With Capture Of Insurgent
Multi-National Division - Center PAO
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
During the final air assault of Operation Marne Husky, Soldiers detained an insurgent and discovered bomb-making materials along the western bank of the Tigris, 20 miles south of Baghdad, in the predawn hours of Sept. 15.
The detainee, who had high-level contacts in a local al-Qaeda cell, was wanted for IED manufacturing and weapons transport.
“His story kept changing, so we brought him in,” said Capt. Pete Peters, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade’s intelligence officer. “Once he was at our detention facility, three sources positively identified him as an al-Qaeda guy.”
Another man was detained after troops found IED components in his house.
During the operation, four Apache attack helicopters circled overhead, firing hundreds of 30mm cannon rounds at the insurgent positions.
Over the past month, Soldiers from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, teamed up with aviators from 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, and conducted seven air assaults in the Tigris River Valley.
Operation Marne Husky disrupted insurgents who fled the towns of Salman Pak and Arab Jabour in front of earlier U.S. offensives, said Lt. Col. Robert Wilson, 3rd CAB’s executive officer.
“We were able to use our combined-arms capability to insert forces into areas that the enemy previously thought were safe havens,” Wilson said. “By disrupting and capturing insurgents in this area, we set the security conditions for Baghdad.”
From Aug. 15 to Sept. 15, troops from 3rd CAB and Co. B, 3-509th PIR, captured 80 suspected insurgents and killed another 43. Pilots flew 420 hours during Marne Husky.
The mission was unique for Multi-National Division - Center, in that the unit primarily responsible was the aviation brigade. Typically an infantry brigade or battalion would control the ground and artillery forces.
“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Wilson, from Dalton, Ga. “Baker Company is a well-led, very dynamic unit. Their experience in air assault operations made them a great selection to work with us.”