Operation Commando Eagle Starts Off Strong

From the Multi-National Division Public Affairs Center:

MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq - A joint operation geared toward curbing terrorist activity southwest of Baghdad is yielding results almost immediately.

Operation Commando Eagle, a mix of helicopter-borne air assaults and Humvee-mounted movements, included Soldiers from several battalions of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) out of Fort Drum, N.Y., and the 4th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division. The operation, which began today, targeted a series of houses which locals indicated were being used by al Qaeda cells to intimidate locals and launch attacks against Iraqi and Coalition Forces.

Troops of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 2nd BCT, detained three men when their truck was found to contain documents requesting rockets as well as a spool of copper wire, commonly used to build improvised explosive devices.

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Brigade, IA Division found a cache containing four AK-47s, a 60mm mortar tube with three rounds, an SKS rigged with sniper optics, three bolt-action rifles, a camcorder with tapes, a roll of copper wire, 20 homemade grenades, four ski masks, 75 CDs of propaganda and terror techniques instructing methods to commit kidnappings and to shoot down coalition helicopters, and various other IED-making materials.

Soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT discovered multiple series of caches during the operation.

The first cache complex contained five AK-47s with three magazines, a roll of IED wire and a shotgun.

A second cache included seven AK-47s.

The third complex included an anti-tank mine, an anti-personnel mine, two rocket propelled grenade rounds, an RPG launcher and multiple pounds of TNT.

Task Force 2-15 detained 16 individuals.

Company A, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment detained nine men and Troop B, 1st Squadron, 89th Cavalry Regiment detained four, all wanted for terrorist attacks or for possessing illegal weapons.

Commando Eagle was named after the 2nd BCT, known as the Commandos, and the 4th Bde, 6th IA, called the Baghdad Eagles.

This operation was timed in conjunction with a larger Multi National Division-Center operation, coined Marne Torch.

The caches were seized and disposed of. The detainees are being held for questioning.