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"Optimism (light) is the power that ultimately defeats fear (darkness)."

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Optimism Trumps Fear #11

is puttin' on the wrap-up for week 1 of CY2006. This is actually the first week of the year and the first posting! We'll get to this quickly since there aren't a ton of stories from the site. We have more positive than negative - and last week was pretty hectic. For the stuff I like to talk about, we have on tap: 3 separate captured weapons cache stories, Joint Forces to work on a security berm (giant speed-bump to keep out the riff-raff!), and recon stops an IED emplacement.

TONS of ordnance was seized this last week! Three separate stories really show how hard everyone is working to reduce the terror network's ability to intimidate and kill. First, reports on Operation Green Trident which is U.S. Marines of the First Reconnaissance Battalion, Regimental Combat Team 8, captured 72, yes I said SEVENTY TWO caches over the last week! This equaled ten metric tons for the 72 sites uncovered (at 2,200 pounds/metric ton we're at 22,000 pounds!?) They report about 1,000 artillery and mortar rounds plus RPGs and hand grenades. Great JOB! Second, Iraqi and MNDCS Soldiers nabbed some pretty bad stuff: 75 mines, 40 artillery and mortar rounds, 7 RPG launchers and 69 rounds, 50 hand grenades, and some sniper rifles, machine guns, and explosive material. That's some bad stuff, and a good thing it's out of the terrorists hands! Third, this next story was so peppered with stuff that I have to put it all into list form:

  • Task Force Band of Brothers snagged 4 caches and 11 terrorists
  • One group of the 101st Airborne Div. 1st BCT netted 8 terrorists (3 on the run and 5 in the truck) and lots of weapons and explosives (RPGs and launchers, machine guns, and IED making materials)
  • Another group of the 101st Airborne Div. 1st BCT picked up 3 terrorists and 30 pistols (hmmm, 1 gun per person doesn't fly in California!)
  • The local gentry said we could find some bad stuff, and told us where - turns out it was approximately 6,000 anti-aircraft artillery rounds
  • Another 25 artillery rounds was discovered - we transported it, then destroyed it (hmmm, fire in the hole!)
That's a bunch of stuff in just one posting!

In an effort to transfer security over to the Iraqis, there has been a ton of training going on at every level. One outfit that is committed to this mission is MNSTC. The team at MNSTC coordinate operations to help Iraqis learn new tactics and strategies to the point where they can then assume complete control. In this specific story the 101st Airborne, 3rd BCT works with local leaders to build a berm with watch towers to protect their village. As marked use of IEDs is increasing, 80% of the time it is the civilian population that is killed or injured. In As Siniyah, a small village near Bayji in northern Salah ad Din Province, local police, city council members, sheiks and religious leaders met with leaders from the 101st Airborne, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment(Air Assault). Captain Christopher Judge, 101st Airborne, 3rd BCT, discusses the operation whereby a berm will be built that is approximately 10 kilometers in length and nearly eight feet in height - with guard towers to control entry points into the village. These entry points will be guarded by Iraqi police officers and soldiers.

This should work - a desert moat, so to speak!

And, last but not least, there is a story you may have seen on SMASH's page the Military Outpost where he linked to the Officer's Club. The story is about a UAV that caught some bad little boneheads messin' around trying to emplace an IED - BUSTED! As reports, a UAV from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team (NOTE: I believe this is the 101st Airborne, 3rd BCT UAV, not a USAF UAV/UCAV - see below) was patrolling a road near Bayji after 9PM on January 2nd, 2006. Some terrorists were digging a hole that looked to be the SOP for these scum, so the 3 men's position was relayed to close air support pilots. Once the bad-guys left the road site they were followed by a UCAV (there is a difference between UAV and UCAV) to a nearby building. The UCAV crew took aim and trashed the place - with them inside.

Now, for the difference between a UAV and a UCAV. The UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) is 99% of the time a recon bird only. The reason UCAV (unmanned or uninhabited combat aerial vehicle) came about is why not watch them from above, and if needed, prosecute termination immediately. The UCAV has a dual role in mission use because it can just watch or be employed to take out targets. UAVs watch and report. I believe that in all other branches than the U.S. Air Force, in theater at this time, the use of UAVs is prevalent. I believe that in this instance, the reporting team was the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne 3rd BCT, and they have quite a few UAVs (see photos below).

As reported by , once the activity was seen to be hostile to both U.S. Military personnel and civilians, the hand off came to the close air support pilots - who then prosecuted the termination of the terrorists. To fly and then fire is traditionally the task of the U.S. Air Force's two birds in the sky - the Predator (nice size and focused mission, used in joint branch missions) and the GlobalHawk (too big and broader mission). The Officer's Club has a snap of the GlobalHawk for this mission, yet I think that this mission profile required the use of a UCAV in the Predator size (see photos below of these two UCAVs).

I am in the process of confirming the use of one or more UAV/UCAVs. I think it is a nice little side-project. I just hope that between and CENTAF I can get an answer? Seems slim, but, gotta try - I love the exactness of a story and the joint tactical nature (U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force) of teams working together.

One can hope!

Alright, on to the links and the wrap-up!

The GOOD = 5
Security Berm Under Construction -- 01/06/2006
Weapons Seized, 11 Suspects Detained -- 01/05/2006
Iraqi and MNDCS Soldiers Seize Cache -- 01/04/2006
Air Support Preempts Possible IED Emplacement -- 01/03/2006
Operation Green Trident Turns up 72 Caches -- 01/02/2006

Male Iraqi Detainee Dies -- 01/05/2006
Suicide Bomb Explodes in Ramadi -- 01/05/2006
Four U.S. Civilian Contractors Killed in Accident -- 01/02/2006

Suicide Bomb Explodes in Ramadi Update -- 01/05/2006

Stay Tuned to ...


At 1/20/2006 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Chief RZ said...

Good blog. I will link you. We supported the first predator operations at Taszar, Hungary from 1995 with precision approach radar.

The newest UAVs will make deployment of ops planes easier and more cost effective.

At 1/20/2006 12:32:00 PM, Blogger LinkedInUSAF said...

Thanks, Chief. You are most DEFINITELY going on my blogroll! I love your blog, and I too seem to be cut from the same bolt of cloth: communism is evil.

In grammar school my very best friend's Dad was an escapee from the Czech Republic (I believe he was Slavakian). That was my first glimpse into the evils of communism. The evils of facism came from home as my Dad was born and raised in England, was in the RAF, and fought the Nazis.

Thank God, the Americans, the British, the Autralians, and everyone else that fought for freedom were successful.

Thanks for stopping by my blog, Chief!


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