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Franklin Furnance, Ohio native finds insurgent documentation during Operation Spear;

24 Sep 2005 | Cpl. Ken Melton

Lance Cpl. James M. Howard, an infantryman with 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment and soldiers from the Iraqi Security Force discovered evidence of foreign fighters in the town of Karbilah while participating in Operation Rohme (Spear).

Howard and his fellow Marines from 3rd squad, 2nd Platoon, Company L and members of the ISF, uncovered numerous suspicious photos and documents while conducting a search of a suspected insurgent hideout within the city.

“We found passports from bordering countries, photos of men dressed in black holding guns,” the Franklin Furnace, Ohio native said. “We also found numerous bomb-making materials and modified detonators.”

The former occupants attempted to conceal all these items well before they left.

Later, as the squad moved to a position closer to their platoon headquarters, they engaged insurgents trying to leave the city in a hurried manner.

The events lifted the Marines’ spirits and left them with a sense of accomplishment.

“I think about all the Marines and innocent civilians who could be hurt by those devices,” said the 2002 Wheelersburg High School graduate. “It’s men like these who set up those devices and can eventually hurt others. I’m glad we could do a small part to help stop it.”

The Marines of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines continued to cripple the insurgents’ efforts and expose their hideouts during the remainder of the operation, which concluded June 20 with almost 50 insurgents killed, numerous weapons caches found, a suicide car bomb facility destroyed, and a torture houses raided where four hostages were freed.