Sunday, March 11, 2007

Iraqi Tip Leads to Large IED Find

Capt. Clayton Combs, C company commander, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division displays one of 150 metallic disks that were part of a weapons cache that was discovered Feb. 24 in the Baqubah area. The disks are key in the construction of explosively formed projectiles (EFP).Wednesday, 28 February 2007

BAGHDAD – A large cache of improvised explosive devices was discovered Monday by Iraqi police and Coalition forces near the Baqubah area in the Diyala province. Iraqi Police from Judidah and Soldiers from the 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division teamed up together and found the deadly arsenal.

Thanks to a tip received from a concerned Iraqi citizen, the team found the IED-making material in an open palm grove stashed under tarps and palms, said Capt. Clayton Combs, C company commander, 1-12 Cav. “Crazy Horse."

Combs, who commands the company that found the cache, said the significance in this particular find was the presence of explosively formed projectiles (EFP).

There is a deadly effectiveness with these types of IED’s, Combs said. “If put together properly, these are a very dangerous form of IED.”

The lethal component of an EFP is the metallic disk, which takes on a cone shape once triggered. The piece of metal blasts through intended targets causing large scale damage to personnel and equipment.

“The IED emplacers and manufacturers have become very efficient,” said Combs.

“I have lost Soldiers to EFP’s not far from where this cache was found,” Combs said.

The discovery of 150 metallic disks at the cache site, each representing a possible EFP, lessens the risk to his men, which pleases Combs.

“My Soldiers are sleeping better at night with the fact that these EFP’s have been removed,” Combs said.

This was the first time Combs’s unit has found an EFP manufacturing plant.

“I think we took a big dent out of the (insurgents) resources and finances,” said Combs.

Combined efforts by the Iraqi Police, Coalition forces and the Iraqi citizen who provided the information leading to the cache discovery, have taken deadly weapons out of the hands of the insurgents.

“Countless lives have been saved,” Combs said. “Not just Americans but Iraqis and others.”

Also found in the cache were mines, mortar rounds, rockets, anti-aircraft rounds, rocket propelled grenade (RPG) warheads and plastic and steel containers in different stages of fabrication.

(Story and photo by Sgt. Sky M. Laron, Combined Press Information Center)

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