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101st Soldiers find weapons cache west of Baghdad

BAGHDAD (Army News Service, Nov. 18, 2005.) -- After receiving a tip from a local resident, Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division uncovered what turned out to be a large weapons cache west of Baghdad.

The unit initially found a small cache consisting of two rocket-propelled grenades and one AK-47 assault rifle Nov. 14.

After uncovering this weapons cache, the Soldiers of 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment expanded the search of the area, resulting in one of the largest of 17 weapons cache discoveries by 2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Div. to date.

After receiving the informant’s tip, the Soldiers started their search by using a metal detector. They began to dig up munitions and weapons at 3 p.m. and the dig continued until after midnight Nov. 16.

Discovery grows

When an explosives ordnance disposal team arrived at the site, the Soldiers were still discovering more weapons caches buried in the field.

“After we found the smaller cache, it just kept going,” said Staff. Sgt. Joel Killian, 1st Platoon, B Troop, 1/75th Cavalry. “First we would find a mortar plate, and then we would find the tube. Next, every side road was filled with weapons, so we just continued to search and continued to discover more and more weapons buried in the field.”

As of Nov. 16, the weapons cache consisted of 150,000 7.62 rounds of ammunition, 600 propellant charges, 500 blasting caps, 400 artillery fuses, 150 hand grenades, 150 120-millimeter rounds, 125 rockets, 100 primer charges, 85 82-millimeter mortar rounds, 68 60-millimeter rounds, 50 plastic grenades, 35 anti-tank mines, 13 20-millimeter rockets, 12 RPG launchers, multiple barrels and bags of small-arms ammunition, seven unknown type of missiles, seven rolls of copper wire, three 60-millimeter mortar systems, three 55-gallon drums of fertilizer, three rolls of detonation cord, two 82-millimeter mortar tubes with bases, and one 82-millimeter mortar system.

“This is a great step in removing capability, the means with which terrorists execute their indiscriminate and cowardly violence,” said Col. Todd Ebel, 2/101 commander. “I am very proud of all the Soldiers involved with this cache find. These Soldiers and others like them across this Brigade Combat Team are making a difference in the safety of south Baghdad.”

Iraqi, U.S. forces respond to car bomb attack

Elsewhere, Iraqi Security Forces and Task Force Baghdad Soldiers responded to reports of two explosions in central Baghdad around 8:20 a.m. Nov. 18.

Initial reports indicate terrorists detonated two car bombs near the Al-Hamra Hotel on the Karradah Peninsula. One of the car bombs detonated against a wall and the second car bomb damaged an apartment complex near the hotel.

Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment responded to the site and requested support from the 92nd Engineer Battalion and the 36th Engineer Group to help in rescue efforts of Iraqi civilians trapped in the rubble.

(Editor’s note: This story was contributed by Task Force Baghdad PAO.)

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