“This successful mission is the result of outstanding cooperation across the brigade,” said Col. Ricky Gibbs, Commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division Combat Team, “Dragon Brigade.” “This is a good news story about taking a significant amount of weapons and munitions permanently out of the hands of extremists.”
Troops from the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment “Black Lions,” assigned to the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division conducted a coordinated air-and-ground operation to arrest extremists responsible for launching indirect fire attacks from Bayaa in Western Baghdad.
Apache helicopter crews from the 4th “Guns” Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division observed an indirect fire attack in Western Baghdad at about 6 p.m. and moved to the site of the launch where they observed individuals and a truck with a tarp covering objects in the back.
The crews observed an individual place additional objects in the bed of the truck before the truck departed the site of the launch.
The aircrew maintained positive identification of the truck as it drove to a second location, where items were unloaded from the truck and taken into a house.
The aircrew then observed the truck leave the second location and drive to a warehouse at a third location. While the truck was at the third location, the aircrew alerted nearby ground forces then guided Soldiers from Company D, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, to the truck’s location.
On arrival, Soldiers from Company D searched the truck, found weapons inside of it and took the suspects into custody.
The Company D Soldiers then drove to and searched the location where the truck stopped first and found a sizeable weapons cache, including 36 107mm Iranian-made rockets, four of which were wired and ready to fire.
Also found in the house were two 155mm and two 105mm artillery shells, one 82mm mortar system and one 120mm mortar system, 20 mortar rounds, numerous mortar charges and four sets of body armor complete with protective inserts.
All items were confiscated by Soldiers from the “Black Lions” battalion.
“Big Guns’ Apaches maintained continuous observation of the truck with the extremists as they attempted to depart their firing location unnoticed,” said Tampa, Fla., native Maj. Justin Hall, operations officer for 4-227th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion. “Our aviators played a pivotal role in assisting the ground forces with the arrest of the suspects and confiscation of the weapons cache.”
Since Operation Dragon Talon II began on Sep. 16, the Dragon Brigade has seized 24 weapons caches, detained more than 100 individuals, 17 of which are believed to be group leaders, organizers and financiers of the various extremist factions operating in the Rashid Security District.