173RD ABCT ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY IN EASTERN AFGHANISTAN
JALALABAD AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, "The Herd", took authority of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division's area of operation in Eastern Afghanistan during a transition of authority ceremony here June 6.
During the TOA ceremony, the 3rd BCT commander described the last 16 months.
"It's been a lot of hard work," said Army Col. John Nicholson, commander of Task Force Spartan, "We have sacrificed much, but it has been a great honor to fight beside you. I'm sad to leave, but we are leaving you in good hands."
During their deployment, 3rd BCT, TF Spartan, conducted more than 100 medical engagements, 540 humanitarian-aid missions and brought medical aid to more than 44,000 Afghans.
The 173rd ABCT is no stranger to combat operations, the 173rd ABCT has deployed three times since 2003. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, "The Herd" made the largest combat jump on a single drop zone since World War II into Bashur, Iraq, in 2003. In the spring of 2005, the 173rd ABCT was once again called upon in support of Operation Enduring Freedom VI.
AFGHAN NATIONAL SECURITY FORCES FOIL ENEMY ATTACK ON AFGHAN CIVILIANS
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – While conducting a combat security patrol, Afghan National Security and Coalition forces prevented enemy fighters from attacking a group of innocent Afghans who were gathering for a shura in the Deh Chopan District of Zabul Province June 9.
The combined patrol foiled the imminent attack after identifying over a dozen enemy fighters carrying high powered rifles, 82 mm mortar tubes and rounds, near the village of Baylogh. In an attempt to escape, the enemy fighters moved north from the village into mountainous terrain. Coalition aircraft were requested and fired munitions at the fleeing enemy fighters, killing several of them.
No Afghan civilians were injured during the engagement.
2/10th MTN, 1 ACB kill IED emplacers
AZ ZAIDON, IRAQ – Apache attack helicopters engaged and destroyed an improvised explosive device emplacement team near Az Zaidon, Iraq, southwest of Baghdad, June 7.
The IED emplacement team was observed preparing a site, emplacing, and covering the IED by an unmanned aerial vehicle at about 10:30 a.m.
The UAV, controlled by the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, continued surveillance of the team until AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the 1st Air Cavalry Brigade arrived at the scene.
As the sedan was moving away from the IED site, the Apaches engaged the sedan with a rocket, killing the two occupants and destroying the vehicle.
The Az Zaidon area is known as a safe haven for al Qaeda and as a step-off point for launching attacks into Baghdad.
Six al-Qaeda suspects captured
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces captured six suspected terrorists Sunday morning during operations that continue to deny safe haven to members of the al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist network.
Based on information gained during a successful operation May 27, Coalition Forces targeted a location in Fallujah looking for an individual suspected of recruiting for al-Qaeda. The suspected jihad leader is known for using “join or die” sermons and indoctrination ceremonies where those who refuse to swear allegiance are killed. Coalition Forces detained one suspected terrorist associated with the leader.
In Mosul, two coordinated operations netted three suspected terrorists tied into the al-Qaeda in Iraq network. One of the suspects is allegedly a recruiting emir for the terrorist network in Mosul, while another is suspected of facilitating the movement of foreign fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Southeast of Fallujah, Coalition Forces detained two suspected terrorists for their alleged involvement with a senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leader known for placing improvised explosive devices and coordinating terrorist attacks.
“We’re relentlessly attacking the al-Qaeda network to deny terrorists the ability to hide among the Iraqi people and spread their jihadist propaganda,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson. “The Iraqi people are choosing their own future, and it does not include terrorism.”
12 detained in Coalition raids
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition Forces detained 12 suspected terrorists during operations to disrupt the al-Qaeda in Iraq network Monday.
Coalition Forces targeted a location southeast of Fallujah where an alleged al-Qaeda in Iraq cell leader was staying based on intelligence reports and information gained from an operation June 7. The ground forces detained six suspected terrorists on site for their association with the cell leader, who is known for emplacing improvised explosive devices.
Coalition Forces raided a group of buildings in Tarmiyah in an operation targeting a suspected terrorist associated with al-Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders. Coalition Forces detained the individual, who is allegedly a financial emir for the terrorist organization.
During four coordinated raids in Baghdad, Coalition Forces detained five suspected terrorists linked to an al-Qaeda in Iraq emir. The ground force also found a cache of weapons at the site, which they safely destroyed.
“We will continue to steadily dismantle the terrorist organizations seeking to disrupt the security that Iraqi citizens desire,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, MNF-I spokesperson.