News: 2 captured during Operation Geronimo Strike III
4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division
KALSU, Iraq – Paratroopers from Strike Force Geronimo detained two suspected al-Qaida insurgents during an air assault and raid, July 10, northwest of Iskandariyah.
Paratroopers from Company A, 3rd Battalion, 509th Airborne, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division conducted Operation Geronimo Strike III in order to capture members of an al-Qaida cell wanted in connection with the kidnapping of three American Soldiers and other attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces.
"Tonight, we conducted an air assault into the Jurf As Sukr area looking for two high level targets - some of the guys involved in the missing Soldiers incident," said Capt. Matthew Gregory, commander of Company A and a Charlotte, N.C., native. "This is an area that coalition forces had not been to in a little while. This shows them we have the ability to get in places they thought they were safe and get them where they live."
In addition to capturing the cell members, the operation netted two AK-47 assault rifles, eight fully loaded magazines, two hand grenades and a ski mask.
"Going after the worst of the worst is what Operation Geronimo Strike was designed to do," said 1st Lt. John Lafferty, a platoon leader with Company A, from Valdese, N.C. "There are guys who are on the fence, and when they hear we're capturing their leadership, we have a better chance of stabilizing the government and legitimizing the security forces here."
The insurgents are being held for further questioning.
The weapons and ammunition were confiscated for use in the investigation.