News: Iraqi Army, Soldiers search historical site
Story by Pfc. M Benjamin Gable
By Pfc. Marcus Gable
7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Soldiers patrolled a historical site Dec. 7 to search for weapon caches and ensure the area's safety for local Iraqis in Agargouf, Iraq.
Members of 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, were called to lead the way scouring the roads that lead to the Ziggurat of Agargouf, the surrounding fields and the catacombs, which encircle the historical ziggurat.
The ruins of the ziggurat rise nearly 200 feet today, having survived wind, rain and 3,500 years. The ziggurat, a temple of sorts, was built in the 15century B.C. by the Babylonian King Kurigalzu.
The search by Cavalry troopers was for possible weapon caches in what could be a staging area for terrorists, while maintaining proper respect for the site.
This area has been patrolled by Company B, 2-5 Cavalry since their arrival in Baghdad. Soldiers from other companies and the cavalry scout platoon from 2-5 Cav. were called in to provide assistance in searching the expansive site.
The search was thorough. Soldiers also searched riverbeds and in the fields with metal detectors. Even though there was no real history of weapons caches in the area there was probable cause for the search.
"This would be a good place to hide weapon caches because it is so vacant and widespread," said Staff Sgt. Andrew Roper, a scout with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-5 Cavalry.
The surrounding buildings of the ziggurat were searched from top to bottom as well. They found some Iraqi Army and Iraqi police uniforms. In the past, these uniforms have been used illegally to set up false roadblocks.
"We're here to help support the Iraqis and make it a safe area for anyone to visit." said Capt. Hector Moyano, an infantry officer.
After searching the fields and nearby houses the Soldiers turned their attention to the catacombs. The Soldiers wound there way through the entirety of the catacombs searching for anything from weapons caches to ammunition while maintaining proper dignity and respect for the historical site.
"We definitely don't want to offend the locals in the area, so we make sure to show the utmost respect while carry out our mission," Roper said.