News: Illuminating the Night to Increase Bases Safety
Story by Pvt. Zach Zuber
DIYALA, Iraq — Though security is part of every service member's job, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, performs an operation at Forward Operating Base Warhorse that helps to ensure safety on a higher level.
Squads from 5/20 Inf. provide countermeasures to indirect fire attacks on the base by firing illuminating mortar rounds during hours of darkness to light up specific areas in order to disrupt any enemy movement in the surrounding area.
"When the brigade first came to this area we hadn't received much more than erratic IDF, but as a response to the increase in attacks the brigade began tasking battalions to perform counter-IDF measures," said Sgt. 1st Class Stanley Wilson, a Crystal Springs, Miss., native.
"Originally, the operations were tasked to multiple battalions, but 5/20 [Inf.] took over the entire process because it falls under our area of operation," said Staff Sgt. Jerry Adamick, from Huntsville, Texas.
To those not involved, it may seem like the process is simple, however this program is much more involved, requiring detailed planning and coordination.
"As we receive intelligence that indicates there may be indirect fire against us, we send out patrols to clear the ground and make sure there is nothing that can get hit by a round," said Wilson. "Then forward observers in the tactical operations center will clear the air before we fire."
Once they have ensured that there will be no civilian or military damages in a targeted area, the battalion's mortar teams are authorized to fire. The teams themselves then focus on putting the round in the right location, which requires experienced leaders such as Adamick and Class Wilson
"I have spent eight years perfecting my skills as a mortar man, so that I can be confident in myself and my crew," said Adamick. "That allows me to be confident in where we are firing."
By combining their knowledge with the information gathered, members of 5/20 Inf. continue to protect FOB Warhorse and protect the surrounding area safer for all its residents.
"Our goal is to prevent indirect fires in the area of FOB Warhorse, it's something that just needs to be done," said Adamick.