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Kirkuk weapons cache still yielding ammunition

By Staff Sgt. Joel Peavy

TIKRIT, Iraq (Army News Service, Nov. 30, 2005) -- Iraqi and U.S. forces have removed more than 4,200 mortar rounds from a major weapons cache found outside of an abandoned military base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Nov. 27.

The buried rounds were discovered by Iraqi Soldiers. The Iraqis removed about 800 mortar rounds before realizing that the cache was much larger than they originally thought. U.S. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team were called in to help excavate the munitions and secure the area.

The ammunition was buried under concrete blocks with dirt mounded on top. All of the ammunition removed so far has come from one mound located in a field full of similar mounds. The explosives ordnance disposal team at the site expects to find more rounds as the search expands throughout the field.

“It was a good find,” said Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jennifer Wayne, the EOD team chief at the site. “I’m glad we found it over someone else. All those rounds are potential IEDs. We just stopped that many more IEDs.”

The rounds will be destroyed in a controlled detonation, officials said.

(Editor’s note: Staff Sgt. Joel Peavy serves with the 101st Airborne Division PAO.)

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