Operation Peninsula Strike
June 9, 2003 - June 12, 2003
During the early morning hours of June 9, 2003, Task Force Ironhorse soldiers conducted a series of raids to eradicate Ba'ath Party loyalists, paramilitary groups and other subversive elements located on a peninsula along the Tigris River, northeast of Balad, Iraq. The raids signaled the start of Operation Peninsula Strike.
The operation took place in two major stages. The first stage involved moving soldiers and equipment into strike positions, intelligence gathering, and coordination with local police. Along with the 3rd Bde, 4th ID, units from the, the 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment were involved.
During the second stage, raids were conducted within the area of operation via land, air and water to capture or destroy subversive elements. Air assault teams, ground attack squads, raid teams, river patrol boats and local security combined forces to block off escape routes and operate check points to ensure the operation's success.
Operation Peninsula Strike's joint, combined arms team is comprised of U.S. Army infantry, armor, artillery, aviation, and engineers, and U.S. Air Force aviation elements.
By June 10 2003, Operation Peninsula Strike had resulted in the capture of 397 suspects and the seizure of numerous weapon systems and ammunition. A 10:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M. curfew has been implemented on the peninsula for the safety and security of civilians and Coalition forces. Task Force Ironhorse continues to seize illegal weapons in support of the National Weapons Policy implemented on June 1, 2003.
As the operation continues, specially trained soldiers are screening the detainees to determine who may be released and who will be retained for further questioning. These soldiers are also processing information which can be used in the apprehension of hostile groups who continue to try to harm Coalition forces and innocent Iraqi people. The information gathered will also assist Coalition forces in providing a safe and secure environment for the Iraqi people.
The 4th Infantry Division and supporting units from Task Force Ironhorse concluded an extensive raid on June 12 as part of Operation Peninsula Strike, involving thousands of soldiers.
The operation led to the capture of approximately 400 detainees and the seizure of numerous weapons systems and ammunition. Detainees were screened and questioned, with approximately 60 detainees being released. In addition to capturing the five people from the U.S. government's most wanted list, several other high-standing party members were also detained.
Two former Iraqi generals surrendered to military forces during the raids. Maj. Gen. Abul Ali Jasmin, Secretary of Defense Ministry and Brig. Gen. Abdullah Ali Jasmin, Head of the Iraqi Military Academy, are now being detained and questioned.
During the operation, the 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, worked with the 720th Military Police Battalion scouring the streets and looking for people attempting to escape by vehicle. Infantrymen, MPs, and combat engineers conducted house searches in targeted areas.
Members of the 57th Aviation and 159th Aviation Battalions provided air support.
During the operation, four soldiers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade were injured and evacuated out of the area and are listed in stable condition during the operation. There were no U.S. soldiers killed during the operation. Two hostile Iraqi civilians were wounded, treated and sent to medical facilities.
Three specialists - Tamer Hassanien, Kobie Johnson and John Oldenburg -- and Pfc. James Volpe were injured in an apparent ambush while driving between two traffic control points.
The soldiers from the Scout Platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, were injured when their vehicles were fired on from what later turned out to be a police station, said 1st Sgt. John Bagby, first sergeant of HHC, 2nd Bn, 503rd PIR.
Hassanien, Johnson and Oldenburg received non-life threatening wounds. Volpe was treated and released back to his unit.
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