Photo Information

AR RAMADI Iraq (June 13, 2005) - Sergeant Tim R. Cyparski, a rifleman and the section leader for 1st Section, 1st Mobile Assault Platoon, Company W, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, leads the way down a flight of stairs after searching the second floor of a house here with his comrade, Sgt. Michael A. Burgess, a 28-year-old assault man from Willoughby, Ohio. Insurgents attacked 27-year-old Cyparski from Erie, Pa., and his fellow warriors with an improvised explosive device during a presence patrol they executed in the southern portion of the city. No one was hurt and no vehicles were damaged. Photo by: Cpl. Tom Sloan

Photo by Cpl. Tom Sloan

1/5’s Weapons Marines encounter IED during mission

13 Jun 2005 | Cpl. Tom Sloan 2nd Marine Division

The ground trembled from the discharge of an improvised explosive device, the loud boom echoed throughout a neighborhood here where a group of Marines were conducting a mission. The blast set Sgt. Tim R. Cyparski and his team in motion, and they went on the hunt for the perpetrators. Insurgents attacked Marines with 1st Mobile Assault Platoon, Company W, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, with an IED during a patrol they executed in the southern portion of Al Anbar’s Provincial capital June 13. No one was hurt, and no vehicles were damaged. Leading up to the enemy contact, which occurred midway through the Marines’ undertaking, Cyparski, a rifleman and the section leader for 1st Platoon’s 1st Section, and four other Marines were going house to house conducting searches. Their comrades remained in the streets mounted in humvees and provided security. Cyparski and his team had just finished sweeping a dwelling and were entering back into the street when the earth shook. “Get into the trucks,” Cyparski yelled out seconds after the blast. The team split. Cyparski and Sgt. Michael A. Burgess quickly ran to their up-armored vehicle while Sgt. Derrek A. Brooks, and lance corporals Cody M. Eisenbarth and Levi S. Samuels took to theirs’. Once the Marines established that everyone accounted for and unhurt, they started scanning the area for the potential bombardiers. “It went off to the north of us,” 27-year-old Cyparski from Erie, Pa. said over his radio while giving a situation report. Another Marine in a different vehicle reported seeing suspicious activity. “We’ve got a description of some men on the rooftop of a nearby house,” continued the 1997 McDowell High School graduate. “Lets go get them.” With tires spinning, the Marines’ convoy left in a cloud of dust and pulled up in front of the suspect house moments later. Cyparski and his team jumped out and went in with their weapons at the ready. With Cyparski leading the way, they searched every room in the residence staring from the bottom floor and working their way up. It was to no avail, though. “There’s no men here,” said Cyparski. “There are only a few women and children.” The Marines took their search to other houses. “We’ll clear every house in the neighborhood if that’s what it takes to find them,” he said. They kept their eyes peeled for “suspicious acting men, IED making material and anything that looked out of place,” explained Samuels, a 19-year-old machine gunner with the section, while posting security from the entrance of a building his comrades were searching. The Marines asked the residents of each house they searched if they had any weapons. Iraqis are authorized to posses one weapon for protection, explained the Huntsville, Ark., native. Three hours and eight houses later, the Marines still hadn’t found anything. Despite turning up empty handed, the Marines still got a valuable point across to the local populace. “We did what we’re supposed to do,” explained Cyparski during the mission debrief back at Camp Hurricane Point. “We were all over the place, which let the insurgents know that when they blow an IED on Marines, we’re not going to run from them but, rather, stay and fight.”