Sunday, July 26, 2009

OIF Update, July 26, 2009: US, Iraqi Troops Defuse Bombs, Take Fire

Dispatches from the Front

Dispatches from the Front:

MAHMUDIYAH, Iraq, July 26, 2009 -- Iraqi soldiers learned of an explosion that destroyed an electrical transmission tower south of Baghdad and called for U.S. support, July 25.

In a combined effort, soldiers of Company B, 120th Combined Arms Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team; Airmen of the 447th Explosive Ordinance Disposal Detachment; and Iraq Army soldiers of 25th Brigade, 17th Iraqi Army Division, defeated the explosives planted by terrorists.

The soldiers of Company B, on duty as the base quick reaction force, and the EOD team rolled out of Forward Operating Base Mahmudiyah in armored mine resistant vehicles soon after the Iraqis requested assistance in the early morning.

The explosion destroyed more than 100 feet of power transmission lines supplying electricity to the region. Iraqi soldiers investigated and confirmed that more explosives threatened a second tower in the rural farming area.

“The Iraqi information was dead on,” said Staff Sgt. George Smith, a squad leader with Company B. ”Intelligence is the key to any successful mission.”

Smith’s soldiers and the Iraqi troops fanned out from the site, keeping those living on nearby farms and homes away.

As the soldiers worked, they were taken under small arms fire from a tree line about 500 yards away.

The U.S. and Iraqi soldiers moved to clear the nearby area, and received no more fire.

“It makes me feel better about being here, getting out and getting at the enemy,” said Spc. Anthony Abbot , an infantryman with Co. B.

With the area secure, an EOD robot rolled out to the nearly 100-foot tall tower. An onboard camera showed that terrorists taped explosives to each of the tower’s four legs.

Explosive ordinance technicians guided the robot to each of the explosives and defused them. The explosives were gathered in an empty field and destroyed.

“It is good we found and took care of the explosives without anyone getting hurt,” said Abbot.

(Multinational Corps Iraq news release.)

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