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    Bravo Battery Bulldogs sniff out indirect fire hotspots

    Bravo Battery Bulldogs sniff out indirect fire hotspots

    Photo By Spc. Maurice Galloway | Soldiers of the Iraqi security forces and the 17th Fires Brigade work together to...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Maurice Galloway 

    17th Field Artillery Brigade

    CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE, Basra — Patrolling for potential indirect-fire sites around Contingency Operating Base Basra is one of Spc. Jeremy Dye's primary missions. It's perhaps sometimes a thankless role — an often unheralded job entailing scouting out sites in the dead of night to ensure the safety of the base's inhabitants.

    But for Dye and other members of the 1st Battalion, 377th Field Artillery, 17th Fires Brigade, it's not a medal or even thanks they seek, but satisfaction that their efforts do make a difference.

    Dye recalls one experience.

    "We were out doing our regular indirect fire patrol when the call came in that the COB was taking incoming fire," the Bravo Battery "Bulldogs" Soldier said. "After making immediate communication with the Iraqi security forces and linking up with their troops in the area, we headed for the scene."

    Dye said once they arrived, the Iraqi security force took control in assessing the situation as his unit provided security.

    "They then called in an explosive ordnance disposal team to completely clear the scene," he said. "After the scene had been declared clear by the EOD, we proceeded with the ISF into the towns to conduct site exploitation and tactical questioning. The citizens of the town were extremely cooperative and eager to assist us in capturing the people behind these attacks."

    By exchanging valuable information with the ISF, Dye said they're ensuring both sides are fully aware of the possibility of any upcoming attacks.

    "The primary reason for these patrols is to stop the enemy from shooting rockets at the COB," said Staff Sgt. Keith W. Kurth, 3rd platoon sergeant and native of Corpus Christi, Texas. "By maintaining a presence in the area, this hinders insurgents from having the time and opportunity to set up potential attacks."

    Bravo Battery 1st. Sgt. Johnny L. Anthony said his command recognizes the Soldiers' dedication to their job, and personally feels fortunate to be able to lead such a highly motivated group.

    "I couldn't ask for a better bunch of Soldiers," he said. "They work long hours and their job is not without its stress. However, they never balk at any task or anything asked of them in their duties. What they care about is the mission first and foremost."

    According to 1st Lt. Aaron Sulak, 3rd platoon leader and Boyce City, Mich., native, the Soldiers also care about the long-term effect of their job: to pave the way for the ISF to gain complete sovereignty in the Iraq security mission.

    "We're here to assist the Iraqi security forces and to help them define their skills and develop strategic tactics to better protect the citizens of Iraq," he said. "We're pulling security during these types of attacks, but it's the ISF that are leading the way, questioning the citizens for helpful information, pinpointing the location of the attacks and gathering the intelligence from the site to prevent future attacks."



    Date Taken: 09.11.2009
    Date Posted: 09.11.2009 04:05
    Story ID: 38578

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