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Soldiers report largest cache finds since beginning of year

Release No: UNRELEASED Feb. 13, 2008 PRINT | E-MAIL

BAGHDAD (Feb. 13, 2008) - Soldiers from 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division found 3,000 pounds of munitions Feb. 6, collectively the largest find since the start of Operation Marne Thunderbolt Jan. 1.

Both the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment and 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment are conducting ongoing operations in southern Arab Jabour in support of Marne Thunderbolt.

Company C, 1-30th Inf. Regt. discovered 12 55-gallon barrels of homemade explosives. Company B, 1-30th Inf. Regt. found a pressure-plate improvised explosive device consisting of three 122 mm rounds and one mine of unknown origin. Another find yielded a cache of two mines, one57 mm projectile, one jar of HME, one artillery shell filled with HME and one 155 mm artillery round.

"We try to find out how long the munitions have been there," said Maj. James Wilburn, from Las Cruces, N.M., chief of daytime operations, 2nd BCT, 3rd Inf. Div. "It may indicate whether there was a cell operating there recently, or if the weapons were abandoned long ago. It gives a sense of what our troops may be up against."

Soldiers from Company A, 5-7th Cav. Regt. discovered an anti-aircraft gun, completely operational, with an extra barrel.

Company B, 5-7th Cav. Regt. Soldiers found 45 cans of DSHKA rounds, one DSHKA barrel, 20 rockets, two 120 mm rounds, 90 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, 20 RPG fuses, 130 charges and four hand grenades. In a smaller find the same day, they located a cache of three 120 mm rockets.

The items found reveal a history of al-Qaeda in Iraq’s presence in the area.

"The stuff they are finding is largely inoperable," Wilburn said. "Even though they are degraded or worn out, it is an indication that an anti-aircraft cell may have been operating in the area at one time."

 FOR QUERIES, CONTACT THE MULTI-NATIONAL DIVISION - CENTER PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE AT: MND-CENTER_PAO@IRAQ.CENTCOM.MIL OR BY PHONE AT DSN318-822-7482 OR COMMERCIAL 912-767-4114.