1st Battalion 22nd Infantry

 

BREAKING NEWS

September 2003

 

 

U.S. Troops Find Weapons Cache in Iraq
Sat Sep 27, 5:19 PM ET



By PATRICK QUINN
Associated Press Writer

TIKRIT, Iraq -
U.S. troops uncovered one of their biggest weapons caches to date Saturday at a farm near Saddam Hussein's birthplace, including anti-aircraft missiles and a huge quantity of explosives used to make the homemade bombs that have killed numerous American soldiers.

In the second raid in as many days on a farm near the village of Uja, where Saddam was born and the site of a recent bomb attack against American soldiers.

U.S. troops acting on a tip dug through the soft earth near a river bank and found the cache underneath a covering of reeds and straw. "This is a significant discovery because everything we take out of the enemy's hands can't be used against us," said Maj. Mike Rauhut, executive officer of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment.

The cache turned up 23 Russian-made surface to air missiles, 1,000 pounds of plastic explosives, four rocket propelled grenade launchers and 115 rockets, a mortar and 40 mortar rounds, 1,300 blasting caps and 423 hand grenades.

The raid was a follow-up on information gleaned following a Thursday assault on the farm, a 2 1/2-square-mile spread of lime, pear and pomegranate trees.

"It's tied to some former regime people. That's always good as it makes a small dent on their ability to resist," Rauhut said. Their target at the time was a reported cache of rockets and homemade bombs that are used to attack U.S. convoys on the main road through Tikrit, also known as "RPG Alley" because of rocket-propelled grenades frequently fired by Iraqi resistance fighters in the area.

At the time, in an area just 500 meters (yards) away from the cache, soldiers had found a heavy machine gun and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. "It is a substantial weapons cache, it's not the largest we have found but it probably rivals it," Rauhut said. "The most significant part are the surface-to-air missiles and explosives."

The SA-7 shoulder-fired missiles could pose a significant threat to the helicopters used by the U.S. military in and around Tikrit.

U.S. troops have been carrying out near-daily raids following a coordinated attack by Iraqi resistance fighters on Sept. 19 that killed three American soldiers. The raids have resulted in dozens of arrests and follow-up raids.

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U.S. Tanks Patrol Iraqi City After Ambush



PATRICK QUINN
Associated Press

TIKRIT, Iraq - U.S. tanks and armored fighting vehicles rumbled through Saddam Hussein's hometown and its outskirts early Saturday in a show of force following a coordinated ambush against American forces that killed three soldiers and wounded two.

Soldiers patrolled through Tikrit and the eastern banks of the Tigris river, site of a deadly attack Thursday by Saddam loyalists. The patrol began late Friday and ended early Saturday. Intended as a show of force, it was also an attempt to flush out pockets of armed resistance in the area.

"We took a tank company and a Bradley company," Lt. Col. Steve Russell, the 1st Battalion commander of the 4th Infantry Division's 22nd Infantry Regiment, told The Associated Press. "We wanted to send a message."

The U.S. troops usually patrol in smaller vehicles but this operation came after a series of attacks Thursday described by the military as some of the fiercest and best coordinated since American forces arrived in the Tikrit area in April.

Fifty-eight Iraqis were captured after the attacks and U.S. troops seized a considerable number of weapons from a minivan fleeing the area, the military said.

During the patrol, tanks swept through residential areas, occasionally dismounting to set up security points, to check cars and people leaving Tikrit after the city's 11 p.m. curfew.

The patrol ended without incident.

"We wanted to make contact with the enemy," Russell said. "If they want, we'll surely oblige him."


2003 AP Wire and wire service sources

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U.S. Arrests Suspected Saddam Loyalists

.c The Associated Press


TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) - Dozens of U.S. troops raided homes near Tikrit's dangerous ``RPG Alley'' Monday, arresting five men suspected of helping to bankroll attacks against American troops in Saddam Hussein's hometown.

The pre-dawn raid was carried out against three homes located next to a highway which has seen 20 attacks with rocket propelled grenades, or RPG's, against the U.S. military in the past two weeks. In the most recent attack Saturday, an Iraqi bystander was killed and two people were injured when a guerrilla in a taxi fired on a U.S. convoy.

An Associated Press reporter traveling with the U.S. troops saw five men taken prisoner. The military said those arrested included a man allegedly involved in helping finance attacks by Fedayeen guerrillas and four others closely associated with him.

``These individuals are involved in financing Fedayeen activity and organizing cells of resistance against U.S. forces,'' said Maj. Bryan Luke of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division, who headed the operation.

The troops, backed up by Bradley fighting vehicles, Humvees and troops in a 5-ton truck, wove through central Tikrit's back alleys without headlights, surrounding the homes before troops used metal rams to knock down their front doors.

The 3 a.m. raid also netted a number of assault rifles, pieces of a rocket propelled grenade launcher and ammunition.

As the raid took place, mortars were heard booming in the distance - a show of force by American troops.

U.S. troops carry out numerous raids in and around Tikrit in an effort to arrest Saddam loyalists and restore security to the city.

They are sometimes joined by Iraqi police. In a raid Sunday, they arrested seven men suspected of being members of a gang responsible for kidnappings, robberies and carjackings along the main road to northern Iraq.

Sunday's raid, about 20 miles northeast of Tikrit, involved more than 100 Iraqi security forces and U.S. Army military police.

  
09/14/03 22:09 EDT
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.

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>From a CNN web page: 09/12/03

U.S. raids in Tikrit

In a series of raids conducted around Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, U.S. soldiers have detained 48 people, shutting down bomb-making facilities and confiscating weapons and ammunition, the Coalition Public Information Center said Thursday.

In the 24-hour period ending Thursday morning, soldiers of the Army's 4th Infantry Division and the 122nd Armored Infantry Battalion, (Ed Note: This is 1-22 Infantry Regiment, not 122nd) along with Iraqi police, civil defense corps and border guards, staged seven raids, the coalition said. The forays netted two bomb-making workshops, a host of materials used in constructing explosive devices, and a variety of machine-guns, rifles and munitions, according to the coalition.

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4TH ID CAPTURES WEAPONS DEALERS, IED (Improvised Explosive Device) MAKERS

News release from Central Command: September 11, 2003
TIKRIT, Iraq – Fourth Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse units conducted a series of successful raids and patrols throughout the Task Force area of Operations targeting former regime loyalists suspected of selling weapons and building improvised explosive devices to be used against Coalition forces.

Over the past 24 hours, they conducted 240 patrols and seven raids, including 56 joint patrols conducted with the Iraqi police, Iraqi Civil Defense Corps, and Border Guards. Forty-eight individuals were detained over the period and six were targeted individuals.

In Tikrit, soldiers from 1-22 Infantry Battalion conducted a raid on several buildings which local informants reported as housing subversive elements and workshops used to build IEDs. The raid resulted in uncovering two IED workshops and the detention of five Iraqis suspected of building IEDs.

Confiscated materials include batteries, electrical wire, remote control devices, one IED, chemicals, dynamite, plastic explosives, nine mortar rounds, 36 smoke grenade canisters, 13 plastic grenade casings, five blasting caps, nine fuses, small arms ammunition, two pistols, two AK-47, 15 AK-47 magazines, one shotgun, walkie-talkies, military uniforms, several military training manuals and six million Iraqi dinar.

In additional raids over the past 24 hours, Task Force Ironhorse soldiers seized 33 AK-47s and other weapons to include semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and blasting caps. Three sticks of dynamite, propellant and other bomb making materials were also confiscated.

Fourth Infantry Division and Task Force Ironhorse will continue to pursue former regime loyalists working against Coalition forces and the interests of the free Iraqi people.

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U.S. Troops Arrest Four in Iraq Raid
By HRVOJE HRANJSKI
Associated Press Writer

Associated Press -  published 11:30PM Sep 7, 2003

More than 100 U.S. troops stormed homes in Saddam Hussein's hometown Tikrit early Monday, searching for Saddam loyalists accused of financing or coordinating attacks on American soldiers. Four wanted men were arrested, the military said.

Acting on tips from Iraqis detained in previous raids as well as intelligence sources, the troops raided the houses in downtown Tikrit almost simultaneously, catching the men asleep.

The bloodless raid involved three companies from the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 4th Infantry Division in Humvees, Bradley fighting vehicles and 5-ton trucks.

"All those targeted were involved in attacks on coalition forces and government officials," said Lt. Col. Steve Russell, 1st Battalion commander. "The message we communicate is if you involve in this type of activity, we will hunt you down or we will kill you."

The raid targeted six men suspected of financing attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces in and around Tikrit, the hotbed of support for Saddam. At least two of them were not in their homes, said Col. James Hickey, commander of the 4th Infantry's 1st Brigade.

The rest included cell leaders of Saddam Fedayeen guerrillas, who have fired rocket-propelled grenades on American patrols and rigged the roads of Tikrit with homemade bombs that have killed or wounded dozens of soldiers, U.S. military officials said.

Their identities were not disclosed, in line with military rules.

In the first house that was raided, the troops knocked down the front-yard door with a metal ram as the operation began at 3 a.m. Other soldiers used ladders to climb the walls, fanning out across the compound. The occupants were rounded up in the kitchen and ordered to kneel down while the house was searched. Men were separated from women and taken out in the street, where they were questioned to confirm their identity.

One of those wanted identified himself and was taken into custody. The man, in his early 20s, shivered on the morning breeze in his underpants and T-shirt, and denied any involvement in guerrilla attacks.

"We don't have any weapons. We only have one weapon for the house," he said.

In another house nearby, close to Tikrit's notorious "RPG Alley," where guerrillas fire on Americans almost every night, U.S. troops found a brother of another wanted man. Also in the house was an elderly man U.S. troops had looked for previously in connection with attacks. Russell called him a "bonus" in the raid.

The brother agreed to cooperate in exchange for being set free, and led the troops to another house where his brother was found and detained.

"We got some late breaking information, and we decided to act very quickly," Russell said. "Once we get on an objective, if we get additional information, we will follow on it."

The detainees were loaded on a truck, blindfolded and with their hands tied with plastic zipcuffs.

In the distance, suspected guerrillas fired mortar rounds, a regular occurrence in Tikrit. Most of them hit empty fields close to U.S. positions, and rarely cause damage or injuries.

On Sunday, U.S. troops in the town shot and killed two Iraqis who opened fire on one of the Army observation posts. The attackers then escaped jumping roof to roof, but were chased down by soldiers with the help of residents who gave away their hideout, Luke said.


Copyright 2003 The Associated Press

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GIs Exchange Fire With Iraq Guerrillas

By HRVOJE HRANJSKI


.c The Associated Press


TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) - U.S. troops exchanged fire with Iraqi guerrillas who lobbed at least six mortar rounds at them in downtown Tikrit, and detained four people, including a suspected bomb maker, in intense fighting early Thursday.

In London, Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon has ordered a review of British troop levels in Iraq after weeks of heightened insecurity, the Ministry of Defense said Thursday.

The announcement was made after a published report that Foreign Secretary Jack Straw had proposed the deployment of 5,000 more British troops in Iraq.

``In the light of events in Iraq over past weeks, the defense secretary has asked for a review of the forces and resources required to support U.K. operations,'' the Defense Ministry said.

``If any decisions are taken to adjust force levels, ministers will inform Parliament in the normal manner as they have done throughout the operation.''

Britain has 11,000 troops in Iraq. Forty-nine British soldiers have died in the war, with 11 of them killed since May 1 when President Bush declared an end to major fighting.

On Wednesday, the United States asked the United Nations to take an expanded role in Iraq's security, political transition and reconstruction. The draft resolution would transform the U.S.-led military force in Iraq into a U.N.-authorized multinational force under a unified command.

Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Tony Blair's office said the government ``will ensure that the British presence in Iraq has the resources it needs to do the job that it's there for.''

In Tikrit, the mortar shells missed their targets, causing no injuries or damage, said Lt. Col. Steve Russell, commander of the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, which patrols Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, 120 miles north of Baghdad.

An American reconnaissance patrol, responding to the mortar attack, was ambushed with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, directly opposite the 4th Infantry's sprawling headquarters in one of Saddam's former palaces.

Bradley fighting vehicles were called in as reinforcements, opening fire at the guerrillas as tracer bullets lit the night sky over Tikrit, which was plunged into darkness. An intense firefight ensued, and at least one house was on fire. Helicopters were heard hovering above.

Russell said there were no U.S. casualties, and that one attacker might have been killed, as the rest of the guerrillas disappeared into the night.

``When you have such an incident, it appears to be a spike in activity. But in reality, it's a decline,'' Russell told said. ``The enemy fire was not accurate at all. We see it as militarily insignificant.''

Also Thursday, U.S. troops acting on a tip from an Iraqi raided a house in Tikrit and detained four people, including a suspected bomb maker. Also seized were weapons and ammunition and a box of explosives, wires, clocks, nails and other bomb-making material.

``It's not so much the amount, but the type of things we've got,'' Russell said.

Col. James Hickey, commander of the 4th Infantry's 1st Brigade, said the man, who was not identified, surrendered without a fight after being called out of his house. He was believed to be involved in bomb making activities in the Tikrit area. He was being interrogated, he said.

Hickey said the mortars that were fired into Tikrit were traced to a spot where the Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment, was sent to investigate when it came under attack.

``The enemy is using very inaccurate, indiscipline fire. It gave us their location,'' he said. ``We engulfed the area with tracer bullets. At the minimum, the enemy has withdrawn,'' he said, adding the guerrillas might have suffered casualties.

  
09/04/03 05:17 EDT
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press.

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U.S. Repels Attack, Seizes Bomb Suspects in Tikrit
Wed September 03, 2003 08:47 PM ET
By Andrew Cawthorne

TIKRIT, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. troops battled Iraqi guerrillas who fired mortars near their base, then raided homes to detain suspected bomb-makers in a night of drama around Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

There were no American casualties, but U.S. commanders said at least one Iraqi may have died in the fighting witnessed by a Reuters crew accompanying the military.

"It's been a good night. We've responded fast and effectively to an attack, then we've found these bomb-makers who were producing explosives used against our troops," Colonel James Hickey, a senior commander in the area, told Reuters outside the houses raided in the early hours of Thursday.

The events began when Iraqis fired six mortars late on Wednesday, which flew over the U.S. military base at Saddam's former palace on the banks of the river Tigris and landed in wasteland in the town.

Within minutes, U.S. patrols were converging on the attackers from two sides, backed by Bradley fighting vehicles and Apache helicopters.

The 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Reconnaissance Troop was first on the scene and immediately came under attack with at least two Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and small arms fire.

In a ferocious firefight, the Americans fired back with machineguns and grenade-launchers, and lit the sky with tracers, leaving a patch of land and debris in flames. It was not known how many Iraqis were there.

"That was beautiful, best firefight I've ever seen," said Sergeant Gilbert Nail, from Oklahoma, whose 1st Battalion, 22nd Regiment came over the bridge to reinforce the reconnaissance unit.

"It sounds like we got one of the RPG firers, you can hear his rounds cooking off," said Lieutenant Colonel Steve Russell, who leads the battalion, listening to small explosions coming from the flames. "We'll check the ashes in the morning."


Copyright Reuters 2003
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September 3, 2003

One thing you will want to be aware of is that Dan Rather of CBS News is with the 4ID this week.  On Tuesday night's CBS Evening News, he did an interview with COL Don Campbell, 4ID Chief of Staff - and he very well will have MG Ray Odierno and/or other 4ID soldiers on his news this week.  If you miss the CBS News, you can go to the CBSNEWS.com web site and see the videotape of the segments.  Following is the summary of the interview he did with COL Don Campbell:

Saddam Hunt Is High Tech
TIKRIT, Iraq, Sept. 2, 2003

Tikrit is the center of the hunt for Saddam Hussein and 15 other "most-wanted" Iraqis, all that remain of the original deck of 55.

That hunt is the mission of the most technologically advanced military unit in the world — the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division, reports CBS News Anchor Dan Rather.

It's the job of Colonel Don Campbell, chief of staff of the 4th Infantry Division, to survey the battlefield.

>From his command and control center, Campbell can see every tank and humvee in his command on digital maps so accurate, CBS News had to blur the images before airing them on television, so as not to reveal the military's location.

"That's the First Battalion, 22nd Infantry. If you just click on that that's Charlie Company right there," Campbell says, pointing at the maps.

>From these images beamed back from an unmanned aerial vehicle, Campbell can also see the enemy.

"Those are combat vehicles right there, those are people. That's the rooftop of a house so if I could identify five bad guys on top of the house I could shoot 'em," he says.

By "bad guys," Campbell means remaining Saddam henchmen like Chemical Ali, who was captured by the 4th Infantry Division last month with the help of the coordinated digital technology.

Literally billions of pieces of raw information are beamed into the command center—via aerial antennae —analyzed and then beamed back out to provide a precise picture of tactical operations to soldiers in the field.

The technology allows soldiers traveling in fighting vehicles to link to the command center using an array of aeriel antennae.

Using the same sort of antennae, a black hawk helicopter becomes a mobile command unit, or a Medivac chopper that can zoom right in on a wounded soldier.

On night patrol in Tikrit, soldiers in humvees can pinpoint exactly where troops are positioned.

Back at the command center, Colonel Campbell is confident that sooner or later they'll capture all the bad guys, including Saddam, the "Ace of Spades."

"He's moving every two hours and he's not staying set," says Campbell. "He has to. We're onto him. We're gonna get him."

MMIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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