3/25 discovers weapons, roots out insurgents

19 May 2005 | Cpl. Ken Melton

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment began a house-to-house search in the city here that turned into a game of cat and mouse with insurgents. The Marines succeeded in finding multiple weapons caches and rooting out insurgents here while conducting operations under fire. Weapons Platoon, Company L was the first unit to discover a weapons cache filled with small arms, RPGs and IEDs ready to be detonated. “This was one of the first buildings we cleared,” said Sgt. Robert A. Davis, a squad leader with weapons platoon. “We were hoping to find the weapons cache sometime in the day, but we were fortunate to find these this early in the mission.” The Marines were able to gain information on where the person who had stashed the weapons was located and set off to detain him for questioning. As the Marines were nearing the location, an RPG was fired and barely missed the vehicles. The Marines set up security and began questioning people in the area. “We were disoriented for a few seconds, but then our Marines snapped into action and began to assess the situation with perfection,” said Davis. A second RPG was launched at the Marines as they began searching houses and damaged the property of innocent civilians. “We were able to trace the point of origin quicker on the second RPG because our Marines on the ground were more alert for another attack,” Davis said. While assessing the damage, a Marine noticed suspicious activity in a nearby yard where a buried weapons cache was later found. “The owner of the house at first wouldn’t dig, saying that there was a water main in the ground,” Davis said. “Later we went back and made him dig deeper and found there was no water main, but two bags of firearms underneath the freshly dug earth.” At the end of the day, the Marines detained 20 people and confiscated numerous weapons and explosives. To the Marines with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines this was yet another successful operation toward their overall mission of providing the Iraqis with a safe and stable community in which to prosper.