News: Iraqi Army lead combined search for weapons caches
Story by Pfc. Kimberly Lessmeister
BAGHDAD — Searching through brush and bricks, with the help of a military working dog, Soldiers from 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division and the 24th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, were on the hunt for weapons caches and insurgents, Dec. 3.
A tip to the Iraqi army led the combined force to a small town north of Fira Shia, a rural farming area northwest of Baghdad.
IA forces spearheaded the patrol while American Soldiers assisted and were ready to support in case anything was found.
"When we go with them, it empowers them," said 1st Lt. James Harvie, a platoon leader. "We always let them take the lead and we always plan the missions together. It shows them that they can be successful and builds their confidence so they can take control when we finally leave."
After more than an hour of searching different locations, the two groups cleared the area, and no caches were uncovered.
Not finding anything, however, isn't a bad thing according to Harvie, a St. George, Utah, native.
"It means there are not, as far as we know, stores of weapons," said Harvie.
The Iraqi army commander had a different take on the combined patrol, and on what not finding any weapons means.
"It's not about good or bad, it's about sending a message to bad guys," said Iraqi Capt. Nomas Mohammed Hussain. "We're still here doing our job and we're going to catch anyone doing bad stuff."