For months the men and women with the 3rd Infantry Division have been searching homes at night looking for insurgent activity. Third Combat Aviation Brigade Colonel Daniel Ball explains, "What we're trying to do is disrupt the enemy operations."
They're looking for weapons, cell phones, reading materials, anything that could harm our troops. "When we go in we have a certain amount of Intel that leads us to a particular target location and so we either have an individual or a known enemy supplies, if you will, that we're going after," said Colonel Ball.
So far it's been working, in one mission soldiers detained at least six possible insurgents, but these midnight raids can be dangerous, not only for the helicopters that are having to navigate at night but also for the soldiers. Colonel Ball said, "The ground is uneven. They're not familiar with the terrain. They can't see, then of course, it's a lot harder to identify any kind of traps and obstacles the enemy might put in our way."
However, raiding at night can also work in the troops behalf. "The enemy has a tougher time identifying us at night," said Colonel Ball.
Overall Colonel Ball says the troops are doing well. They're working long hours and some days are better than others, but they know what they're there to do and they have one message for families back at home. "We want to give all those in Savannah our best regards and let them know everyone here is doing fine and we're starting to cycle the soldier's home on leave."
The 3rd ID left this past May. They're expected to stay 15 months, returning home sometime around August of 2008.