begin an air assault mission, July 25, 2008. The Soldiers will be inserted into the dangerous village of al Fatah Miaya to drive out the insurgents. ID: 106500; Date Taken: July 31st, 2008; Location: Tikrit, IQ; Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs DetachmentWe’re going to secure this area not only for the safety of the Soldiers passing through but for the villagers who once lived here, Pino said.

“Our overall goal is to bring security to this village,” Sherck said. “Hopefully, reestablishing the economy down here,” he added.

“Once the area is secure, more of the local villagers will move in and participate in the local government. When the people feel that it’s safe enough to come back they will start reestablishing their economy,” Sherck said.

As the sun set and the immense heat finally begis to drop, Grim Troop will stay in place continuing to clear house after house, eliminating all threats. They continu to push through the village until it is safe for the villagers to return and the mission is determined a success.

PHOTO 1: Soldiers from Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 5th Iraqi Army Division are insert into a villiage outside of Forward Operating Base Caldwell during an air assualt mission, July 25, 2008. The second team for Grim Troop walks toward the village of al Fatah Miaya through uneven terrain.
ID: 106497
Date Taken: July 31st, 2008
Location: Tikrit, IQ
Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs Detachment.

PHOTO 3: Staff Sgt. Brian Webb, a squad leader assigned to Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment prepares a team to move from an established control point to the next objective during an air assault mission, July 25, 2008. Grim Troop was inserted into the village of al Fatah Miaya in an attempt to force the insurgents out.
ID: 106499
Date Taken: July 31st, 2008
Location: Tikrit, IQ
Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs Detachment.

PHOTO 2: Soldiers with Grim Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and Soldiers with the 5th Iraqi Army Divisions, head out toward the next objective during and air assault mission, July 25, 2008. The air assault mission was geared toward forcing insurgents out of the village of al Fatah Miaya. Once the insurgents were removed from the village the villagers could return to rebuil their lives.
ID: 106498
Date Taken: July 31st, 2008
Location: Tikrit, IQ
Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs Detachment.

PHOTO 4: Soldiers with Grim Troop, 2nd Squardon, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 5th Iraqi Army Division sit on the helipad at Forward Operating Base Caldwell waiting to begin an air assault mission, July 25, 2008. The Soldiers will be inserted into the dangerous village of al Fatah Miaya to drive out the insurgents.
ID: 106500
Date Taken: July 31st, 2008
Location: Tikrit, IQ
Photographer: Sgt. Kyle Richardson, 11th Public Affairs Detachment.

Source: DVIDS News.

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